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Michel Gondry

4 Ratings: 4.3
French director and screenwriter

Michel Gondry, born May 8, 1963, is a French film, commercial and music video director and an Academy Award-winning screenwriter. He is noted for his inventive visual style and manipulation of mise en scène.  Michel Gondry was born in Versailles, … see full wiki

1 review about Michel Gondry

The Genius of Gondry

  • Apr 10, 2009
  • by
Singer Max Tundra opines in his song, "Gondry:"

Michel, are you listening? 
This message is for you
Perhaps you'd like to film it in that
special way you do

Judging by your clients
It would cost a weighty fee
To make me an Around The World
or Let Forever Be

Michel Gondry, the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and writer/director of Science of Sleep and a lotta of other stuff is probably most known for his music videos.  The piece that most encapsulates his genius is the Work of Michel Gondry, [Director Series] a two-disc collection that contains his music videos and short films, including a slightly-disturbingly hilarious film with David Cross and heartbreaking-work-of-staggering-genius short film Le Lettre.  As the former drummer for Oui Oui, Gondry has that sense of rhythm innate in his system, which translates in his directorial style.  The way he renders the visual elements to naturally corresponds with the beats of the music.   [Such as The Chemical Brothers, "Star Guitar" where the natural elements of landscape sync to the beats of the music.]  Gondry proves again and again that CGI is not essential to magical directing and the most simplest techniques fused with high levels of creativity are more powerful than the most glitzy special effects. 

My faves from the Work of Michel Gondry [a truncated listing of his work ... where is Radiohead?]

1)  Around the World - Daft Punk
At first I didn't really quite understand what was so compelling about it ... a dance music video -- where there is dancing but it isn't like the prototypical dance video.  Then one day it struck me.  So the dudes running up and down the stairs are the bass line -- the girls in the bathing caps are that cute little keyboard bit -- the robot/astromen are the vocodor lyrics  ...This is the visual orchestration of various musical layers, dancing in the nature of their musical instrument, but in the end these different musical layers coalesce to create one song --one unified dance movement.  Bloody genius.  [And in case you were wondering ...]

2)  Let Forever Be - The Chemical Brothers
Dreamy is Gondry's style, and in this video it becomes nightmareish with simple camera tricks and stage props in different angles.     

3) Bachelorette - Bjork
[Boo - can't find one with audio @ the moment ... so you don't get to hear Bjork say in her Icelandic pixie accent, "One day..."] but most the stellar mise en scene when the camera pans back to reveal the meta-theatrescape. 

4) Hardest Button to Button - The White Stripes
So many bass drums and amps... with a little cameo from Beck.  Gondry filmed this video "backwards"  and edited it in "reverse" ... so the bass drums were already lined up and as they would shoot, they would take one bass drum away.  Also honorable mention is the Fell in Love with a Girl video -- legos + stop motion = awesome.  The little boy in the beginning of the video is Gondry's son.   

5)  Everlong - The Foo Fighters
This video has the big hands.  Like in Science of Sleep.  Gondry has motifs that cycle throughout all his work: big hands; trains; skeletons; really big things, like Oldenburg-style clocks and phones.  I love how the drums tear out of the bed ... and Pat Smear just rips out of the body ... ready to rock. 

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June 04, 2009
Hey thanks for this review, I love Eternal sunshine, but did not realise that he also made those music videos, I think the Björk video is really good and the daft punk one is really neat.
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