“Get in the bathtub! Be together!” Those were the orders given to Devendra Banhart and his girlfriend Rebecca Schwartz for today’s exclusive film, the director’s cut of a new campaign for eyewear company Oliver Peoples shot by photographer Lisa Eisner.
In homage to French New Wave classics like Godard’s Une Femme Mariée, Eisner was determined to cast a real-life couple with genuine chemistry, to create “infatuated cant-keep-your-hands-off-each-other moments.” Psych-folk polyglot Banhart and his set designer paramour happily obliged, their liaison unfolding on staircases and shag carpets in the Rainbow House, architect John Lautner’s 1961 Los Angeles masterpiece.
The Venezuelan-born Banhart’s Spanish serenade “Brindo” (from 2009’s What Will We Be; a new album is in the works) sets the mood for love, a topic he mused on when we rang him up in LA yesterday morning. “The last lyrics are ‘the only thing open right now is the hospital’—there’s something weirdly beguiling and beautiful about that. But the majority of the song is about: ‘I’m going to say a toast to this person who has given me a reason to drink joyfully.’ And she’s definitely that person,” he says of his girlfriend.