Michel Gondry in Paris in March 2008
May 8, 1963 |
Michel Gondry (born May 8, 1963 in Versailles, France) is an Academy Award-winning French filmmaker, whose works include being a commercial director, music video director, and a screenwriter. He is noted for his inventive visual style and manipulation of mise en scène.
Life and career
Gondry's vision and career began with his emphasis on emotion, according to Gondry himself in an interview for The Film That Changed My Life by journalist Robert K. Elder. Much of his inspiration, he says, came from the film Le voyage en ballon.
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 began with creating music videos for the French rock band Oui Oui, in which he also served as a drummer. The style of his videos for Oui Oui caught the attention of music artist Björk, who asked him to direct the video for her song "Human Behaviour". The collaboration proved long-lasting, with Gondry directing a total of eight music videos for Björk. 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 has also created numerous television commercials. He pioneered the "bullet time" technique later adapted in The Matrix, (he met Joel Silver, the producer of the movie and he had no choice but accept the deal for a small amount) in a 1998 commercial for Smirnoff vodka, as well as directing a trio of inventive holiday-themed advertisements for clothing retailer Gap, Incorporated.
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 (also his second collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman), was released in 2004 and received very favorable reviews, becoming one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. Eternal Sunshine utilizes many of the image manipulation techniques that Gondry had experimented with in his music videos. Gondry won an Academy Award alongside Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth for the screenplay of Eternal Sunshine. The style of Gondry's music videos often relies on videography and camera tricks which play with frames of reference.
Gondry also directed the musical documentary Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2006) which followed comedian Dave Chappelle as he attempted to hold a large, free concert in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. His following film, The Science of Sleep, hit theaters in September, 2006. This film stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, and marked a return to the fantastical, surreal techniques he employed in Eternal Sunshine.
According to the Guinness World Records 2004, Michel Gondry's Levi's 501 Jeans "Drugstore" spot holds the record for "Most awards won by a TV commercial". The commercial was never aired in North America because of the suggestive content involving purchasing latex condoms.
In September 2006, Gondry made his debut as an installation artist at Deitch Projects in New York City's SoHo gallery district. The show, called "The Science of Sleep: An Exhibition of Sculpture and Pathological Creepy Little Gifts" featured props from his film, The Science of Sleep, as well as film clips and a selection of gifts that the artist had given to women he was interested in, many of them former or current collaborators, Karen Baird, Kishu Chand, Dorothy Barrick and Lauri Faggioni. A leitmotif of the film is a 'Disastrology' calendar; Gondry commissioned the painter Baptiste Ibar to draw harrowing images of natural and human disasters.
Gondry was an Artist in Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 and 2006. Later directing the music video for the Paul McCartney song "Dance Tonight", in which Gondry makes a cameo appearance. Gondry directed "Unnatural Love," the fifth episode in season two of HBO's Flight of the Conchords. Interior Design one third of the 2008 anthology film Tokyo! was next for Gondry. Interior Design was based on the comic book "Cecil and Jordan in New York" by Gabrielle Bell but was adapted from New York City to Tokyo for the film.
In 2009, The Thorn in the Heart, another feature documentary, was released, it is about Michel's aunt Suzette and her son Jean-Yves. In 2011, Gondry directed The Green Hornet, a superhero film by Sony starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz; Rogen co-wrote the script. In 2011, he was the head of the jury for the short film competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Gondry lives in Brooklyn, New York.
- Human Nature (2001)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
- The Science of Sleep (2006)
- Be Kind Rewind (2008)
- The Green Hornet (2011)
- The We and the I (2012)
- Mood Indigo (2013) (based on 'Froth on the Daydream' by Boris Vian)
- L'expedition fatale (1986)
- Jazzmosphère (1987)
- My Brother's 24th Birthday (1988)
- La lettre (1998)
- The Letter
- One Day... (2001)
- Pecan Pie (2003)
- Ossamuch! – Kishu & Co. (2004)
- Tiny (2004)
- Three Dead People (2004)
- Drumb and Drumber (2004)
- Michel Gondry Solves a Rubik's Cube with his Nose (2007)
- Tokyo!: Interior Design (2008)
- Haircut Mouse (2013)
- Vingt p'tites tours (1989) Co-director
- I've Been Twelve Forever (2003)
- Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005)
- The Thorn in the Heart (2009)
- Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky (2013)
- Flight of the Conchords, Episode 17: 'Unnatural Love' (2009)
- Jimmy Kimmel Live!, January 13, 2011 (guest director)
- Henry Keazor, Thorsten Wuebbena, Video Thrills The Radio Star. Musikvideos: Geschichte, Themen, Analysen. Bielefeld 2005, p. 90ss., p. 288ss. ISBN 978-3-89942-728-8
- You'll Like This Film Because You're In It (2008). PictureBox
- Markus Altmeyer, Die Filme und Musikvideos von Michel Gondry. Zwischen Surrealismus, Pop und Psychoanalyse, Marburg 2008. ISBN 978-3-8288-9764-9
- Henry Keazor, "`Emotional Landscapes´: Die Musikvideos von Michel Gondry und Björk“, in: Klanglandschaften, ed. by Manuel Gervink and Jörn Pieter Hiekel, Hofheim 2009, p. 45 – 63. ISBN 978-3-936000-59-7
- Henry Keazor/Thorsten Wuebbena, "Introduction" and Giulia Gabrielli, "An Analysis of the Relation between Music and Image. The Contribution of Michel Gondry", in: Keazor, Henry; Wuebbena, Thorsten: Rewind, Play, Fast Forward. The Past, Present and Future of the Music Video. Bielefeld 2010; ISBN 978-3-8376-1185-4, p. 16 – 18 and p. 89 – 109
- Sexton, Jamie (2007). Music, Sound and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7486-2534-5.
- Gondry, Michel. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life. By Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p151. Print.
- Guinness World Records 2004. Little Brown & Co. 2003. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-892051-20-2.
- (French) http://www.infosjeunes.com/Steak-en-DVD-le-20-decembre-2007_a70285.html
- Dream Factory – artnet Magazine
- Baptiste Ibar
- Method Studios – Olivier Gondry
- Memory Almost Full EPK YouTube. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
- "Michel Gondry Directs Flight of the Conchords Episode". Flicks News. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- "Michel Gondry to head short film jury at Cannes". BBC News. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- Leffler, Rebecca (April 24, 2012). "Cannes 2012: Michel Gondry’s 'The We & The I' to Open Director's Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- "2012 Selection". quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Directors' Fortnight. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- Fox, Jesse David (January 3, 2013). "Watch Michel Gondry’s Very Michel Gondry Short Haircut Mouse". Vulture (blog). Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- Michel Gondry at the Internet Movie Database
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Michel Gondry|
- Official website
- Michel Gondry at the Internet Movie Database
- Michel Gondry at AllRovi
- Michel Gondry at MVDBase.com
- Le Monde de Michel Gondry French website dedicated to Michel's work
- AOL Interview about 'Be Kind Rewind' that looks at how Gondry has matured as a filmmaker.
- Le Romantique New York Times Magazine profile on Michel Gondry (09/2006)
- Washington Post: Michel Gondry (03/2006)
- Advocate.com: Remembrance of Things Past The Advocate interview
- Associated Press article that links Gondry's dreams to his work.
- DirectorsLabel.com co-founded with Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham
- Partizan represents Gondry alongside many other directors for commercials and music videos worldwide
- BBC Imagine... A unique Exquisite Corpse which Michel Gondry has contributed to
- "Dream Factory" by Ben Davis, Artnet Magazine
- "How My Brain Works" Gondry interview with Scott Thill of Bright Lights Film Journal
- Interviews SiouxWIRE interview compilation
- Michel Gondry's Crew Profile on The 1 Second Film website
- Videography at Clipland
- Website for the book by Henry Keazor & Thorsten Wübbena, Video Thrills The Radio Star. Musikvideos: Geschichte, Themen, Analysen. Bielefeld 2005, p. 90ss., p. 288ss. ISBN 978-3-89942-728-8 which features in-depth-analysis of Gondry's music videos and references to sources