Tag Archives: Michel Gondry

Human Nature – Michel Gondry (2001)

Directed by Gondry, written by Charlie Kaufman and starring Patricia Arquette. Would that be reason enough to watch a comedy? I am not entirely sure.

The story is of course pretty absurd and has some elements critical to modern society. Arquette runs around in an Eve’s costume half of the film too. The film is too light for my liking though.

Arquette plays a hairy girl who decides to retreat into nature, but later returns to society. Her husband is the ultimate example of man trying to ‘enlighten’ nature: he tries to teach table manners to mice. When the two run into a wild man, Nathan (the husband) sets out to socialize “Puff” by teaching him how to behave at a classical concert and other things that apparently makes men civilized.

“Human Nature” has some nice, subtle humor (and some of the more absurd kind) and a message, but I cannot see much more in it than very light entertainment.

l’Écume Des Jours * Michel Gondry (2013)

Adrey Tautou against plays in a lightfooted, absurdistic comedy. ‘The froth of the days’ (international title “Mood Indigo”) is even weirder than the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Well, maybe not weirder than each and every Jeunet, but certainly a lot less black. Another title of Gondry is “Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind“, also a weird film, but in a very different way.

“l’Écume Des Jours” starts with a series of completely weird scenes, strange findings and plays of script-writing; absurdistic and funny. We follow a wealthy young man, Collin, who has a wonderfull house where he dines with his friend Chick, aided by his cook Nicholas. There is no beginning to tell you the odd serial of events, but you sure have to have a heart for the completely strange. Collin wants to fall in love and finds the excellent candidate Chloé, played by Audrey Tautou. The two have a weird and wonderfull time until Chloé gets a strange decease. Trying to help his friend and his wife, Collin works himself into bankruptcy. The film looses its light touch.

Just like the only other film of Gondry that I saw so far, this is again an original piece of script-writing and a film that dangles between feel-good comedy and drama. A very nice film.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind * Michel Gondry * 2004

How the hell did I manage to miss this film? Is it because Jim Carrey is in it or because I don’t know the director or was it just hardly announced in the Netherlands? In any case, the title comes from the poem Eloise To Abelard by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) (How happy is the blameless Vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot; Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d. (excerpt)). This is indeed a very typical way of giving the story of the film. A company appropriately named “Lacuna” found a way to erase those memories that their clients choose. The impulsive Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) decides to erase the memories of her unlikely relation with Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) when the relation becomes boring. Joel on his part decides to do the same, since Clementine doesn’t remember him anymore anyway and he is caught by the pangs of love. The larger part of the film plays in the memories of Joel which are being erased by the operators of Lacuna. The ‘memorized’ Joel finds out what is happening and tries to prevent is. He runs from one memory to the other, even to his suppressed memories. Meanwhile he hears the persons who are doing the operations on his physical body talking, flashback rush through, but everytime things vanish as another memory is erased. This is done very nicely and confusingly and it may remind you a bit of the film “Being John Malkovich”. This is not an accident, since the story is again by Charlie Kaufman. It is safe to say that “Eternal Sunshine” is as good (or as bad if you don’t like this kind of films) as that film; surprising, well-invented, a nice atmosphere and very good acting (I could even stand Carrey).