Oscar-winning auteur Spike Lee joined forces with Cadillac to unveil the 2021 Cadillac Escalade at Red Studios in Hollywood, California, on Feb. 4 with the premiere of “The Anthem,” a short film he directed that was inspired by the Escalade.
In “The Anthem,” Lee uses his distinctive signature Double-Dolly technique to heighten the sense of motion to draw viewers closer to the character, and in this case the “character” served as the extraordinarily designed 2021 Escalade. The short film boldly showcases and brings to life various design elements and signature features such as:
– The first curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display in the industry, with 38 inches of total diagonal display;
– A state-of-the-art and Grammy-winning AKG Studio Reference audio system, which emits a professional studio sound in the vehicle.
“Our vision was to showcase Cadillac innovation — like the world’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature, Super Cruise — during the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade reveal,” said Alexis Kerr, head of multicultural marketing at Cadillac. “Spike Lee is one of the world’s greatest storytellers; and our partnership with his agency Spike DDB provides us an opportunity to bring our vision to life through the lens of an Oscar-winning director.”
Both Lee and Cadillac have built their respective legacies of influence from the ground up and have grown to serve as icons in pop culture, film and music. Lee established himself in the ’80s with provocative story themes in his films including She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and Inside Man. He also won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. The Escalade has remained a cultural icon for over two decades and serves as an “embodiment of aspirational sentiments for style, luxury and prestige.”
“As one of the greatest storytellers and most creative filmmakers of his time, Spike Lee’s unique perspective is the perfect conduit for sharing the passion and spirit of the 2021 Escalade,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president.
During the film, Lee eloquently described the vehicle’s sophisticated style in several one-word expressions: “Distinct. Prestige. Class. Exquisite. Legendary. Illustrious,” as he narrated the story of the 2021 Escalade to the bass-infused melodic backdrop of DJ Shadow’s stimulating song, “Nobody Speak,” featuring the dynamic duo Run The Jewels.
Also prominently displayed during the short film was the beautifully crafted and innovative technology filled interior. Crystal Windham, Cadillac’s first African American female director of interior design, shared with us her favorite things about the interior’s design. “For me, it’s the smaller things that we’ve designed to allow for our customers to continue to fall in love with our vehicles. For example, the AKG metal speakers are designed with a custom pattern. Each individual speaker is slightly different, even the smaller ones in the overhead, [and] they fade forward in the vehicle. Another small detail is the illuminated crest on the back of the OLED. One of the designers came up with a sketch, he put the sketch on the back of the OLED, and everyone fell in love [with it]. It illuminates upon approaching the vehicle.”
View Lee’s short film below. Share your thoughts in the comments.