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Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself

Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself Hot Docs 2024
As this documentary is directed by someone quite close to Michel Gondry for nearly three decades, it comes off as quite surface-level.

Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself

Runtime: 01:20
Synopsis:
If Méliès had a son, it would be Michel Gondry. A brilliant jack-of-all-trades whose eccentric talent convinced the creative elite of international pop music to entrust him with his music videos (Björk, the Rolling Stones, Daft Punk, The White Stripes, Beck, etc.) before allowing him to chart his own course in Hollywood-without ever renouncing his rather crazy style-and to become one of the rare Oscar-winning French filmmakers (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). From hand to eye, Michel Gondry has been offering us for thirty years to seize what surrounds us to create and tell the world. A work that is a constant praise of wonder through craftsmanship: whether we approach his relationship to music and his beginnings as a videographer; the notion of magic inherent in his conception of the image; its roots in childhood and the world of dreams; the paradox of his Hollywood career; and the humanist ambition of its craftsmanship… which is also a political act. Do it yourself.

Table of Contents

The career of filmmaker Michel Gondry is looked back upon in . Beginning as the drummer for the band Oui Oui, Michel Gondry became an influential music video director for artists such as Björk, Daft Punk, the White Stripes and the Chemical Brothers. Moving into feature films in the mid-2000s, Michel Gondry made his mark with films such as Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, and The Green Hornet, all while sharing a friendly rivalry with fellow music video-turned-feature filmmaker Spike Jonze.

Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself Synopsis

Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself is a documentary about the French filmmaker's career directed by François Nemeta, who has spent the last 25 years working as an assistant for Michel Gondry. The film details how Michel Gondry was influenced by the silent films of Georges Méliès and became a pioneer in using stop motion in music videos and even invented bullet time for a commercial before the Wachowski's used it for The Matrix. Michel Gondry's career in North America reached its peak when he co-won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Charlie Kaufman.

My Thoughts on Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself

As Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself is directed by someone quite close to Michel Gondry for nearly three decades, this documentary comes off as quite surface-level. Other than talking heads describing Gondry's filmography as chaotic, the film gives no real criticism of the filmmaker, whose North American relevance peaked two decades ago. While Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind remains one of my all-time favourite films, I sadly have to shrug off this documentary as little more than a fluff piece.

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.