Spike Jonze, the director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, has found time in his schedule before adapting Where the Wild Things Are as his next feature film project to create The Mystery of Dalarö for Volvo. The promotional campaign is based around the ‘paranormal’ event where 32 locals of a Swedish village all bought an S40 saloon on the same day.
The viral campaign for the Volvo S40 Saloon, is playing out nicely, with television ads being supported by an 8 minute Directors Cut available via the website which extends the creepy undertones of this mock digital documentary. In so doing it evokes the unease of work by filmmakers like Lars von Trier.
Jonze’s playfulness is evident though as the additional backstory around the campaign has been introduced: footage debunking the doc on a fake website by the supposed documentarys imaginary director, the Venezuelan Carlos Soto, has become available, and questions the authenticity of the original documentary.
The Mystery of Dalarö is a knowing, highly contemporary piece of commercial moving image, and a fine example of recent nanotainment.