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L’écume des jours

lecume_des_joursThe new film from Michel Gondry (English translation, ‘Mood Indigo’), who directed such fan favorites as ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ and ‘The Science of Sleep’, is fantastic. Although he had directed a fair amount of videos in the late 80s and early 90s, it wasn’t until Björk chose him to direct the video for her debut solo single, ‘Human Behaviour’, that he started to make a name for himself. Gondry’s unique and groundbreaking visuals matched her personality and sound and it grew into a partnership in which he ended up directing eight of her videos over the years (including the equally fantastic ‘Bachelorette’). When he first ventured into film I was excited and even though I really enjoyed ‘Eternal Sunshine’ especially, it felt to me his precise visual style seemed to be missing to a certain extent. I went to this screening, the closing night of the 2014 Boston Independent Film Festival, with no expectations, and what I saw was Gondry fulfilling the potential he had for filmmaking from those Björk videos, and putting it right up there on the silver screen as he always should have. The entire film is just bursting with utter joy from beginning to end. The creativity of the visuals pop at EVERY turn. The characters full of life and just so over-the-moon to be unapologetically PARISIAN (including Audrey Tautou, from everyone’s favorite French film, ‘Amélie’). It’s rare for me to watch a film these days where I find myself having a huge smile on my face from beginning to end, but what Gondry manages to not only think up, but successfully convey on screen, really can only make one happy. It’s kind of like watching the beginning scene from ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ where Pee-Wee is making breakfast with that huge contraption in his bright, beautiful kitchen, and it just puts the biggest smile on your face. This movie is that stretched out to 90+ minutes. Funny enough it does end on a sad note, with the last maybe fifteen minutes losing all it’s color and becoming quite grey, and even though I was disappointed the effervescent feeling that most of this film had did not continue, it matched the story, and upon reflection I thought it was pretty brave for the movie to take that turn and possibly put off some viewers. It really doesn’t get much more original than this (especially for what is essentially a romantic comedy, the way they should be done), and it’s a charming story, and cute and fun, it’s just one of those movies that pushes the art of cinema forward in my eyes and for that it’s a total success. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

love ALLways,

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