Following up on his 2018 short film Softness of Bodies, director Jordan Blady continues to explore poetry through film with his latest personal project. The short film, a collaboration with 22-year old Czech literary poet and model Bad’a Diaby, is an interpretation of one of her most important and powerful poems, Somebody. Shot over three days in Prague in the summer of 2020, the film also marks Diaby’s acting debut.
The poem addresses Gen Z’s longing for clarity and guidance. The opening lines “You don’t know who you are or where you belong until you meet somebody”, refer to our tendency to rely on others for meaning. However, we soon realise that the certainty we are searching for has to come from within. A journey of self-discovery, Somebody is a relatable, honest and emotionally charged statement on learning how to feel comfortable in one’s own skin.
With Somebody Blady breaks away from a more traditional narrative-led style, translating the poem into cinema by leading with visuals and focusing on a more symbolic reflection of its words. Supported by Slovak stylist and emerging designer Dominika Kozakova, New Zealander music producer Aaron Short and Czech cinematographer Igor Smitka, the short film transports us into an ethereal and distorted dream-like universe through its sound, locations, photography and clothing.
Commenting on the short film, Blady states: “Before it became a film, this was Bad’a’s poem. So it was very important to me to create something that she would feel comfortable with and proud of. I didn’t want to get stuck in a world of narrative parameters, so I just let the deceptive simplicity of the poem guide me”.
Diaby adds : “Somebody is about meeting with yourself and finding out who you truly are. It becomes a very personal work for the reader, triggering emotions about their own journey but with an overarching truth – that happiness has to come from within”.
Jordan also collaborated with up-and-coming designer and stylist Dominika Kozakova, whose pieces are extraordinary.
A poem by Baďa Diaby (_blackie16_)
Starring Baďa Diaby
Director: Jordan Blady (@jordanblady)
Styling and designs by: Dominika Kozakova (@dominikakozakova__)
DoP: Igor Smitka (@igorsmitka)
Produced by Monika Kraft (@monika_kraft)
Music: Space Above (@space__above)
1AC: Ondra Kudrna
Grip: Honza Ruttner
Set Designer: Aya Katonova
Make-Up: Sara Skrionya (@sara.skrionya.mua)
BTS Photographer: Lena Knappova (@lenaknappova)
VFX: Michael North
2AC: Richard Krejza
Best Boys: Jindrich Kares, Tomas Rudcenko
Flower Decorator: Pavlina Svecova
Sound Recordist: Peter Mercel (@chavala2009)
Set Assistants: Nikola Jerabkova, Lucie Stancova, Milan Plesinger
Gaffer: Jirka Vrana
Steadicam: Filip Rybar (@apathoflight)
Runner: Anna Dudarova
Gathering: Vojta Dusek
Color: Kris Smale (@kris_smale)
About Baďa Diaby
Bad’a Diaby is a 22-year-old student of literature, writer, poet and model from Czech Republic. Growing up in a society where she was considered a minority has influenced her view on life. The main topics of her work are racism and mental health as she struggles with borderline personality disorder herself. Her main goal is to bring people together with comedy, while educating them on these topics.
About Jordan Blady
Jordan Blady is a director living between Paris and Los Angeles. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, his work has been featured on Dazed, Nowness and Vogue Italia. Jordan’s first feature film, Softness of Bodies, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in September
- His most recent short film, Comfort Zone, has won Best Unscripted Personal Work at Berlin Commercial and Best Cinematography and Script winner at A Shaded View on Fashion Film, with a nomination for Best Doc at London Fashion Film Festival, and selections at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Canadian International Fashion Film Festival and Fashion Film Festival Milano.