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Entries in Michel Gondry (11)

Monday
Mar182019

Beauty vs Beast: Won't You Remember Me

Jason from MNPP here on this chilly March afternoon thinking of leaving it all behind and boarding a train out to Montauk -- tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of one of the Great Films of the new century (née millenium), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which rescrambled our brains for the first time on March 19th 2004, and we've never been the same since. Have you watched it lately? I watch it basically once per year, which guarantees I have one great big sobbing session at least once per year. Anyway we've already done one of our "Beauty vs Beast" contests for the film's leads before, so today we'll dive a little deeper into the film's exceedingly fine stable of supporting players -- on one side we have the delectably weaselly Patrick (Elijah Wood) and on the other the more-confused-by-the-minute Mary (Kirsten Dunst), who both enrich the film's main romantic thrust in surprising and sad ways...

PREVIOUSLY Y'all truly surprised me with last week's contest that pit Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool's lead lovers against one another -- Jamie Bell took the lead early on and never looked back, taking 65% at the end; it's very rare for actresses to lose here on TFE! Why do you think it happened this time? Said Mareko:

"I'm #TeamGloria in life (what an underrated talent) but lean toward #TeamPeter in this movie. Annette and Jamie really are sublime together, and isn't it interesting that she did back-to-back movies set in 1979? Imagine Dorothea Fields and Gloria Grahame in the same universe, living a mere hour away from each other!"

Monday
Feb132017

Beauty vs Beast: Blessed Are The Forgetful

"Random thoughts for Valentine's day... Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."

Jason from MNPP here, wishing everybody a happy Valentines (even if I do lean towards the incredulous sentiment expressed above). When you ask yourselves what the great romantic films of our times are, what answers do you come up with? Because I asked myself that question in order to choose this week's holiday-themed edition of "Beauty vs Beast" and it was Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (from whence that quote came) that was the very first movie I thought of...

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Friday
Oct022015

NYFF: Microbe & Gasoline

Here's Jason reporting from NYFF on Michel Gondry's latest film.

I've always been fascinated by, in this modern day-and-age of super handy internet pornography (ha ha handy), the cartoonish sort you'll sometimes stumble upon online - with access to the billions upon billions of pixelated private parts available at the click of a mouse just who's getting off to this hand-drawn stuff? Michel Gondry offers up the answer with Microbe & Gasoline, and of course it had to be Michel Gondry. The best known purveyor of cinematic hand-stitched whimsy, who's turned everything from dreams to clouds to memory itself into tactile seeming sensations, would want to get his mitts smudged with the detailing of wank-book pencil lines. 

This isn't as odd an entry point into Microbe & Gasoline as it might seem at first blush. The film, which tells the tale of the bloom and blossom of friendship between two teenage outsider princes, their crowns two matching heads of thick provincial locks, is somewhat obsessed with body functions, as teenage boys are prone to. It's not just getting laid (although that is there too, waving wildly) - it's haircuts and bathroom stops and strangers (putting the strange in stranger danger) wanting to caress your molars.

But then Gondry is our tightrope practitioner of phantasmagorical practicality - when he soars, he soars along a surface of scratches and knicks and splintered wooden beams. Whereas somebody like Christopher Nolan will go out of his way to scrub the surface of his imagination into a flat gleaming cube, inscrutably too scrutable, Gondry's gonna flip that mirror over and get to work on its underbelly, hammer in hand, nails in teeth.

It doesn't always work! It hasn't really worked in awhile, save moments here and there - I liked bits of Mood Indigo but it always felt like somebody else's story, too dour by several degrees. And don't get me started on The We and the I, which felt like being trapped in an echo chamber of humiliation and teenage horror which I hardly made it through - Gondry can almost be too generous a soul, allowing his folks to tip far too far towards screech instead of sing. Microbe & Gasoline though, it works. He keeps himself in check - the whimsy bumps and chugs along the road with precision-crafted engineering, and his two lead actors have an endearingly low-key rapport. It's his best film since Eternal Sunshine.

Microbe & Gasoline is screening at the New York Film Festival on Sunday, October 4 and Monday, October 5.

Saturday
Jul262014

Review: Mood Indigo

Michael C. returning for duty. I'll be joining Nathaniel on the weekly new film review duties so you'll get two each weekend instead of just one.

My reflex reaction is to be protective of Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, and not simply because the director exists in a permanent state of grace for giving the world Eternal Sunshine. It’s because his latest film is such an easy target. To come branded with the moniker “quirky” is to risk immediate snide dismissal by those who would sooner face a firing squad than offer a stamp of approval to anything with hipster appeal, and Mood Indigo may well be the quirkiest thing that has ever happened. It is the black tar heroin of twee. 

This film is such a perfect culmination of Gondry’s work up to this point, it’s a surprise to learn it didn’t originate in his brain but is based on a novel much loved in France. Every frame is packed to bursting with Gondry’s signature handcrafted effects. Indigo’s hero, Colin (Romain Duris) lives in an apartment that brings to mind a French Pee-wee’s Playhouse by way of the Peter Gabriel’s "Sledgehammer" video (Ask your parents, kids). There doesn’t seem to be a single inanimate object in the place. Colin’s breakfast is a ballet of squirming stop-motion treats, and the doorbell scurries around the wall like an excited pet when there is a visitor. Even the piano is revealed to be a clever gizmo that dispenses cocktails to match the mood of the tune played on it. One cannot accuse Gondry of laziness. 

more...

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Thursday
Jun262014

Linking Time

Coming Soon Denzel Washington does the mandatory back to camera pose required of all teaser posters now for The Equalizer
Dazed Michel Gondry shares films he can't forget: Modern Times, Groundhog Day, The Phantom of Liberty and more
The Matinee's 'Blind-Spot' series visits the inspirational teacher movie Goodbye Mr Chips (1939)
Empire Tate Taylor will follow Get On Up with In the Event of a Moon Disaster, another period piece. The premise sounds cool but I don't understand how he'll find roles for Viola & Octavia and he's not allowed to work without them. Tis TFE's decree


Pajiba Pajiba turns 10. Happy birthday Pajiba!
Non-Fics on the 10 best documentaries about gay history ever made. Some surprises here. I haven't even heard of a couple of these
Daily Mail good news about Michigan only ever seems to come from Ann Arbor these days: Madonna's daughter Lourdes (aka "Lola") will attend U of M as an MDT major. (MDT programs are a good part of why I object to frequent complaints about the film musical these days. There are many professional actors trained as triple threats. It's just they're rarely asked to use all three skills.)
MNPP who wore it best - zombie boy ripoff edition via Mad Max: Fury Road
The Black Maria revisits the Monroe/Gable/Clift/Wallach classic The Misfits (1961)
Los Angeles Times Academy tightens up campaign rulings in the wake of that Alone (Yet Not Alone) business last season 
Variety 5 themes that might influence Emmy voters - I'm most intrigued by the idea of the last one "Endurance". I've also wondered that.
Vulture funny Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) interview
Awards Daily shortly after that imposing Streep-centric poster The Giver gets its official newly hideous poster utilising all the principles. Hooray?
Playbill interviews Jonathan Groff on his coming out and his subsequent quick rise in TV and film 

Spawn of Meg & Dennis. And you can see both of them so easily in his face!

Castings
VF Hollywood Meg Ryan making her directorial debut. Tom Hanks will cameo but the lead role, a teenager bike messenger, will be played by Jack Quaid (son of Meg & Dennis) whose film debut was in The Hunger Games (2012)
Empire Ben Wheatley's thriller High Rise (based on a JG Ballard) has quite the cast lined up for shooting next month: Elisabeth Moss, Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, and James Purefoy
Coming Soon Ben Kingsley joins Lupita, Idris, and ScarJo in the voice cast of the new Jungle Book, which mixes live action with animation. He'll play Bagheera 
THR Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes join the Coens comedy Hail Caesar, giving us the Budapest Hotel reunion we were hoping for. Also: Channing Tatum!
Variety untitled heist comedy from Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess will star Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig
/Film Rooney Mara to produce and possibly star in kidnapping drama A House in the Sky 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Visual Index ~ Eternal Sunshine's Best Shots

In the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series we ask participants (all are welcome) to post a single shot that they think is the chosen movie's best and tell us why. "Best" is open to interpretation of course and often highly personal... and subject to change, just like memories. Memories are the environment and subject of this week's film, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The film celebrates its 10th anniversary on March 19th and feels as essential as ever. 

Though we usually list the Hit Me With Your Best Shot collective choices in chronological order, memories aren't linear. Instead we're sharing the best shots in rough reverse chronological order of when we received them. Read them all for the opportunity to see the movie with new eyes: someone else's.

Meet us in Montauk... 33 images after the jump

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