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TV commercial, 1996

The Goddess

Regia: Gerard de Thame. Young & Rubicam

Still looking at the pinnacle of the sports world, in 1997 Carl Lewis was replaced by the French athlete Marie-José Pérec, the fastest woman in the world. Again with Gerard de Thame directing, Marie-Jo revisited in a dream-like key the same race as Carl Lewis’s: no longer New York, now, but a place made of lava and ice, where she must flee from sea creatures, fiery tongues of lava, landslides, and other perils. At the end of it all, Pérec showed her foot as well, revealing the Pirelli tread pattern that had enabled her to flee from danger so fast. A concentrate of special effects, the film took over two months of post-production to make after the shooting between Monument Valley in Utah, a glacier in Alaska, and Buffalo Bill Lake in Wyoming. Marie-Jo’s sprints, leaps and jumps were reconstructed in a hangar at the British airport in Swindon, equipped with fake volcanoes and virtual lightning flashes. Two print pages were also extracted from the commercial, the subject being “Wave” and “Volcano”: Marie-José Pérec linked her own image to the Pirelli P5000 Drago.