This DVD features the work of director Michel Gondry, including music videos by The White Stripes, Kylie Minogue, The Chemical Brothers, Bjork, Beck, Foo Fighters, Daft Punk and Cibo Matto, also Drumb and Drumber, La Lettre, Pecan Pie (starring Jim Carrey
The Work of Director Michel Gondry
invites the lucky viewer into a wonderland of childlike imagination. Before the Versailles-born Gondry turned his creative ingenuity to feature films (beginning with the underrated Human Nature
and the 2004 Jim Carrey comedy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
), these 27 music videos and assorted "stories and things" formed a legacy of supreme cleverness, suggesting a creative lineage from the pioneering film magic of Georges Méliès to the groundbreaking experimental films of Norman McLaren. It's perfectly fitting that the accompanying 75-minute documentary is titled "I've Been 12 Forever," because Gondry (b. 1964) never lost the sense of wonder and inventiveness that children display when their minds are allowed to flourish in a creative environment. No wonder he's best known for his dazzling collaborations with Icelandic pop star Björk, resulting in music videos (seven included here) that redefined the magical potential of the medium. Each, in its own way, is a masterpiece of the fantastic.
What's also remarkable about Gondry's work is its technical progression, from the homemade crudeness of his earliest videos for the French band Oui Oui, to the technical wizardry of Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World," in which the Australian pop star is seamlessly multiplied as she strolls around a busy Parisian intersection; like many of Gondry's videos, it's a stunning "how-did-they-do-that?" work of art, reminiscent of Zbigniew Rybcynski's prize-winning 1982 short "Tango." From the hilarious dreamworld of the Foo Fighters' most popular video "Everlong" to the painstaking pixilation of Gondry's videos for the White Stripes (one made entirely of animated Lego blocks), this DVD is packed with Gondry's tireless pursuit of perfection; he'll do whatever's necessary, no matter how simple or complex, to achieve perfect harmony between song, artist, and visual concept. All the while, he's drawing from a seemingly endless well of inspiration, as evident in the delightful 52-page booklet of stories, drawings, photos, and interviews that chronicle the eternal sunshine of a brilliant mind. --Jeff Shannon