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A Close Look at the Films of Michel Gondry

where

DREAMS

begin



“My dreams are as strong as my real experiences, so it’s natural that I include them in my movies.” —Michel Gondry | Den of Geek | 2014



MOOD INDIGO | 2014


CO N T E N TS

“A fantasist in the truest sense, Michel Gondry draws literally from nightmares and daydreams to create surreal, albeit somewhat sentimental flights of whimsy.” —Philip Kemp | 501 Movie Directors | 2007

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prophetic Director Biography Filmography Selected Awards Interviews

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luminous Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Festival Schedule Festival Locations

Be Kind Rewind

Special Events

Mood Indigo Microbe & Gasoline

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recurring Festival Theme

The Science of Sleep

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MICHEL GONDRY | DIRECTOR



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prophetic Director Biography Filmography Selected Awards Interviews



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A fantasist in the truest sense

Gondry ensures this isn’t the Hollywood version of love, but one that reflects the inner turmoil of people’s feelings.

DATE OF BIRTH May 8, 1963 PLACE OF BIRTH Versailles, France OCCUPATION Director, Screen Writer, Producer YEAR ACTIVE 1986–Present PUBLICATION 1000 Portraits CHILD Paul Gondry

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Director Biography Born in May 1963, Michel Gondry is a French director, screenwriter, and producer noted for his inventive visual style and distinctive manipulation of mise en scène. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as one of the writers of the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His other films include the surrealistic science fantasy comedy The Science of Sleep (2006), the comedy Be Kind Rewind (2008), the superhero comedy The Green Hornet (2011), the drama The We and the I (2012), and also the romantic sci-fi tragedy Mood Indigo (2013). Gondry’s career began with his emphasis on emotion. Much of his inspiration, he says, came from the film Le voyage en ballon. He stated: “When I watch this movie, I dream I’m flying and then I do stories where people are flying. I think it’s directly influencing.” His career as a filmmaker actually started with producing music videos for the French rock band Oui Oui, in which he also served as a drummer. The style of his videos caught the attention of artist Björk, who asked him to direct the music video for one of her songs “Human Behavior”. The collaboration proved long-lasting, with Gondry directing a total of eight music videos for Björk.

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Other artists who have collaborated with Gondry on more than one occasion include Daft Punk, The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers, The Vines, Steriogram, Radiohead, and Beck. Gondry’s video for Lucas Secon’s “Lucas with the Lid Off” was nominated in the Best Music Video (short form) category at the 37th Grammy Awards. Gondry has also made numerous television commercials. He pioneered the “bullet time” technique later adapted in The Matrix in the 1996 “Smarienberg” commercial for Smirnoff vodka, and also directing a trio of inventive holiday-themed advertisements for clothing retailer Gap. Gondry, along with directors Spike Jonze and David Fincher, is representative of the influx of music video directors into feature film. Gondry made his feature film debut in 2001 with Human Nature, garnering mixed reviews. His second film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, was released in 2004 and soon became one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.


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“His eccentric lo-fi take on mise-en-scène and visuals have steadily made him one of the most distinctive filmmakers working today.” —Oliver MacMahon | Indiewire | 2014

Gondry is a director that does not always show a clear theme within his work. It is easy to watch sections and argue that it’s all about romance or our subconscious mind or even life in general. His films can sometimes be complex in their telling and, though the scenes we see might appear surreal, Gondry incorporates a great deal of human nature as well as emotional response into his unique characters. For example, Eternal Sunshine is centered around removing bad memories in order to make ourselves feel happier. However, the main theme is in fact about our inability to change these things no matter how hard we try. If we compare this to Be Kind Rewind, we can see that this film is about the relationship between a community and our own individual creativity, to not let something stand in our way. The more noticeable themes are evident in The Science of Sleep and Mood Indigo with a story that is focused on love. But once again, Gondry ensures this isn’t the Hollywood version of love, but one that, with the use of surrealism, reflects the inner turmoil of people’s feelings.

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FIG 01.02 | 2013 Michel Gondry in one of his favorite video stores in Paris, France

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Falling into a dreamscape filled with wonders

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Filmography FEATURE FILMS

Gondry is renowned for his inventive visual style and distinctive manipulation of mise en scène.

Microbe & Gasoline | Microbe et Gasoil

2015

Director | Writer

Mood Indigo | L’Écume des jours

2014

Director | Writer

The We and the I

2012

Director | Writer

The Green Hornet

2011

Director

Be Kind Rewind

2008

Director | Writer

The Science of Sleep | La Science des rêves

2006

Director | Writer

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Director

Human Nature

2001

Director

FIG 01.03 | 2014 Colin and Chloé in Mood Indigo

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1 3 FIG 01.04 | 2004

FIG 01.05 | 2015

Joel and Clementine in Eternal Sunshine

Théo and Daniel in Microbe & Gasoline

of the Spotless Mind

SHORT FILMS

DOCUMENTARY

It Is Decidedly So

2018

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

2013

Night of the Scorpio

2018

The Thorn in the Heart

2009

No Ordinary August

2018

How to Blow Up a Helicopter

2009

Our Infinity

2018

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

2005

Room 802

2018

I’ve Been Twelve Forever

2004

The Big Eight

2018

Détour

2017

Haircut Mouse

2013

Tokyo!

2008

Drumb and Drumber

2004

Three Dead People

2004

Tiny

2004

Ossamuch!–Kishu & Co

2004

Pecan Pie

2003

One Day

2001

The Letter

1998

Vingt p’tites tours

1989

My Brother’s 24th Birthday

1988

Jazzmosphère

1987

L’expedition fatale

1986

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TV SERIES

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Kidding | 8 episodes

2018–2020

Jimmy Kimmel Live! | 1 episode

2011

Flight of the Conchords | 1 episode

2009

Vingt p’tites tours

1989

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THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP | 2006


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FIG 01.07 | 2011 “Crystalline” by Björk

MUSIC VIDEOS Grand Petit Con

2019

Matthieu Chedid

Got to Keep On

2019

The Chemical Brothers

Moz the Monster

2017

John Lewis

City Lights

2016

The White Stripes

Go

2015

The Chemical Brothers

Love Letters

2014

Metronomy

Crystalline

2011

Björk

How Are You Doing?

2011

The Living Sisters

Open Your Heart

2010

Mia Doi Todd

Soleil du soir

2008

Dick Annegarn

The Best Of

2008

Radiohead

Declare Independence

2007

Björk

Dance Tonight

2007

Paul McCartney

Cellphone’s Dead | Version 2

2006

Beck

King of the Game

2006

Cody ChesnuTT

Anysound

2006

The Vines

Seeinsquares

2006

The Willowz

The Denial Twist

2005

The White Stripes

Heard ‘Em Say | Version 1

2005

Kanye West

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1 7 FIG 01.08 | 2014

FIG 01.09 | 2007

“Love Letters” by Metronomy

“Dance Tonight” by Paul McCartney

A Ribbon

2004

Devendra Banhart

Mad World

2004

Gary Jules

I Wonder

2004

The Willowz

Winning Days

2004

The Vines

Ride

2004

The Vines

Walkie Talkie Man

2004

Steriogram

Mad World

2003

Gary Jules

Behind

2003

Lacquer

Singles 93-03

2003

The Chemical Brothers

The Hardest Button to Button

2003

The White Stripes

No One Knows

2002

Queens of the Stone Age

Come Into My World

2002

Kylie Minogue

A l’envers à l’endroit

2002

Noir Désir

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

2002

The White Stripes

Fell in Love with a Girl

2002

The White Stripes

Eleven Promos

2001

Massive Attack

Knives Out

2001

Radiohead

Let Forever Be

1999

The Chemical Brothers

Volumen

1999

Björk

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“Michel Gondry is credited for reinventing the pop music video and has since worked with such receptive bands.” —Philip Kemp | Freelance Reviewer

MUSIC VIDEOS

TRIVIA 01 “Around the World” was featured in one episode of first season of MTV animated series Daria.

TRIVIA 02 “Lucas with the Lid Off” was shot in one long continuous single take without edits, cuts or any digital

Gimme Shelter

1998

The Rolling Stones

Another One Bites the Dust

1998

Wyclef Jean

Music Sounds Better with You

1998

Stardust

Everlong

1997

Foo Fighters

Bachelorette

1997

Björk

Deadweight

1997

Beck

Jòga

1997

Björk

A Change Would Do You Good | Version 2

1997

Sheryl Crow

Around the World

1997

Daft Punk

Feel It

1997

Neneh Cherry

Sugar Water

1996

Cibo Matto

Hyperballad

1996

Björk

Like a Rolling Stone

1995

The Rolling Stones

Isobel

1995

Björk

Army of Me

1995

Björk

Protection

1995

Massive Attack

High Head Blues

1995

The Black Crowes

Lucas with the Lid Off

1994

Lucas

Little Star

1994

Stina Nordenstam

enhancements.

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1 9 FIG 01.10 | 1998 “Music Sounds Better with You” by Stardust

Fire on Babylon

1994

Sinéad O’Connor

Snowbound

1993

Donald Fagen

Je danse le mia

1993

IAM

La tour de pise

1993

Jean François Coen

La main parisienne

1993

Malcolm McLaren

Your Soul

1993

Hothouse Flowers

Big Scary Animal | UK Version

1993

Belinda Carlisle

Human Behaviour

1993

Björk

Believe

1993

Lenny Kravitz

Voilà, voilà que ça recommence | Version 1

1993

Rachid Taha

She Kissed Me

1993

Terence Trent D’Arby

How the West Was Won

1992

Energy Orchard

Les voyages immobiles

1992

Etienne Daho

Paradoxal système

1992

Laurent Voulzy

Hou! Mamma mia

1992

Les Négresses vertes

Comme un ange—Qui pleure

1992

Les Wampas

Blow Me Down

1992

Mark Curry

La ville

1992

Oui Oui

Les jupes

1992

Robert

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“There is nothing worse than a dream sequence done all in post-production.” —Michel Gondry | Interview Magazine | 2009


2 1 FIG 01.12 | 1988 “Bolide” by Oui Oui

MUSIC VIDEOS Gondry, along with directors

Two Worlds Collide

1992

Inspiral Carpets

Spike Jonze and David Fincher,

Close But No Cigar

1992

Thomas Dolby

of music video directors into

La normalité

1991

Les Objets

Sarah

1991

Les Objets

Dad, laisse-moi conduire la Cad

1991

The Electro Kitsch

Ma maison

1990

Oui Oui

Il y a ceux

1989

L’Affaire Louis’ Trio

Tu rimes avec mon coeur

1989

Original M.C.

Les cailloux

1989

Oui Oui

Queen for a Day

1989

The Life of Riley

Dô, l’enfant d’eau

1988

Jean-Luc Lahaye

Bolide

1988

Oui Oui

Junior et sa voix d’or

1988

Oui Oui

Un Joyeux Noël

1988

Oui Oui

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is representative of the influx feature film.

TRIVIA 03 The dolls that Gael García Bernal pulls out of the desk during one of the Stéphane TV sequences in The Science of Sleep are from his video for Oui Oui’s song “Les Cailloux”.


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Winning an Oscar simply marks the first step of gondry’s creative career

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Selected Awards ACADEMY AWARDS

Throughout the course of his career, Gondry has received 31 wins and 46 nominations for his films and music videos.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | Oscar

2005

Nominee | David Lean Award

Best Writing | Original Screenplay

BAFTA AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR FILMS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Nominee | Saturn Award

Best Director

AWARDS CIRCUIT COMMUNITY AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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2012

Winner | ACCA

Best Original Screenplay of the Decade

2004

Winner | ACCA

Best Original Screenplay

Nominee | ACCA

Best Director


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“Gondry leaves it up to his imagination, following his dreams and obsessions down whatever path they pave.” —Matt Patches | The Hollywood Reporter | 2013

BRAM STOKER AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | Bram Stoker Award

Screenplay

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL The We and the I

2012

Nominee | C.I.C.A.E. Award

Human Nature

2001

Nominee | Golden Camera

CATALONIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL The Science of Sleep

2006

Winner | Audience Award Nominee | Best Film

CZECH LIONS FIG 01.13 | 2005 Michel Gondry winning an Oscar as Best Writing and Original Screenplay for the film Eternal Sunshine of the

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Spotless Mind

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Nominee | Czech Lion

Best Foreign Language Film


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FIG 01.14 | 2004 Gondry with Jim Carrey on the set of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

CÉSAR AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Nominee | César

Best Foreign Film

Nominee | Robert

Best American Film

DANISH FILM AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

DEAUVILLE FILM FESTIVAL The We and the I

2012

Winner | Critics Award Winner | Grand Special Prize

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Winner | “Première” Audience Award

DIRECTORS GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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2005

Nominee | DGGB Award

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in International Film


EMPIRE AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Nominee | Empire Award

Best Director

EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Nominee | Screen International Award

GHENT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Winner | Youth Jury Award

Best Black & White Film

2010

Winner | Gold Derby Award

Original Screenplay of the Decade

2005

Winner | Gold Derby Award

Director | Original Screenplay

Nominee | Golden Schmoes

Best Director of the Year

GOLD DERBY AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

GOLDEN SCHMOES AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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MICHEL GONDRY | BE KIND REWIND | 2008


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FIG 01.16 | 2006 Gondry on the set Of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet

GOPO AWARDS The Science of Sleep

2008

Nominee | Gopos Award

Best European Film

2004

Winner | Celebrate New York Award

Best American Film

Nominee | Gotham Independent Film Award

Best Feature

GOTHAM AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

INTERNATIONAL CINEPHILE SOCIETY AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | ICS Award

Best Director

INTERNATIONAL ONLINE CINEMA AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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2005

Winner | INOCA

Best Original Screenplay


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“I want to explore new ideas and put myself in a place where I can finish a project that is more unusual.” —Michel Gondry | An Interview with Collider | 2013

ITALIAN ONLINE MOVIE AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | IOMA

Best Original Screenplay

Nominee | IOMA

Best Picture | Best Director

LONDON CRITICS CIRCLE FILM AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Nominee | ALFS Award

Director of the Year

Nominee | Lumiere

Best Director

LUMIERE AWARDS, FRANCE Mood Indigo

2014

Award

NEUCHÂTEL INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL FIG 01.17 | 2016

Tokyo!

2008

Gondry talking about Microbe & Gasoline

Winner | Special Mention Winner | Titra Film Award

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PRÊMIO GUARANI Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | Premio Guarani

Best Foreign Film

SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY WRITERS OF AMERICA Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

FIG 01.18 | 2004 Jim Carrey And Kate Winslet on the set of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Nominee | Nebula Award

Best Script


3 1 FIG 01.19 | 2013 Mood Indigo Paris Premiere at UGC Normandie

TORONTO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005

Winner | TFCA Award

Best Director

LONDON CRITICS CIRCLE FILM AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Nominee | ALFS Award

Director of the Year

UTAH FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Winner | UFCA Award

Best Screenplay

WASHINGTON DC AREA FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARDS Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

Winner | WAFCA Award

Best Director

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, USA Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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2005

Winner | WGA Award

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Best Original Screenplay

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“The beauty of doing film is that you construct whatever you do block by block and you can build something that will stay.” —Michel Gondry | The Guardian | 2007


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Learning about how Gondry thinks about his works and dreams

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Interviews RYAN LAMBIE | DEN OF GEEK | 2014

We talk to one-of-a-kind film maker Michel Gondry about his new film Mood Indigo, Eternal Sunshine, Philip K Dick adaptation Ubik and more.

RYAN LAMBIE Editor of Wireframe | Author of The Geek’s Guide To SF Cinema | Former Deputy Editor Den of Geek UK

Over the period of 20-or-so years, Michel Gondry has steadily built up a voluminous and relentlessly individual body of work, ranging from commercials and experimental short films to full-length features. Though Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind might be arguably Gondry’s best-known and most acclaimed work, he’s also made such films as Be Kind Rewind, The Science Of Sleep, his collaboration with Noam Chomsky, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, and The Green Hornet, while flawed, has much to enjoy in it. Mood Indigo is Gondry’s latest feature film, and once again, it’s hand-crafted, warm and decidedly dreamlike. On the eve of Mood Indigo’s UK release, here’s Gondry himself to tell us about its making, what inspires his film-making, and the current status of his long-teased Philip K Dick adaptation, Ubik. Oh, and why he’s somewhat frustrated by the popularity of Eternal Sunshine, and what he thinks about superhero movies.

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I found Mood Indigo profoundly moving. How did you go about adapting the story, first of all, because it’s a very visual story, right? Yeah. I was asked five years ago to start to think about making it, but to be honest, I think that when I read it 30 years ago, I’d already started to adapt it. Like, when you read a book, you sort of visualize it? Even though I had no ambition to become a film director, I had some images that got stuck in my mind. So when I was asked to direct the film, I had these images come back into my head. So it was a parallel between the first reading and the new reading, and those images combined with each other. It felt to me as I watched it, that it’s a compression of life. Of meeting and falling in love, and obsession and illness. Is that what interested you? Yeah! It’s a very simple and strong love story. And all the surroundings are reflective of what’s going on in the characters’ minds. It takes on different shapes—there are things moving, the apartment’s shrinking, but it all reflects what’s going on in their lives, between them.


3 5 FIG 01.20 | 2013 Michel Gondry working on Mood Indigo

If it wasn’t so fantastical and surreal, the subject matters it touches could be so sad as to be unbearable, almost. So do you think, by exploring difficult themes like death and illness in a dreamlike way, that makes them easier to take? I think so. I wanted to find a simple story where I could use all my creativity and ideas. And because the story is simple, it allowed me to explore many ways of illustrating it. Your films often deal with dreams. Where does that interest come from? I had a lot of dreams and nightmares as a kid, and I always used them creatively. They come to me during the day, and sometimes they’re like a location that exists in my mind, and I go back to exactly the same location I’ve been to before. I live constantly with my dreams. They’re part of my memories at the same level as my waking experience. So it’s natural that how people dig into their own memories to create their stories—not everyone, but some people—I dig into my

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own experiences in my dreams. My dreams are as strong as my real experiences, so it’s natural that I include them in my movies.

goes on in my dreams. That feeling in my heart while I’m dreaming is what interests me. I don’t really need to explain anything.

Do you think films are like dreams, in the sense that we can use them to make sense of the real world? They’re like our brains solving problems in our subconscious?

Your films are always visually inventive. There’s always something surprising in them, whether it’s stop-motion or hand-drawn animation, or model effects. Do you think that impulse to invent comes from your background, with your grandfather being an inventor?

Well, I’m not sure I like to explore them on an intellectual level. Like psychoanalysis or symbolism. I think, in a very simple way, they reflect how we feel. Like, if you get angry and you beat a guy up in your dream, it doesn’t take an Einstein to get the connection. Now, the psychoanalytical explanation of dreams is much like fake science—that’s my own opinion. I don’t think dreams really work like that, but what’s interesting is, you find connections between your dreams and your experiences. That’s what’s interesting. I just try to reproduce, with honesty, what

Maybe. I always wanted to be an inventor myself. I wanted to be either an inventor or a painter. When I bought my first camera, I realized that I could be both of those things combined together. Half a painter, half an inventor. So certainly, I had a background that pushed me in this direction, that helped me in this direction. It’s true that I like to experiment, to put different things together and see what the results are. I’d mix stuff. When I was a kid, my favorite drinks were orange juice and milk, and one day I wanted to make my favorite, favorite drink. I mixed them up, both of them, and it was disgusting! But at least I tried it!

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“I live constantly with my dreams. —Michel Gondry | Den of Geek | 2014


3 7 You have to try it once, don’t you! So you mentioned your love of painting. I thought the first half of Mood Indigo reminded me of Marc Chagall. That sense of weightlessness in his paintings. Yeah, yeah. Maybe like when they leave the church, they’ve just got married and they’re floating on water. I try not to think of too many existing forms of art when I’m making my movies. There’s literature, of course, if I’m adapting an existing story. I get my images from what the writer thought of. But in general, I try to pick from my own dreams and my own imagination, so I don’t…like, you see so many directors surrounded by pictures, photographs and paintings. I don’t try to get inspiration from existing forms of art that are completed, and forms of art too similar to film-making. I don’t like that. I think, if you think of an image, you must think of what inside that image, otherwise the surface of the image will be the only result. It’s the function of that image.

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If you start with a book, you are already starting with the surface, but then you use the surface and you create depth. When you make your films, you always end up with all these amazing props and things you’ve made and sets. Do you keep any of them? I should do—I should keep them all. But it’s always a problem when people ask me, “do you want to do a retrospective?” Videos, for example, become part of the culture now, and it wasn’t really like that 20 years ago. So I didn’t keep any of those things, from Bjork’s videos for example. Bjork is now trying to do a very big exhibition, a big retrospective of her works in a French museum, and I was asked to collect items from the videos we made together. But I don’t keep nothing, because you don’t think it’s going to be used, and it takes up so much space.

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DEN OF GEEK Den of Geek is a media company that publishes a website, magazine and video covering entertainment with a focus on movies, TV, video games, and books.


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MURRAY BELL | SEMI PERMANENT | 2019 Michel Gondry will speak on his life’s work for Semi Permanent Sydney 2019.

M U R RAY B E L L Founder and Director of global creative platform, Semi Permanent

SEMI PERMANENT Semi Permanent brings together internationally renowned designers, artists & creative icons for live events, presentations, workshops and parties.

Michel, how do you unwind? I am very much a person of routine. I own a house in the mountain with my aunt in the middle of France. It’s very isolated. I go with her for a few weeks every year—that’s one of my favorite occupations. I love to travel and I’m lucky to do it with my job, but going even 500km out of Paris is a change of landscape and spirit that can be stronger than if, say, you went to the other side of the planet. Are you scared of death? To what extent? Well, it’s not that I’m scared of death, it’s the idea that you can’t be infinite. I try to be present in my life because to fear death is to fear never having existed and everything you’ve done not existing anymore. I feel it’s like surgery when you fall asleep and wake up instantly. Death is the same, you will go to sleep and wake up on the other side right away. But what about the role of your dreams? They are the subconscious middle ground. Many times once I have woken up after an adventure in my dream, I’ve experienced something that’s so deep and life-changing and groundbreaking that I think I have an

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intimate story to tell. But it evaporates so quickly! I want to show someone exactly how I felt in that dream. It’s like in Forbidden Planet when the guy builds a machine that makes you more intelligent. He pushes it on maximum and for a minute he understands everything, then he knows nothing. That is how I feel when I wake up. That’s technology we don’t have yet. I’m working on an animation based on a dream I had long ago (it was the morning that Michael Jackson died). The memory is very precise and I’m trying to recreate it as precisely as possible, but there is so much texture missing and I don’t know what it will take to get the texture of that dream. I’m still going to express something that is connected to my dream, but it will never have the complexity and depth of the feeling. I have a lot of lucid dreams, but I worry (while dreaming) about the quality of the image. Like I could think how amazing it


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“I had the most vivid dream where I thought I was 28 years old. Then I blinked and I was 35. Then I blinked again and I was 55.” —Michel Gondry | An Interview with Semi Permanent | 2019

was that I was creating an entire universe in front of me, and I could look left and right and see images made by me. The quality of the image was like a film, but more 16mm than 35mm, so I was stripping my dream from within the dream.

FIG 01.22 | 2015 “Go” by The Chemical Brothers

FIG 01.23 | 2004 Joel and Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Your son is getting old enough for you to find out the shift in perspective that adulthood brings. What’s that like to observe? I remember going to the movies with my son when he was around eight or ten, and it was such a different experience than going on my own or with a friend. I would see the film through his eyes. There is something we forget as adults and that’s the magic of just going out. Children remember the experience much more than the theme. So even if the theme isn’t there in the film, you’ll appreciate the experience of going with your dad to see it, and you apply that to the film in a different way. If your son or daughter loves the film, you’re not going to say ‘I hate it’. You want to take part in their enjoyment.

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What does he do now? He lives in New York. He opened a gallery. He destroys the house. He’s an artist and is very creative. He’ll ask my opinion and as soon as I say something slightly negative or constructive he yells at me. And if I don’t give him my opinion he yells at me because he thinks I don’t care. It’s a difficult position and he needs some guidance, but it cannot come from me. So I’ve also asked Spike and Harmony to meet him and exchange ideas. That could be more constructive as I need to be careful our relationship doesn’t suffer. Did that new lens for viewing film intervene in your own projects? When my son was younger I would never do something he couldn’t watch. I PG’d myself. Now it’s more complicated because he is way more hardcore than me. As a teenager he became more insensitive to blood than I was, so we’d watch a movie together and when it would get too heavy he would block my view.


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Jerry and Mike in Be Kind Rewind

Cardboard city in The Science of Sleep

But one time we went to see a movie near my house in Paris, Luc Besson’s Joan of Arc which I really liked. On the way back we walked around a cemetery and he said that while blood and people getting their heads cut off was not scary, the only thing that scared him was the flashbacks!

of a story. Once there is a story, you can in fact realize how you want to shoot it, but as a proof, the story exists. Then there is a series of principles of belief I have. These aren’t controversial, but people tend to say ‘it’s not going to work’ and I want to prove it can actually work.

We talked earlier how we don’t have the technology to bring our dreams to life in real-time. Is that one of the goals of the Home Movie Factory?

This system is designed to break the ice. First, you will have to talk about the genre of film, then you go to the title, then after about 10-minutes, you start to hear laughter in the distance. That’s when the system proves itself to be working, once they are working together. Then you will see people running between sets with their map, some are wearing costumes and you can feel their excitement. Things happen between different people.

I want to write a story about the interaction of people coming to meet each other with nothing in their mind. There is no agenda or project, you just come to participate and by the end, something comes out in the shape

It’s a bit political in a sense. I suggested many times to have blue screens and more complex stuff, but I really wanted a group of amateurs to control everything. There are [workers] around so everyone walks in the right direction, but I don’t want them to feel that something is not possible. I want them to feel they did it all by themselves. It doesn’t need to be crafted or perfect, it

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4 1 just needs to be activities you can make on your own so you can use this system of making a small film at home on your phone with your friends in a professional way. Do you think that’s the mission of your body of work? To just create something? I’d love to achieve something where people will stop breaking my balls about Eternal Sunshine [laughs]. I’m proud of it, but I’ve done other things. Young people talk about Be Kind Rewind because it inspired them to make something, which is an achievement. But, most people come back to Eternal Sunshine. I think it would be easier to stop. We’re going to chat soon at Semi Permanent Sydney. What do you want people to know about you? FIG 01.26 | 2018

I have to tell you a bit of one dream that reflects how I feel right now about age and death. I was in this dream and someone told me I’m 35. And I’m panicking and freaking out. Then I realize I’m not 35, I’m 28. And I thought ‘oh OK I still have time’. Then |I woke up and I’m 55. That’s how I feel.

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Michel Gondry “Home Movie Factory”

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luminous Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Science of Sleep Be Kind Rewind Mood Indigo Microbe & Gasoline



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MARCH 19, 2004

A rich, flamboyant, yet fragile piece with deep and personal touch

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind PLOT SUMMARY

Eternal Sunshine goes by like a fevered dream of love, but one you remember vividly, with profound pleasure.

RUNTIME 1 h 48 min GENRE Romance | Drama | Sci-Fi LANGUAGE English FILMING LOCATION New York

WRITER Charlie Kaufman Michel Gondry Pierre Bismuth PRODUCTION CO Focus Features

Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is an emotionally withdrawn man and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) is his girlfriend who has a dysfunctional free spirit. They’re inexplicably attracted to each other despite their very different personalities. They do not realize it at the time, but they are former lovers now separated after two years together. After a nasty fight with each other, Clementine has had her memories of their relationship erased from her mind. Upon learning this, Joel is devastated and goes to the doctor to get the same procedure done. However, while unconscious, Joel has second thoughts and decides he wants to keep his memories of Clementine. Much of the film takes place in Joel’s brain when he tries to find a way to preserve his memories of Clementine, and Lacuna techies Patrick and Stan try to erase the memories. As a result, we see their love and courtship go in reverse: Those memories are slowly erased while Joel tries his best to resist the procedure and hide inside his mind.

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In separate and related story arcs, the use of Lacuna Corporation are revealed to be more than peripheral characters in scenes which further show the harm caused by the memory-altering procedure. Mary has had an affair with the married Dr. Howard, heads of the company. She then agreed to have the affair erased from her memory when his wife discovered the relationship. Lonely, socially inept Patrick soon becomes fixated on Clementine and applies Joel’s personal mementos that he gave to Lacuna as part of the procedure in order to seduce her. These romantic entanglements turn out to have a critical effect on the main story line of the relationship of the protagonists. Once Mary learns of the affair she has had with Mierzwiak, she steals the company’s records and sends them to all of its clients. Thus Joel and Clementine both get to listen to their initial tape recordings at Lacuna, and afterwards realize that even if things in life isn’t perfect, their relationship can still be worthwhile.


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“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” —Mary | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | 2004

MAIN CAST Jim Carrey | Joel Kate Winslet | Clementine Thomas Jay Ryan | Frank Mark Ruffalo | Stan Jane Adams | Carrie Tom Wilkinson | Dr. Mierzwiak David Cross | Rob Kirsten Dunst | Mary

FIG 02.02 | 2004 Joel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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FIG 02.03 | 2004 Joel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

REVIEW | CHRISTOPHER ORR | 2004 CHRISTOPHER ORR Christopher Orr is an American film critic and magazine editor. He has been a senior editor at The Atlantic since 2010.

ROTTEN TOMATOES 93% Tomatometer | 242 94% Audience Score | 571,275 IMDB 8.3/10 | 863,950

The story-told-in-reverse is a very common movie device, often utilized to conceal info from the audience. But Kaufman and Gondry use it to a different end, uncovering not just hidden facts but forgotten emotions. In fact, There are no unexpected twists or sudden revelations about Joel and Clementine, just a wistful backward view of love’s decay. Unlike previous work of Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine sets out not to stun us with the originality of its gimmicks, but to wound us with the earnest familiarity of its sentiment. At its core, Eternal Sunshine is about the need for atonement and redemption. “Freed” from the memory of their painful breakup, Joel and Clementine can no longer forgive nor ask forgiveness for past hurts received or inflicted, and can reconcile neither with one another nor with themselves. Their past together is like a frayed nerve that leads nowhere, the phantom limb of the amputee. No matter how many times they wander in the footsteps of their lost memories they

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can never recapture them. It is only through Fate or God’s grace or True Love—or, for the more literal-minded, a glitch in Lacuna’s process—that they are eventually given a second chance to make themselves whole. These are admirably big themes. And while it is impossible not to think of Eternal Sunshine as Kaufman’s film (fair or not), Gondry directs it with his wisdom and nuance. Movies often portray memories and dream states with a hyper-real vividness, made up of garish colors, absurdist views, and, sometimes, dwarves. Gondry takes the opposite road, making Eternal Sunshine with an aggressive lack of style, or at least of stylization. Scenes are dimly lit and hazily filmed (cinematographer Ellen Kuras filled many of the sets with smoke before shooting), lending the movie a documentary feel. Even when special effects are called for— when a fence must evaporate or a character disappear from a fading memory—Gondry underplays them as much as possible. The result is a cinematic vagueness that makes the film less aesthetic yet more persuasive. This is how dreams really look: like reality, only less so.


4 7 FIG 02.04 | 2004 Joel and Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

OTHER CRITIC REVIEWS Joe Morgenstern | Wall Street Journal Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind goes by like a fevered dream of love, but one you remember vividly, with profound pleasure.

FIG 02.05 | 2004 Joel and Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Christy Lemire | Associated Press At its core, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind could have been just a love story. Refracted via Kaufman’s wonderfully weird prism, it’s something truly memorable. Christopher Orr | The Atlantic The result is a cinematic vagueness that makes the film less aesthetic yet more persuasive. This is how dreams really look: like reality, only less so. Matthew Lucas | The Dispatch From the opening frame to the closing credits, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is unmistakably the work of a true creative genius.

FIG 02.06 | 2004 Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Kristy Strouse | In Their Own League Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a whirlwind of emotions, and it is the kind of romance that is just grounded enough, in reality, to inspire and incite, but whimsical enough to deserve its own special place in the genre’s history. K. Austin Collins | Vanity Fair It’s a surprising, clever sci-fi twist, even as the relationship drama it dredges up doesn’t feel at all like science fiction. Sean Axmaker | Seanax.com The wacky sight gags and psycho-drama slapstick is tinged with melancholy and regret as Joel realizes that his experiences are what make him who he is.


ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND | 2004



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SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 LA SCIENCE DES RÊVES A smart and refreshing view of the young and the dreamers

The Science of Sleep PLOT SUMMARY

The film tells a thwarted love story that doesn’t trade in the degraded cliches of romance or conventional sexiness.

RUNTIME 1 h 45 min GENRE Comedy | Drama | Fantasy LANGUAGE French | English | Spanish FILMING LOCATION Chérence | Forges | Paris

WRITER Michel Gondry PRODUCTION CO

Stéphane Miroux (Gael García Bernal) is a man whose vivid dreams and imagination often interfere with his ability to interact with reality. He is coaxed back to his childhood home after his divorced father passes away, and his mother helps him find a job in a calendar printing company. His mother implies the position is a creative role, and he prepares colorful drawings. However, nobody really appreciates his talents and it transpires that his mother had led him on— the real vacancy is for nothing more than mundane typesetting work. While leaving his apartment to go to work one day, Stéphane injures his hand helping his new neighbor, a girl named Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), move a piano into her apartment. Stéphanie, invites Stéphane into her apartment (unaware that he lives next door) where her friend Zoé tends to his wound. And Stéphane initially has a crush on Zoé but he suspects Stéphanie likes him.

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Stéphane realizes that Stéphanie, similar to himself, is creative and artistic. They plan a project for use in a short animated film. Stéphane pretends that he isn’t Stéphanie’s neighbor, pretending to leave the building when he leaves her apartment. That night, when he is sleepwalking at night he writes a confusing note to Stéphanie that asks for Zoé’s phone number. Stéphane realizes his mistake upon waking and retrieves the letter with a coat hanger, unaware that Stéphanie has already read it. Surreal and naturalistic elements begin to overlap, and the viewer is often uncertain of which portions constitute reality and which are merely dreams. As this line gradually becomes more blurred, Stéphane becomes more enamored with Stéphanie the more he spends time with her and shares many inventions with her. Dreams of Stéphane encroach on his waking life when he tries to win Stéphanie’s heart and misses time at work. He breaks into her apartment, taking her stuffed toy horse, and also implants a mechanism inside of it that makes it gallop. While putting it back into her apartment, Stéphanie arrives, demanding he leaves and becoming more upset with him.


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“Will you marry me when you are seventy? You’d have nothing to lose.” —Stéphane | The Science of Sleep | 2006

Feeling embarrassed and also heartbroken, Stéphane retreats to his apartment where he receives a call from Stéphanie, who says sorry and thanks for the gift she discovers: a galloping version of “Golden the Pony Boy,” who she reveals was named after Stéphane. As the months go by, waking and dreaming become more intermixed. To Stéphane’s surprise, the calendar manufacturer accepts his drawing idea and it becomes a great success. A party is thrown in his honor, but he becomes depressed and begins drinking excessively after he witnesses Stéphanie dancing flirtatiously with another man. The next day, Stéphane and Stéphanie have a confrontation in the hallway when Stéphane announces that he doesn’t want to be her friend any longer.

to finish something she starts. However, he reveals that he is actually interested in her because she’s different from other people. As his antagonistic behavior pushes her to her breaking point, Stéphanie requests him to leave but he instead climbs into her bed and yells at her, before spotting two items on her bedside: his time machine, and the finished boat they used to plan to put in their animated film. As Stéphane falls asleep in Stéphanie’s bed, the film gradually closes with Stéphane and Stéphanie riding Golden the Pony Boy across a field before sailing off into the ocean’s horizon in her white boat.

Before leaving, Stéphane’s mother insists that he say goodbye to Stéphanie. However, he becomes extremely crass in his attempt to do so, making sexual and offensive jokes to her, and accusing her of not being able

FIG 02.08 | 2006 Stéphane and Stéphanie in The Science of Sleep

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MAIN CAST Gael García Bernal | Stéphane Charlotte Gainsbourg | Stéphanie Emma de Caunes | Zoé Alain Chabat | Guy Miou-Miou | Christine Stéphane Metzger | Sylvain Sacha Bourdo | Serge Yvette Petit | Ivana Aurélia Petit | Martine


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“Randomness is very difficult to achieve. Organization always merges back if you don’t pay attention.” —Stéphanie | The Science of Sleep | 2006

REVIEW | MATTHEW LEYLAND | 2007 MATTHEW LEYLAND Author and film critic at BBC.com and the Total Film magazine

ROTTEN TOMATOES 70% Tomatometer | 162 81% Audience Score | 144,363 IMDB 7.3/10 | 66,565

He may not be working with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, but The Science Of Sleep is another Spotless Mind-trip from fruit-loop French auteur Michel Gondry. However, there’s a lot more Sunshine in this film than his last. Proving that you can razzle the retina without busting the bank, the kaleidoscopic visuals never overwhelm the sweet, screwball relationship between artist Gael Garcia Bernal and his neighbor Charlotte Gainsbourg, who are able to conjure more chemistry than a thousand Hugh and Drews. From the get-go it seems they’re destined to be together—after all, he’s called Stéphane and her name’s Stéphanie. Naturally, though, there are obstacles. For one, Stéphane’s childish ways (petulance, unpredictability) don’t always impress the more grown-up Stéphanie. For another, his chat-up lines are abysmal: “I like your boobs. They are very friendly and unpretentious.”

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Still, the pair do form an infectiously cute, but never cutesy bond through their mutual love of cut-and-paste creativity. Half the picture in fact takes place inside Stéphane’s hyperactive imagination; relying on stopmotion animation rather than CGI, Gondry elicits endless delight with dreamscapes built from egg cartons, cardboard and cellophane. There are echoes of Terry Gilliam, but Gondry is clearly his own man. What’s more, he grounds the flights of fancy in enough emotional reality to avoid seeming self-indulgent. But the credit should be shared with the leads: frosty from the start, Gainsbourg reveals warmth and sensitivity, while Bernal leavens his character’s edge of creepiness with cheeky charm. Together they’re silly, giddy, irrepressibly inventive.


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Stéphane and his band in the dream

Stéphane and Stéphanie in The Science

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OTHER CRITIC REVIEWS Wendy Ide | Times (UK) Gondry always manages to maintain a childlike wonder in the magic of creating a moving image, and never is it more evident than in this film. Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian A thwarted love story that does not trade in the degraded cliches either of romance or conventional sexiness. Ali Gray | TheShiznit.co.uk The Science Of Sleep is truly a delight at times, a startlingly original piece that is as accessible as Eternal Sunshine but is every bit as magnificent when in full flow. Bradley Steinbacher | The Stranger Michel Gondry’s overactive imagination alone makes the film worth seeing. Joshua Starnes | ComingSoon.net It’s kind of weird and very French, but don’t let that scare you. The Science of Sleep is well worth your time.

FIG 02.11 | 2006 Stéphane and Stéphanie in The Science of Sleep

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THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP | 2006



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FEBRUARY 22, 2008

Gondry’s delightful ode to handmade DIY craftsmanship at it’s finest

Be Kind Rewind PLOT SUMMARY

Be Kind Rewind is a charming, freewheeling comedy about video stores, gentrification, friendship and creativity.

RUNTIME 1 h 42 min GENRE Comedy LANGUAGE English FILMING LOCATION New Jersey

WRITER Michel Gondry PRODUCTION CO

In Passaic, New Jersey, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) owns an old VHS Be Kind Rewind Video Store in a condemned building, where he works with his stepson Mike (Yasiin Bey). Mr. Fletcher is proud of his building and indicates that Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was born there. Yet the City Hall wants to relocate the store and demolish the building. Mr. Fletcher needs to travel and advises Mike to keep his dysfunctional friend Jerry (Jack Black) out of the store. Jerry thinks of a conspiracy theory against the machines and decides to sabotage the power plant. He inadvertently has an accident and gets magnetized. When Jerry visits Mike in the video store, he accidentally erases all the tapes. Meanwhile, Mr. Fletcher’s friend Miss Falewicz comes to the video store to check over and rent “Ghostbusters”. Jerry and Mike decide to hide the accident and remake the film by themselves.

New Line Cinema Focus Features

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Words spread from Miss Falewicz’s nephew of the inadvertently hilarious results of Mike and Jerry’s filming, and soon the store is seeing more requests for such movies. Mike, Jerry, and Alma quickly pass off the movies as being “sweded”, insisting the films came from Sweden and thus able to demand long wait times and higher costs for the rental. Mike and Jerry enlist the locals to help out in making the films and use them as starring roles in their films. When Mr. Fletcher returns, intent on converting the store to a DVD rental outlet, he quickly recognizes that they are making more money from the sweded films than from normal rentals, and joins in with the process. However, the success is put to a halt when two court bailiffs arrive, insisting that the sweded films are copyright violations, and seize the tapes and the store’s assets, crushing the tapes with a steamroller. Without money to renovate the building, Mr. Fletcher is finally forced to reveal to Mike that he made up the relationship between Fats Waller and their building. Mr. Fletcher is given only a week to evacuate the building before it’ll be razed.


5 7 FIG 02.13 | 2008 The film-making equipment in Be Kind Rewind

MAIN CAST Jack Black | Jerry Yasiin Bey | Mike Danny Glover | Mr. Fletcher Mia Farrow | Miss Falewicz Melonie Diaz | Alma Irv Gooch | W ilson Chandler Parker | Craig Arjay Smith | Manny

FIG 02.14 | 2008 Mr. Fletcher in Be Kind Rewind

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FIG 02.15 | 2008 The film-making of A Space Odyssey in Be Kind Rewind

REVIEW | PETER BRADSHAW | THE GUARDIAN |2008 PETER BRADSHAW English writer and film critic, working as chief film critic at The Guardian since 1999.

ROTTEN TOMATOES 65% Tomatometer | 128 56% Audience Score | 205,272 IMDB 6.4/10 | 87,116

If you can imagine a filmmaker who has sustained a career while never leaving his teenage bedroom—putting each completed film outside the door on a breakfast tray for his mum to collect on her way down to the kitchen—then you can imagine the work of Michael Gondry. His movies have a wacky homemade aesthetic, a cheerful make-doand-mend look, often introverted, bordering occasionally on something which, to quote one character’s harshly non-PC remark in an earlier film, is “kind of retarded.” He is a surrealist and a romantic and very French in his cerebral playfulness, though earlier collaborations with the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman have given him access to a Hollywood-indie sensibility. This new movie, written and directed by Gondry, is probably his most uncomplicated, and the least burdened by the need to explain or embed its eccentricity in melancholy. It is simpler and happier than his previous films The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s got some laughs, but also some baffling flaws, of which more in a moment.

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Mos Def and Jack Black play Mike and Jerry, two guys who work, or at least hang out, at a crummy old video rental store called Be Kind Rewind, which is owned by gentle oldtimer Mr Fletcher (Danny Glover). They do not stock anything as trendy or futuristic as DVDs: no, they rent out dusty old-style video cassettes at one dollar a pop to the similarly retrograde locals. During the time when Mr. Fletcher is away for a week-long Fats Waller symposium, leaving the guys to mind the store, something awful happens. Jerry’s body becomes electro-magnetized after breaking into the local power station on an eco-sabotage mission, and by walking into the shop he erases every single tape. So armed with a chunky VHS camcorder, our heroes set out on a desperate mission to shoot their no-budget version of the entire commercial Hollywood canon.


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“The past belongs to us, and we can change it.” —Miss Falewicz | Be Kind Rewind | 2008

OTHER CRITIC REVIEWS Maybe it’s too easy to get recognition laughs by doing your own homemade version of well-known films, but it is funny. The guys’ versions of Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2 and, bizarrely, the Muhammad Ali documentary When We Were Kings, which are completed with the brow-furrowing commentary from George Plimpton, are hilarious. Pretty soon, the homemade flicks get cult status; the transformation becomes known as “sweding” and “sweded” films are much prized. They are helped by local dry cleaner Alma, played by Melonie Diaz, who gets hold of costumes (bit of a cheat) and soon there are queues round the block and money is rolling in. But when local customer Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow) wants an uncritical new remake of Driving Miss Daisy, Mike is uneasy about the world-values that he is perpetuating.

Hollywood showbiz is around the now and the new, so there’s something subversive about Gondry pitching his tent in the wasteground of obsolescence behind the gleaming edifice of modernity. The entire idea of VHS movies, rows and rows of dusty old naff films, not new enough to be exciting, not old enough to be classic, is an intense comic embarrassment. This is definitely the vast detritus that Jerry and Mike are working with: a mountain of tat that they reconstruct as passionately as Dresden cathedral. The story has a little of the Woody Allen of Small Time Crooks; the resemblance is underscored by the jazz piano and also Farrow’s presence. As Jerry, Mike and Alma become enthused by the childlike, primitive industry, it begins to demonstrate the early days of Hollywood itself in the orange groves, with the cheesy props and hand-cranked cameras. Part of what is funny is that you know, in your heart, that the silly cardboard costumes and stunningly ingenious mock-ups would take months to make. They are a simulacrum of homemade, and it is exactly this fabricated fabrication which is beguiling.

FIG 02.16 | 2008 Jerry in Be Kind Rewind

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Dana Stevens | Slate It’s hard to get too cranky about a movie that, at heart, is a tribute to the joy of making things with your friends. David Gritten | The Guardian A film that’s sweet and well-intentioned, but with a heart where its brain should be. Rob Gonsalves | eFilmCritic.com A glowing valentine to creativity in opposition to commerce. Troy Patterson | Spin Gondry connects the guys’ toil and glee with a kind of old-time neighborhood hominess that’s dying away and a jazzed creative joy that never will.


BE KIND REWIND | 2008



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JULY 18, 2014 L’ÉCUME DES JOURS As inventive, sweet and sombre as a Duke Ellington song

Mood Indigo PLOT SUMMARY

Mood Indigo paints a depressing picture about romance but does so with fabulous style.

RUNTIME 1 h 34 min GENRE Comedy | Drama | Fantasy LANGUAGE French | English FILMING LOCATION Paris

WRITER Michel Gondry Luc Bossi Boris Vian | Original Novel

Eminently inventive Michel Gondry manages to find inspiration from the French novelist Boris Vian’s cult novel to lay the foundation for this visionary and romantic love story starring Audrey Tautou (Amélie, Coco Before Chanel) and Romain Duris (The Beat My Heart Skipped). Set in a charmingly surreal Paris, wealthy bachelor Colin (Romain Duris) spends his time developing his pianocktail (a cocktailmaking piano) and devouring otherworldly dishes prepared by his trusty chef Nicolas. When Colin knows that his friend Chick, a fellow acolyte of the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, has a new American girlfriend, our lonely hero attends a friend’s party in hopes of falling in love himself. He soon meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou) and before they know it, they are dancing to Duke Ellington and plunging headfirst into a romance. However, their whirlwind courtship is tested when

an unusual illness plagues Chloé; a flower begins to grow in her lungs. To save her, Colin discovers the only cure is to surround Chloé with a never-ending supply of fresh and beautiful flowers. All the blisses of this movie wipe you out. The first hour is so happily innovative with its Richard Lester zip, and the last half-hour so forlorn (the Jean-Paul Sartre sight gags aren’t a joke). Gondry has such an incomparable understanding of the way in which strange and unexpected sights can possibly tickle you. What he sometimes lacks as a filmmaker is the awareness that he can in fact tickle an audience to death.

PRODUCTION CO StudioCanal Brio Films Scope Pictures Hérodiade France 2 Cinéma

FIG 02.18 | 2014

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The wedding of Colin and Chloé in Mood Indigo

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FIGURE 02.20 | 2014

Colin and Chloé in Mood Indigo

Colin and Chloé in Mood Indigo

REVIEW | GUY LODGE | EVENING STANDARD | 2014 “Whimsical”, “quirky”, “eccentric”, none of these adjectives denote negative qualities in themselves, yet if any of them appear on a person’s Tinder profile, chances are you will swipe left pretty fast. And so it goes for film: we’re beguiled by unique, unforced flights of fancy, and annoyed by those that claim themselves as being a bit zany. It’s a fine line, and one that Gondry has negotiated brilliantly in Eternal Sunshine, which fused honest heartbreak and dizzying fantasy with nary a twee misstep.

across Paris in a cloud-shaped shuttle, dance to Duke Ellington with literally elasticated limbs and are even married by a priest who descends from a spaceship. It’s whimsy of the most extravagant, self-conscious variety, and Gondry has the visual nous to pull it off. The imagination that brought you Björk’s most inventive music videos is in full, fizzy flow here and you’ll spend much of the film marveling at his tricky fusion of stop-motion modeling, shimmering CGI and distorted production design.

Gondry attempts the same tricky formula in Mood Indigo. The potion—rich and strange and alluringly scented as it is—isn’t quite right. There’s a stirring, soulful romance at the core of this adaptation of Boris Vian’s cult French novel Froth on the Daydream, but it simply occasionally peeks out from beneath the ostentatiously imagined world that Gondry has built for it. Characters fly

You may, however, be so entranced that you forget to care about the beautiful lovers at the center of it all: a wealthy Parisian playboy and inventor played by Romain Duris, and his winsome soulmate played by (who else?) Audrey Tautou. They meet at a party and are swiftly smitten, but that represents the extent of our insight into their emotional lives. In the film of Eternal Sunshine, Kate Winslet marvelously undercut the archetype of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl; Tautou, by contrast, is given little else to play.

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MAIN CAST Romain Duris | Colin Audrey Tautou | Chloé Gad Elmaleh | Chick Omar Sy | Nicolas Charlotte Le Bon | Isis Aïssa Maïga | Alise Sacha Bourdo | Mary

GUY LODGE Guy Lodge is an Observer film columnist and the chief UK film critic for Variety.


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“If we screw this moment, we try the next. And if we fail the next...we have our whole lives to get it right.” —Chloé | Mood Indigo | 2014

OTHER CRITIC REVIEWS Linda Barnard | Toronto Star The rich display and rapid-fire visual imagings of Mood Indigo, even when muted by sorrow, are unrelenting. Steven Rea | Philadelphia Inquirer It’s hard not to take delight in Michel Gondry and his whooshing, bendable universe. John Anderson | Newsday A mad mix of what Tex Avery, Rube Goldberg and the silent-film fantasist Georges Melies might have come up with if they’d put their feverish heads together. Emily Robinson | Bust Magazine Michel Gondry’s latest endeavor reads like a twisted storybook, weaving realistic tropes with fantastic visions of both the intensely light and the intensely dark.

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Annalee Newitz | io9.com It’s sort of a stoner art film, and I mean that in the best possible way. If you can watch it with your eyes, and ignore the dialogue in the second half of the film, I guarantee you an amazing, psychedelic journey into a posthuman future you’ve never seen before. Bill Graham | The Film Stage Richly told through Gondry’s signature visual oddities and whimsy, Mood Indigo posits itself as something very raw and intensely original. Eleanor Ringel Cater | Saporta Report You don’t know how tempting it is to review Mood Indigo by simply listing all the visual delights Michel Gondry crams into his newest flight of fancy.

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ROTTEN TOMATOES 61% Tomatometer | 107 53% Audience Score | 3,602 IMDB 6.5/10 | 14,658



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JULY 8, 2015 MICROBE ET GASOIL Charming, melancholy, and, in the end, not terribly memorable

Microbe & Gasoline PLOT SUMMARY

Packed with wit and warmth, Microbe and Gasoline is a minor key showstopper.

RUNTIME 1 h 45 min GENRE Adventure | Comedy | Drama LANGUAGE French | Japanese FILMING LOCATION Versailles

WRITER Michel Gondry PRODUCTION CO StudioCanal Partizan

The film tells a story of two teenage friends who embark on a road trip across France with a house on wheels built by themselves. Gasoline is the nickname of Théo (Théophile Baquet), a transfer student and mechanical whiz who conceives the notion that he and his classmate, Daniel (Ange Dargent), nicknamed Microbe, for his small size, could escape their oppressive families. Both are social outsiders. Théo, with his leather jacket and tousled hair, is a soft contemporary version of what used to be called a hood. Daniel is a classic nerd. An aspiring artist and writer, he also wears his hair long, but with his delicate features and refined air, he is mistaken for a girl at times. Although distressed by the confusion, he does not face the brutal rites of self-initiation endured by so many teenagers in American films. As resourceful in his way as Théo, he draws pornography, which he hides under a mattress and uses for self-stimulation.

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FIG 02.23 | 2015 Théo in Microbe & Gasoline


6 9 FIG 02.24 | 2015 Théo and Daniel in Microbe & Gasoline

“Microbe and Gasoline” minimizes the class differences between the boys. Théo’s bitter, angry parents are a junk dealer and his unkempt wife, who is ailing after two heart attacks. Daniel is one of three sons being raised by a clinging, overprotective middleclass mother. Although their life on the road has its perils, the journey feels like an idyllic, gentle rite of passage. The house on wheels proves to be a successful disguise that enables them to park near the side of a road and avoid police harassment as it seems like a rooted structure. Of course, they also have small misadventures. Stopping on the property of dentist, they are welcomed but flee from a window as he tries to examine their teeth, which he declares a disaster.

MAIN CAST Ange Dargent | Daniel Théophile Baquet | Théo Diane Besnier | Laura Audrey Tautou | Marie-Thérèse Agathe Peigney | Agathe Vincent Lamoureux | Steve Douglas Brosset | Oscar Charles Raymond | Kevin

FIG 02.25 | 2015 The wheel house in Microbe & Gasoline

FIG 02.26 | 2015 Daniel in Microbe & Gasoline

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ROTTEN TOMATOES 91% Tomatometer | 57 71% Audience Score | 837 IMDB 6.7/10 | 2,279

Microbe & Gasoline is written and directed by Michel Gondry, who we know best from his 2004 masterful collaboration with writer Charlie Kaufman in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His latest film feels more grounded than Eternal Sunshine and at the same time, somehow more whimsical, as it follows the boys through a variety of farfetched but not impossible scenarios. The boys have managed to ditch their parents, deftly (Microbe’s mom is played by Audrey Tautou) in favor of a summer away from bullies, Gasoline’s troubled life at home and the general hassles of adolescence. This is a smart, warm, relatively innocent and surprisingly funny film about how boys become older boys on their way to finally becoming men. I was entirely impressed with Gasoline as he came to understand himself

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as more than just a wise sidekick for the story of his friend’s life, and with Microbe too, as he developed his own self awareness of his anxiety and narcissism. If you have enough of the usual coming of age cinematic tropes, Microbe and Gasoline might not be the right film for you. Will the scrawny kids be encountered by an endless sea of bullies? Will one of them be asked to throw a football from the sidelines in a public test of his masculinity? Will a pretty, unreachable female give our heroes a hard time? Will parents just not understand? Even so, Microbe and Gasoline handles the predictable scenes in unpredictable ways, and the weird things are so fun and strange (a family they meet on the road obsessed with the boys’ dental hygiene, sexy hairdressers) that it makes up for anything pat. This is a welcome addition to the Michel Gondry universe.


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“Go back to the last thought you remember. It’ll take you to the next one, and the one after that, until you get the right one.” —Daniel | Microbe & Gasoline | 2015

OTHER CRITIC REVIEWS Richard Roeper | Chicago Sun-Times We appreciate the unique personalities of these two kids, and we’re glad they found each other. John Hartl | Seattle Times The laughs are sometimes bigger than expected, and so are the emotions stirred by the bittersweet finale. Matthew Lickona | San Diego Reader Director Gondry conveys a feeling of happy fantasy: two against the world, managing despite everything. Tirdad Derakhshani | Philadelphia Inquirer A cross between François Truffaut’s sometimes-harrowing dramas of childhood and a Steven Spielberg fantasy, Gondry’s film abounds with sentiment—without falling prey to sentimentality.

FIG 02.27 | 2015 Théo and Daniel in Microbe & Gasoline

Jessica Baxter | Hammer to Nail Michel Gondry leaves the creativity and whimsy to his characters, resulting in his best work in ages.

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The Cloud of Fantasy: A Michel Gondry film festival

Wondering between mundane realities and marvelous reveries in the films of Michel Gondry.

M AY 18, 2021 May 18 marks the directorial debut of Gondry at the 54th Cannes International Film Festival and 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of his film-making career.

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Festival Theme Our film festival, The Cloud of Fantasy, will center around presenting our everyday struggles in the mundane realities and offering transient, yet inspiring escapes into the marvelous reveries. Wandering between dreams and realities is a recurring theme in Michel Gondry’s films. Gondry once said in an interview that “I live constantly with my dreams. They’re part of my memories at the same level as my waking experience.” The intersection between the dream and the reality not only inspires him to create a fantastic world of films, but also remains an important part of his personal life. The festival will be mainly held at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn, New York during May 18–22, 2021. Our purpose is to commemorate the 20th anniversary since Gondry’s directorial debut and celebrate his marvelous creativity that surrounds his film-making career.

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“In my opinion, it is more interesting to see magic happening in a world that feels grounded.” —Michel Gondry

FEATURING May 18, 2021 Film | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Music Video | Radiohead: Knives Out May 19, 2021 Film | The Science of Sleep Music Video | Beck: Deadweight May 20, 2021 Film | Be Kind, Rewind Music Video | Daft Punk: Around the World May 21, 2021 Film | Mood Indigo Music Video | Björk: Army of Me May 22, 2021 Film | Microbe & Gasoline Music Video | Cibo Matto: Sugar Water

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Festival Schedule OPENING GALA The film festival will kick off the

May Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 18

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A couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

SCHEDULE 4:30 pm–5:30 pm | Opening Gala (Food & Drinks Served) 6:00 pm–7:50 pm | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 8:00 pm–8:10 pm | Radiohead: Knives Out

SPECIAL EVENTS Three special events: Installation of Gondry’s 20 Music Videos, Mini “Home Movie Factory” Workshop and Exhibition for Gondry’s Drawings and Props will be held in the last three days of the festival.

May The Science of Sleep 19 A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a woman and feels he can show her his world.

SCHEDULE 6:00 pm–7:50 pm | The Science of Sleep 8:00 pm–8:10 pm | Beck: Deadweight

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May Be Kind Rewind 20 Two bumbling clerks accidentally erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video store and re-shoot the films with their camera.

SCHEDULE 2:00 pm–5:00 pm | Installation of Gondry’s 20 Music Videos 6:00 pm–7:50 pm | Be Kind Rewind 8:00 pm–8:10 pm | Daft Punk: Around the World

May Mood Indigo 21 Wealthy, inventive Colin endeavors to find a cure for his lover Chloé after she’s diagnosed with an unusual lung illness.

SCHEDULE 2:00 pm–5:00 pm | Mini “Home Movie Factory” Workshop 6:00 pm–7:50 pm | Mood Indigo 8:00 pm–8:10 pm | Björk: Army of Me

May Microbe & Gasoline 22 Two young friends embark on a road trip across France in a vehicle they built themselves.

SCHEDULE 2:00 pm–5:00 pm | Exhibition for Gondry’s Drawings and Props 6:00 pm–7:50 pm | Microbe & Gasoline 8:00 pm–8:10 pm | Cibo Matto: Sugar Water

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Festival Locations OPENING GALA VIDEO VORTEX Video stores didn’t die. They just had to evolve. Video Vortex Brooklyn is passionate about conserving and celebrating the culture of films.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE Alamo Drafthouse brings the greatest films ever made and an commitment to exceptional picture and sound.

Video Vortex Brooklyn | Michel Gondry once reminisced on the time spent wandering the aisles of local video store in a documentary project A Cinephile’s Labyrinth. To him, “What’s nice in a small and rich video store is that there is a real contact with the guy who owns the shop… and that’s very inspiring.” Even if you have vivid memories of poring over the shelves at your favorite video store, most of you might probably have a tough time thinking of the last time you rented a movie that wasn’t streamed directly to your televisions. But where the Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse delivers a distinct moviegoing experience that locals haven’t had before, Video Vortex, located in the theater’s lobby, delivers one they have probably forgotten, providing an impressive, carefully curated selection of over 40,000 DVDs that visitors can sign up to take home for free.

One of the last DVD & Blu-ray rental shops, Video Vortex Brooklyn is passionate about conserving and celebrating the culture of films. Featuring a diverse collection of the wildest new indies, classic thrillers, cult TV shows, arthouse documentaries and even gnarly horror rarities, Video Vortex Brooklyn is more than just a nostalgic delight. By preserving rare and out-of-print physical media that you can’t find anyplace else, customers can see the best of the best from auteurs such as Spike Lee, Claire Denis, Elaine May, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and, of course, Michel Gondry.

FIG 03.09 The store of Video Vortex

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“The culture they (video stores) provided was an essential part of my knowledge about films.” —Tim League | Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO | 2019


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MAIN VENUE Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn | “The Alamo Drafthouse Theater is good food, good beer and good film, all at the same place!”—Alamo Drafthouse mission statement in the year of 1997. The Alamo Drafthouse intends to show the greatest films ever made and spread the film culture to every corner of the world. Every person who works for the cinema, from the managers to the servers to the kitchen staff, has deep passion for film. Celebrating classic cinema is something the company takes seriously. Whether it is an interactive Movie Party presentation of timeless classics, a chef-inspired feast with a menu paired to a film, or a simply re-evaluation of a lost gem, the company loves it sharing with the Alamo Drafthouse audiences of all ages. The venue for the Opening Gala, Video Vortex, is located down at the hobby of the Alamo Drafthouse. So it is very convenient for you to join the film screening right after the Gala.

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8 5 ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE Main Venue 455 Albee Square W, 4th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Website | drafthouse.com Contact | (718) 513-2547

VIDEO VORTEX Opening Gala Lobby at Alamo Drafthouse 455 Albee Square W Brooklyn, NY 11201 Website | videovortex.com Contact | (347) 378-8830

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Immersed in a variety of the creative work by Michel Gondry

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The special events allow participants to take a deeper look at Gondry’s work.

Gondry’s 20 Music Videos | The magic of Gondry film-making, where the everyday landscape turns into a daydream, comes alive through some simple ideas, such as shifting perspective and mirrors, stop motion and reverse playbacks. The collection of music videos presented in this part of the special event series will sure transport you into Gondry’s unique world. His music videos, in which he condenses his thriving ideas into a short-form format, represent the magic of his work at its most essential and potent. In this event, 20 of his best-known videos will be shown in a unique installation. Your journey through the labyrinthine world of Gondry’s music videos can certainly fire up your own creative powers.

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Mini “Home Movie Factory” | The “Home Movie Factory” is an interactive exhibition in which a group of approximately ten people takes on the task of writing a script, casting, and filming, all within a threehour period. Five film sets will be available to let your imagination run free (e.g. a cafe, a back alley, a train, a forest, an office), and you will use them to create an original short film with the group of people you just met at the Factory. Using various props and costumes, you can direct a love story, or a thriller, or perhaps a romantic horror movie. The possibilities are endless. Experience or expertise in the use of film-making equipment is not required, and instructors will be on hand to support you in your creative efforts. If you do not want to participate in the filmmaking process, you’re also welcome to visit the sets and watch the films produced by other attendees.


8 9 FIG 03.12 | 2017 “Home Movie Factory” in Montreal

FIG 03.13 | 2016 “Home Movie Factory” in Arenberg

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“There is no agenda or project, you just come to participate and by the end, something comes out in the shape of a story.” —Michel Gondry | Semi Permanent | 2019

DRAWINGS AND PROPS Gondry’s shots are composed of images and props that come to life through stop-motion animation.

Gondry’s Drawings and Props | The exhibition will present some original drawings and props used in Michel Gondry’s films, including sketches of his latest work “Is the Man who is Tall Happy?”(2013), the mysterious cuisine from Mood Indigo (2013), and the one-second time machine from The Science of Sleep (2006). These objects will definitely stimulate the imagination and will most certainly entertain not only Michel Gondry fans, but also those unacquainted with film-making.

FIGURE 03.14 | 2016 The pony in The Science of Sleep

FIGURE 03.04 | 2016 15 Orient Gallery

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9 1 LOCATION 15 Orient Gallery | 15 Orient is both the name and the address of a gallery inside an inconspicuous Brooklyn home located near the Graham Avenue L train station. The house is owned by Michel Gondry and repurposed into an exhibition space specially for his son, Paul Gondry, and other artists to show their artwork. The location will be used for the last-day special event to show extra music videos of Michel Gondry. Having had a nice sense of Gondry’s unique creativity and imagination in the previous film screening experience, the participants will adventure further into the music world visually manipulated by the talented auteur.

15 ORIENT GALLERY Special Events 15 Orient Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211 Website | 15orient.com Contact | (303) 803-4347

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“It’s part of my job to maintain the emotional reality and the naturalism even when the atmosphere is contrived.” —Michel Gondry | A.V. Club | 2014



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freepik.com

p01 | Quote of Michel Gondry https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/michel-gondry-interview-mood-indigoeternal-sunshine-ubik/

gettyimages.com listal.com pexels.com pixabay.com shutterstock.com stock.adobe.com unsplash.com

TYPOGRAPHY Archer Office Din 2014 Din Condensed

p10–11 | Director Biography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Gondry https://www.sothetheorygoes.com/michel-gondry/ https://www.indiewire.com/2014/07/the-films-of-michel-gondry-rankedworst-to-best-24001/ p12–13 | Filmography https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0327273/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 p16–21 | Music Videos https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0327273/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 https://www.interviewmagazine.com/film/michel-gondry-tokyo p22–31 | Selected Awards https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michel-gondry-his-animatednoam-658556 https://collider.com/michel-gondry-we-and-the-i-mood-indigo-interview/ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0327273/awards p32–33 | Quote of Michel Gondry https://www.theguardian.com/film/2007/feb/07/guardianinterviewsatbfi southbank p34–37 | Interviews https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/michel-gondry-interview-mood-indigoeternal-sunshine-ubik/

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p38–41 | Interviews https://www.semipermanent.com/profiles/michel-gondry https://www.semipermanent.com/articles/michel-gondry p44–47 | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/plotsummary http://www.jhconline.com/higpa-eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind.html https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3 https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2004/09/ the-movie-review-eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind/69495/ p50–53 | The Science of Sleep https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Sleep http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2007/02/12/the_science_of_sleep_2007_review https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0354899/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_science_of_sleep p56–59 | Be Kind Rewind https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_Kind_Rewind https://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/feb/22/comedy https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0799934/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/be_kind_rewind p62–65 | Mood Indigo https://thedissolve.com/news/2313-mood-indigo-trailer/ https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/film/mood-indigo-film-review-audreytautou-and-romain-duris-star-in-michel-gondrys-self-consciously-9642162.html https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2027140/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mood_indigo

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p68–71 | Microbe & Gasoline https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/movies/microbe-and-gasoline-reviewmichel-gondry.html http://vanguardseattle.com/2016/07/29/now-playing-microbe-and-gasoline-atsiff-cinema-uptown/ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3882000/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/microbe_and_gasoline

COPY EDITOR Ellie Chen

ILLUSTRATOR Wanran Ding Kevin Wang

INSTRUCTOR Hunter Wimmer Susan Pasley (support)

CLASS GR 612 Integrated Communications

p82–85 | Festival Locations https://birthmoviesdeath.com/2019/08/15/los-angeles-enters-the-video-vortex https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2019/07/12/l-a-s-alamodrafthouse-taps-vidiots.html https://drafthouse.com/about p88–89 | Special Events https://www.mot-art-museum.jp/en/exhibitions/michelgondry/ https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/michel-gondrys-sons-living-room-art-gallery15-orient https://www.semipermanent.com/articles/michel-gondry p92–93 | Quotes of Michel Gondry https://film.avclub.com/michel-gondry-on-mood-indigo-special-effects-jim-carr1798270531

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For detailed information about the festival, visit: cloudoffantasy.com Or download our app from the app store: “Cloud of Fantasy�