Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New to Me: Michel Gondry "Swedes"

I love Michel Gondry. I want to have a little door in the wall that I can go through to live in his world (or maybe his brain) for brief amounts of time.  But the documentary about him, "I've Been Twelve Forever," that I watched in a Childhood & Film class (courtesy of John Cech) makes me suspect I couldn't handle extended periods with Gondry. 

I feel like if I were in a relationship with Gondry, somehow his constant eccentricity would be an irritating reminder of my own non-genius, and I'd retreat into a simmering fury over how he never remembered to pick up toilet paper or milk. But brief little snippets, like this "swede-ing" of "Taxi Driver," would be perfect. He lives in Brooklyn, so the corridor between our doors wouldn't even have to be that long.


  1. You don't have to feel bad about never having seen a David Cronenberg picture, because I had never seen a Michel Gondry anything!! until yesterday, I watched "Eternal Sunshine" (and I'm gonna watch "Science of Sleep" pretty soon!). You know, it made me reflect on a topic I've been sort of researching in comic books, the way that there're two languages -- words and pictures -- that tell a story in a comic, usually in support of each other. But potentially there can be two narrators and two stories in conflict -- similar to something like Eternal Sunshine, where the visual storytelling uses dream imagery and logic while the characters are trying to understand/explain what's happening in ordinary, concrete terms. Except movies don't usually have a "narrator" as such, and regular books don't have images, so that tension between either believing what you're told or what you're seeing doesn't generally arise -- and as to whether it exists in the real world...?? P.S. That clip was pretty funny. Now I want to swede a movie.

  2. Ok, fair enough. I've got some semi-obscure director cred :)

    "Science of Sleep" is one of my favorite movies. Apparently it was inspired by his ex-girlfriend/their break up.

    I think with movies where images and words are in conflict, the viewer is the narrator (and that's maybe true of any movie), and it's intentional that we each shape our own narrative.

    I think the concept exists in the real world in the psychological manipulation of "gaslighting." But that may not be getting to the heart of what you're saying about words vs. images.

    I'm trying to come up with examples in other mediums that are similar to "Science of Sleep" and "Eternal Sunshine." Nothing is coming to my tired mind.

    But the ability to play with all these ideas is one of the things I envy about graphic art + words. You can do it just with words, but it's clunkier, because you've usually got to have the narrators alternating, or else you've got something really experimental in form and structure that resists the suspension of disbelief for me.