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'Cut' by Liberty Ross

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Perhaps raising more questions than it answers, Liberty Ross' film ‘Cut’ takes the most visceral approach to answering the Political Fashion brief yet. Starring Ross herself as both protagonist and product, the film draws attention to the true costs of modern luxury.


  1. Landon
    08:42 6 Mar 2008
    Even though it's called Blood Diamond I doubt this is a specific reference to the type of injustice shown in the movie of the same name.
    Don't the major diamond purchasers get their sources from UN-monitored supplies now? Or are there incentives to 'cheat' this system? Anyone?
    The other title is 'Cut' - the luxury items cutting into the skin doesn't need much spelling out does it?
    Visually, it's really arresting.
  2. alex.fury
    14:15 6 Mar 2008
    I am not entirely sure what liberty and rupert wanted to say in this film, BUT I feel it's the absence of explanation and consequentially the absence of tub-thumping didactics that give the film its incredible visceral strength. As a visual, rather than intellectual, statement, it's one of the strongest things I've seen in a long time, with distinct echoes of those Baily/PETA anti-fur advertisements from the late-80s - remember the bleeding fur fashion show (Jean-Paul Gaultier evidently doesn't)?
    Politics with feeling is usually bloody. Ross presents herself as product: consumable, consuming and ultimately consumed. There are definite echoes of the concept of vampiristic consumption of the female image within fashion magazine too... but maybe I'm over-considering a primarily visual message?
    The film is also achingly beautiful, I feel. one of my favourites.
  3. camilla
    16:10 6 Mar 2008
    i think the film is fantastic. Beautifully filmed and liberty shines on screen (she should be an actress!!)
  4. SimonChambers
    17:22 6 Mar 2008
    "Pour etre belle, il faut souffrir."
    The torture of self-image
    Beauty & Death
    The beauty of this film is that it does not comment, thus allowing the viewer to make their own references and the power of this film is in its beauty - the beauty of Liberty and of the direction.
    We are drawn in to this vision which leaves us exposed to the full force of the "Cut".
  5. HollyRoss
    17:35 6 Mar 2008
    'Cut' is a very powerful film, beautifully shot, the direction is stark and the music is incredibly atmospheric. Liberty allows the gruesome nature of the film to wash over her and the viewer is left to make their own judgements. All collide together to make an all pervading and powerful piece of cinema. It totally fits the the title of Political Fashion. A beautifully observed piece and one in which the viewer is left thinking afterwards. An amazing piece of cinema - well done!
  6. GypsyB
    18:00 6 Mar 2008
    I found 'Cut' a very beautiful but disturbing film, very visually arresting and the music almost haunting. I thought that Liberty handled the project in an extremely mature way and it certainly made me think about the mining of diamonds. It looked incredibly sleek and Liberty looked amazing!
  7. Lincoln
    18:04 6 Mar 2008
    Wow!!!! What a film! Visually stunning but it kind of left me creeped out! Despite the powerful nature of the film, didn't Liberty look amazing even dripping in blood. Great direction and the music complemented the starkness of the film. Wow!
  8. myxomatosis
    18:36 6 Mar 2008
    Liberty Ross is MAGNETIC. I always knew she was arresting in photos, but not many models are equally striking on film. The film makes a statement while being tasteful. Rupert Sanders is obviously an amazing filmmaker: his eye is sharp and I think this film is amazing. I want to see MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!!!!!
  9. marko
    20:31 6 Mar 2008
    The last project that I saw was called 'Conspicuous Consumption' the term was introduced by Norwegian American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in his 1899 book The Theory of the Leisure Class. This short video uses the title of a file called 'Blood Diamonds' (is that correct?). I'm not sure that using titles from other sources is a good idea, as it could result in derivative work. The video has a nice look about it, but it seems to lack any emotional or intellectual impact.
  10. la
    20:53 6 Mar 2008
    Gorgeous film.I personally love the way Liberty uses herself in these projects,dark ,sexual, dangerous and unafraid.
    Good for you Liberty.
  11. KarlFuler
    21:02 6 Mar 2008
    I was impressed by the opening shot but the rest of it was a disappointment.
    The blood coming out of the diamonds was such a crude idea & reminded me of a school project by a 14 year old.
    Why have a model in knickers and bra with lots of makeup on? What is that? What is she supposed to be thinking/ - is she supposed to be intelligent, as that is what seenms to be implied by the attempt at GLAMOROUS imagery. There! That is an interesting subject!
    Are diamonds fashionable or just a display of status through monetary wealth?
  12. bamia
    22:07 6 Mar 2008
    I found the sight of the blood tremendously camp and burst out laughing when i saw it - I think this film is hilarious! Why can't this be about fashion film instead of 'political' film though? I'm finding the treatment of this project really heavy-handed and all the dumber for it. If something's truly political then it has to have a clear message behind it, not just a 'visual' or 'elusive' one. All this film tells me is how fabulous it is to sit bleeding flagrantly while wearing sexy negligee and diamonds. As far as I see it, this is a reason to go out and buy jewelery - it's like all that fucked-up fashion advertising that's already out there, playing on people's inflated sense of sophistication through chic perversion.
  13. harley
    22:18 6 Mar 2008
    That seems to be a very unimaginative viewing of the film bamia.I can't for the life of me see why something truly political has to have a clear message. As far as I can tell this film is asking people to make a link between what they wear and the cost in human suffering of wearing it,thats political and not such a bad thing to point out.
    It is clear by the increasing sales of diamonds that in a lot of peoples minds that link is not made.
  14. KarlFuler
    22:31 6 Mar 2008
    Did you read Nick Knight's brief for this project? He says he thinks that fashion is intrinsically political. He reads like a very intelligent man but the more I consider all this, the more I see how empty his words really are.
  15. GalileosUniverse
    22:33 6 Mar 2008
    You took the words out of my mouth so I rephrase it... indeed ... the image tells it all ! the message is the suffering that goes on behind both industries, and what can be more political than that ? ....
    I would call the picture ' Seeing Beyond the Golden Mirror ' !
  16. GalileosUniverse
    22:38 6 Mar 2008
    PS.... Isn't that wonderful and absolutely positive how much this film has managed to set the minds in motion to discern on the subject in question ...... that counts for a lot more :):)
  17. harley
    22:47 6 Mar 2008
    No i haven't read the brief,but Karl is your position that fashion designers ,photographers,art directors ,models,and anybody in the fashion world should not say anything political or ideological at all.That seems to be an awful wasted opportunity for a lot of talented people.
  18. KarlFuler
    23:01 6 Mar 2008
    Waste of talented people? Being successful in fashion is hardly indicative of a great political mind is it?
    Bamia has written some very interesting posts on this subject.
  19. bamia
    23:04 6 Mar 2008
    Oh Harley, you're so fuckin' pure! Evil old me thinks it all looks too FAAAAHHBULOUSSS for words. Bring on those rocks is what I say!
    Do you not see how there is an inherent contradiction in what you have just said?
    First you're saying that something 'truly political' doesn't need to have a clear message and then you're scolding me for not 'getting it' as if there was a clear message in the first place. What's that about?! And why am I unimaginative for enjoying its terribleness and saying that it made me laugh? I liked the film, just because I'm not po-facedly going on about how deep and 'visceral' the sight of blood is (how obvious!) doesn't mean I can't have my own way of enjoying it.
    And yes the diamond trade is sick but I appreciate that when I watch a documentary and learn facts about it, not by watching a model looking great while blood spills down her tits - that's the kind of decadent nonsense that everybody secretly loves. It's fashion darling, NOT POLITICS. My only real aesthetic criticism of this film has to be the eye makeup - too much and too dark for her deep set eyes.
    Have a look at this - visually it uses some of the same tricks but the treatment is very different.
  20. harley
    23:14 6 Mar 2008
    that is not the point ,it is the idea of using the medium of fashion to communicate more than just bland pleasantries. And yes I have now read the brief, all this project seems to be saying is if you are in a position to communicate then say something worthwhile,I can't see the problem with that . No where could I see that it was saying that people in the fashion world have to be as politically informed as the greatest political thinkers of our time before they can express their own political feelings. We all listen to and tolerate political thought from actors,musicians and even comedians !
  21. bamia
    23:15 6 Mar 2008
    i know, i just burns me up
  22. KarlFuler
    23:26 6 Mar 2008
    Bamia, what do you believe fashion REALLY is and why do you enjoy it?
  23. KarlFuler
    23:48 6 Mar 2008
    Well, you did say "That seems to be an awful wasted opportunity for a lot of talented people"
    Fashion isn't about saying things worthwhile - only if that happens to be fashionable, but then would that take away the value of the statement?
    Fashion is a system that only serves itself and to go against this would not, therefore, be fashion.
  24. harley
    23:52 6 Mar 2008
    sorry that doesn't make sense Karl.
  25. KarlFuler
    23:59 6 Mar 2008
    Which bit doesn't make sense?
  26. harley
    00:30 7 Mar 2008
    sorry Karl ,I can't understand what your last post means.
  27. BradGough
    04:37 7 Mar 2008
    Very Good! Not great but good. Now if you could make Oprah Winfrey's diamonds bleed, that would be something!
  28. GalileosUniverse
    06:51 7 Mar 2008
    That is indeed a great and highly imaginative idea !!!!... indeed " politics should start closer to 'home ' "......
  29. GalileosUniverse
    07:09 7 Mar 2008
    Karl I appreciate your thinking ... but do you really think that by totally eradicating fashion we humans would be better off and from that moment onwards we Homo sapiens will be for ever happy and living in paradise ? .... or aren't you just showing great inner anger because of your total disappointment with 'fashion' or the fashion system as it is today ?..... Surely you can cure certain illness but you cannot totally eradicated them from the face of the earth, that is the nearest we will ever get to the truth .... and then, just out of curiosity, because I admire your passion.... how would you propose to cure the ills of fashion if you were in charge and be able to in order to create a less vile, uncaring and environmentally devasting system? ... and I mean something constructive :):)
  30. GalileosUniverse
    07:25 7 Mar 2008
    ...... your statement aside ...'He says he thinks that fashion is intrinsically political '... but why would his words, necessarily, be qualified as to be ... ' empty' ? ... could you elaborate more specifically on that ? ....
  31. GalileosUniverse
    07:48 7 Mar 2008
    .... and I forgot to add ... that would indeed unmask our hypocrisy about preaching .... but not practising what we preach... and I'm just I wondering how many people are against cars polluting the air and yet they themselves own cars !!!!!... the same go for fashion , because after all we all have to purchase fashion , whether we like it / agree or not! .... so in the end it is a matter of finding a middle way , the right way because it is never BLACK or WHITE .... that would be more realistic ...regardless of how 'deep and highly intellectual' we may get about the subject ...: the key word.... solutions... solutions!
    And by the way join the bikers club ... and use the public transport as much as possible .... there !!! that is a more positive contribution to alleviate the great ills we cause to our planet out of sheer laziness and/of vanity .... and consume less CHEAP throw-away-fashion ..... it might not be a a ' clever ' and a ' highly ' sophisticated ' solution to cure the ills but it will certainly go a long way to alleviate the pains.....
  32. KarlFuler
    09:52 7 Mar 2008
    Fashion isn't about saying things worthwhile - only if that happens to be fashionable, but then would that take away the value of the statement? - For example, to be a Punk in the late 1970s you would have had to have been anti the royal family. So, to be fashionable you would have had to have anti royal views - in which case i believe it would seriously errode the apparent authenticity of those political opinions.
    Fashion is a system that only serves itself and to go against this would not, therefore, be fashion. - For example: If a Punk in the late 1970s voiced strong feelings about environmental isssues, however worthy the views, would have been considered very unfashionable/unPunk
  33. marko
    13:13 7 Mar 2008
    I find it hard to understand why someone should shoot a fashionable type film that is critical of fashion, it all smacks of hypocrisy. Anything to do with fashion tends to pander to the base values of mankind, so why all the high minded discourse and rands about global warming and the damage that fashion does....
  34. GalileosUniverse
    14:50 7 Mar 2008
    Why do we eat or consume AT ALL !! in the first place .... Why do we criticise America about its war policies in order to secure the oil when WE ALL perfectly ...( and I mean all of us here in this forum included ) KNOW very well that were not to be oil then we can say GOOD BYE to our modern spoiled way of living as we know it... comfortable, with central heating, transport, factories in order to be able to function and be mobile in society, to go on holidays by plane to DREAM LIKE resorts and be able to transfer us to work everyday in order to earn a SALARY and be able to pay for our luxuries as we know them ? ....
    Why doe we care about poverty in third world countries , when we also know very well that there is a lot o poverty closer to home ?
    Why do we care about women's rights at all and preach to the rest of the world about them when we as matter of fact know that 1000 of women are abused and denied of their rights, forced into prostitution and treated like slaves a lot closer to home ... but because of being ' politically correct' we just turn a blind eye or don't care at al because it doesn't affect one of our own ....?
    Why do we watch TV when we know there is a lot mental pollution being produced ? .... and why would or should we eat animals if we were to go hungry in case there is no other food supply ? ...... and the list can go ....... and on....and yes indeed why anyone should produced or make anything or care at all at all when we know that the best solution is to never exist in the first place ? ...
    Could you tell me or care to elaborate on WHY ? .... and do you have the perfect, flawless, uncompromising " SOLUTION" or lets say ANSWER to all those whys ?
    I'm curious with trepidation to know about your philosophical, well analysed, very to the point, utterly perfect and flawless answer(s) that fits indeed in your question of the WHY (S) ?
  35. GalileosUniverse
    12:19 9 Mar 2008
    This is a great statement as far as I'm concerned , that may help you to understand more on the subject ....
    Fashion's ecopolitical dilemma by Roger Tredre
    Quote :'...... Fashion is good at that kind of thing - a playful and transient reflection of contemporary concerns. But the time for playing is well past now. Fashion in the 21st century has to grow up.'
  36. KarlFuler
    12:18 10 Mar 2008
    I’m not angry but really quite optimistic as I see fashion as part of primitive behavioural system, which can be overrided by our understanding of this system, just as civilisation has helped us to override other behavioural instincts for the benefit of humankind. And yes, I am very passionate about this.
  37. GalileosUniverse
    03:34 13 Mar 2008
    Yes that is the key word in my opinion in this project ...... ' understanding of this system ' and be totally realistic in the positive sense.... the true fact is that we will never get rid of ' fashion ' but we can absolutely and certainly use it in a very positive way if only we ourselves chose to .... that's of course is if we can get rid of the very negative ' stigma ' brought about by the greed of those in charge of the system today and the shameless manipulations used by praying on people's insecurities ... read ........ shareholders :):)
  38. KarlFuler
    09:48 13 Mar 2008
    but no one is in charge of the system. Designers, stylists and business (?) only interpret the fashions of the day - those that do it well are successful.
    If we want to change the situation we only have to look to ourselves.
  39. GalileosUniverse
    11:01 13 Mar 2008
    ' no one' .... does have a face definitely ........ if ' no one ' wasn't in charge then I like to believe that it would be easy to turn the whole fashion system around for the benefit of all !... perhaps after all we should make a distinction and do excuse me because I am not an expert or a 'scientist ' in what I'm about to say ... and yet I would like to make a point or better say ... express my opinion on this matter.....
    The " NO ONE ' in charge of the system I would say are :
    - the ones in charge of making sure the' system' works to generate more than plenty of revenues for them personally ... read < investors > ... with the power to move capital in the right direction
    - the ones working for and with the 'system' ......... 'the magicians' providing what people want , would want or should want ...... read < stylists... designers ....trend forecasters >
    -the ones promoting and working for the 'system '.... making sure that we know what 'we want' and that is fun to have, to own ..etc ... etc .... read......< fashion magazines and the media in general >
    So as you can see it isn't an easy task ......... but we the public, if we want, can certainly help to change the system by ventilating our concerns, and stick to our guns and make THEM ALL think harder ... after all ... the relevance of fashion is of such magnitude and it MUST play a its role according to the new hard realities... and take its responsibility in the right direction ... I believe that anyway :):)