Describing himself as "Herzog in head, Cronenberg in bed.", the off-kilter wit of Florence director and photographer Michael Barth can be enjoyed from the outset.

Originally from Los Angeles, and currently living in Rio de Janeiro, the filmmaker, whose clients have included Starbucks, Fitbit, Google, Corona, UGG, Fujifilm, and, most importantly, CHER, talks us through the intimate and intricate delights that fuel his artistic flair.

The Portable Bidet

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and although I don't aspire to the divine, I do love a fresh bum.

I've been living out of a suitcase for nearly seven years now. Eventually, that can drive a person mad without some kind of through-line or certainty. I'm as surprised as you are to find that a portable bidet has proven to be one of the few things I can't live without. 

Plus, it doubles as a water bottle if you're in a pinch (jk).

Many years ago, a personal hero once said: "You can't feel successful if your arse is rashy," and this just stuck with me. I mean, if you think about it from a microscopic perspective - like the snowflake of Whoville or the backyard in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids - it's all pretty self-explanatory.

Though I generally lack tolerance for intolerant people, I must admit that I tend not to trust someone who isn't comfortable with this aspect of their hygiene. 

What other personal truths are you refusing to acknowledge?

The Stuff Made in Ukraine

If you aren't hiring Ukrainians, you're already behind. 

I only have a few material things, but the gems I love most are all Ukrainian exports. My experience with their sense of aesthetics and ability to execute creative and technological endeavours of the highest quality with seamless collaboration never ceases to amaze me.

I had the extreme privilege of spending time in Ukraine and making some of my closest friends there. They helped me unlock a new tier of community that I've never known elsewhere; they're the most friendly, loyal, and chill people in my life - and that is directly imbued into the things that are made there.

I'm grateful to have Ukrainian upcycled clothing, jewellery, web design, tattoos, graphic design, AR tools, and even a digital art collective. Slava Ukraini.

Please do yourself a favour and catch up with some of these talents:

  • Web Design:
  • Graphic Design: @asleggo
  • Curation: @alicescope
  • Upcycled Clothing: @sl________
  • Jewellery:
  • Tattoo: @stroom.kyiv @ormstick

The Lockbox

IDK, this thing is just infinitely inspiring. 

Whenever I doubt its usefulness, life shows me a reason to use it.

With my geographically challenged lifestyle, I always need to securely stash something in a faraway place. Want to make a dumb scavenger hunt for a Tinder date? Want to secure your essentials while you take a dip in the sea? Does your DP need some melatonin after a late flight arrival, and you don't want to hand a pill to the hotel front desk? Don't want to lose that second tiny screw in the tripod plate you don't need that somehow costs £50 if you lose? 

This thingy has weirdly unlocked a lot of serendipity, freedom, and play for me. 

Add a geo tracker in there, and you've got a more secure tracking device too.

I highly recommend it to the avid traveller or extra discreet drug dealer.

The Lantern

No one ever warned me that the older I got, the more sensitive I would become to light. 

Nothing makes me feel more unwelcome and uneasy in a new space than a bright white LED fluorescent light. 

The domination of this particular colour hue in our homes must be one of the great tragedies of technological 'advancement'. In most places, warm-toned LED bulbs are the same price and efficiency as white ones. 

It's like that stock setting of MotionFlow/Action Smoothing on new TVs that makes everything cinematic look like an over-cranked soap opera. You don't have to live like this.

Anyway, I don't take the risk anymore - I just bring along this tiny, light, portable, and foldable lamp with me everywhere I go. 

Colour-changing and solar-powered, it guarantees at least one source of comfortable light to work or set the wrap party mood.

The Mushie Microdoses

If I could give one piece of life advice, which I would never do unprompted, it would be to eat more mushrooms. 

When one microdoses correctly, the effects range from unnoticeable to lovely. 

Everyone is different, so do your research, bla bla bla, but for me, generally, familiar streams of creative thought flow in unfamiliar directions and form wells of inspiration. 

However, there are some real side effects, like feeling your best and maybe the impulse to dance.

The Big-Ass Water Bottle

If I could give one piece of directorial advice, which I would never do unprompted, it would be to drink more water. 

I was once on a film project, one-plane-and-two-boats deep into the Amazon without portable H2O, and I have never been reliant on others for hydration since. 

Ask ChatGPT for some facts about water if you need a reminder. 

It's my bah bah and my blankey. 

Plus, you can put cute stickers on it - survive and accessorise 💅