YouTube Gondry Enthusiasm

“The Director’s Label” continues to intrigue me. Spike Jonze’s near-adolescent charm comes through and the additional materials make you feel him as a real person, his fingerprint is on it. It’s wonderful. I fell inlove with Michel, in part because Björk loves him, so how can I not. But then these sweet French self-effacing somewhat lewd little gems are so irresistable. He makes inventions, like this paint piano Björk plays on.

In Michel’s work there is always the spirit of invention, which so many other videos and commercials have bastardized by cleaning up and making them just flashy. Imperfection is an easier road to wonderment than a Cadillac, y’know what I mean? In the Beck video the highrise view from the window, the radio, the door and Beck’s suitcase alternately become animated robot people.

Massive Attack’s “Protection” is an annoying song, but I love how you break through walls to each new scene. It was Spike Jonze’s description of sets built on walls that made me know I wanted to see the Gondry edition on the Director’s Label.

This 10-minute video was supposedly Gondry’s first internationally released film “La Lettre.” I’m glad to have seen it–everything’s there: low-tech stuff, fixation with time, the order of things, the mechanics/how things work, clock, count-down, chronology, lonely love, l’étranger. It’s a simple lovestory with that “Woody Allen”-ness that Björk refers to in the paint piano video. She mentions his fear that the world will end at any moment and it’s illustrated with a clip of the Eiffel tower crashing which is from this little film.

Last little bits to love: Mermaids for Gondry’s Levi’s commercial don’t look as low-tech as his signature “inside the machine” look, but have a different sort of raw physicality. What reads as an off-colour public service announcement may be a clip from “The Science of Sleep” which I still haven’t seen. Michel is featured in an ad for HP computers and it has a sampler of all his gimmicks and hangups including his vast love for his son. I hate that HP uses the same font from the cover of Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”. And we can’t avoid mentioning the impossibly beautiful, simple-seeming “Star Guitar” video for the Chemical Brothers.


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