French filmmaker Michel Gondry’s ingenious new hand-animated documentary, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, takes an imaginative look at the life of controversial MIT professor, philosopher, linguist, anti-war activist and political firebrand Noam Chomsky. Complex, lively conversations with Chomsky accompanied by innovative, often playful illustrations by Gondry reveal the life and work of the father of modern linguistics and explore his theories on the emergence of language. The film is both a beautifully animated work of art and a vivid portrait of one of the foremost thinkers of modern times and its unique visual style broadens the concept of documentary filmmaking.
In an exclusive interview, Gondry talked about the inspiration behind his visually inventive juxtaposition of animation and documentary, how he used hand-drawn illustrations and humor to bring to life a series of intellectually stimulating interviews with Chomsky on a variety of complex topics, and why he hopes his unconventional approach will help to reveal the humanity of a very complicated thinker and make his ideas more accessible to a broader audience. Gondry, who has a variety of projects currently in development, also discussed plans to adapt Ubik, a sci-fi tale based on Philip K. Dick’s 1969 novel, for the screen. Hit the jump to read the interview:
From director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), The We and The I is an indie drama that looks at the lives of a group of teenagers in the Bronx who ride the same bus route, and how their relationships change and evolve on the last day of school. Among farewells to friends and excitement about the upcoming vacation, there are laughs, love and heartbreak.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Michel Gondry talked about how the idea for this project was inspired by his own experiences, finding a school that was willing to work with the production, the process of finding the characters, and presenting who these teenagers were in a non-judgmental way. He also talked about wanting to explore new ideas for film, what made him want to tell the story of Mood Indigo (L’écume Des Jours), about a woman who suffers from an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs, and why he wanted to work with French star Audrey Tautou. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Our first look at director Michel Gondry’s upcoming film Mood Indigo in motion has surfaced online by way of a French trailer. The film stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou and takes place “in a world where you can travel around on a pink cloud or literally be swept off an ice-skating rink into a hole.” Duris plays a young man/inventor who falls in love with the incarnation of a Duke Ellington song (Tautou). When the women falls ill (a water lily is growing in her chest), the man must find a way to save her life. The film looks sufficiently whimsical and absolutely gorgeous, and as a huge fan of Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I can’t wait to see this new love story unfold.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Mood Indigo also stars Omar Sy, Gad Elmaleh, and Léa Seydoux.
We’ve been bringing you a number of promo posters, images, and synopses from the American Film Market (AFM) over the past week, and today we’ve got a detailed synopsis for director Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) adaptation of the novel Mood Indigo. The French film stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou and takes place “in a world where you can travel around on a pink cloud or literally be swept off an ice-skating rink into a hole.” Duris plays a young man/inventor who falls in love with the incarnation of a Duke Ellington song (Tautou). When the women falls ill (a water lily is growing in her chest), the man must find a way to save her life.
It’s a decidedly oddball narrative, but Gondry is nothing if not inventive so we’re surely in for something truly original. Hit the jump to read the full synopsis. Mood Indigo also stars Omar Sy, Gad Elmaleh, and Léa Seydoux.
Let’s take a look at some acquisitions today, shall we?
- Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, starring Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane, has had domestic rights picked up by Outsource Media Group.
- Funeral Kings, from Kevin and Matthew McManus, stars Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus and Jordan Puzzo and was recently acquired by Freestyle Releasing.
- Michel Gondry’s The We and the I, starring Michael Brodie, Teresa Lynn and Raymond Delgado, has been picked up by the partnership of Paladan and 108 Media.
Hit the jump for images, posters and full press releases.
The first images from director Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo have gone online, and they’re wonderfully surreal. The French film “follows Colin (Romain Duris), the wealthy inventor of an olfactory musical instrument, the pianocktail. He marries Chloe (Audrey Tautou), but unfortunately, she falls ill during their honeymoon thanks to a water lily that enters her lung, and the only way to treat the ailment is to surround her with flowers — and the expense soon drains his funds.” While Gondry’s recent work (The Green Hornet) has lacked the visual panache of his earlier films (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), these first images from Mood Indigo indicate that he’s back into beautifully strange mode.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Omar Sy, Gad Elmaleh, and Léa Seydoux.
A curious little project has come to our attention, and it’s quite exciting. A number of international directors are coming together to helm segments of an animated folk tale anthology called Tales from the Hanging Head. Filmmaker Sara Driver spilled the details on the project, revealing that she’ll be directing a story alongside Alfonso Cuaron, Michel Gondry, Marjane Satrapi, and Emir Kusturica. It’s a series of folk tales for children, linked together by the common thread of metamorphosis. Hit the jump for more.
It has been exactly one year since we posted any Michel Gondry news and that is far too long. Today, we have two Gondry stories for the price of one. To start, Screen Daily reports that Omar Sy (Micmacs) has joined Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Gad Elmaleh, and Léa Seydoux in Gondry’s Mood Indigo, which is based on Boris Vian‘s 1947 novel, L’ Ecume des jours. Per The Playlist, the French film “follows Colin (Duris), the wealthy inventor of an olfactory musical instrument, the pianocktail. He marries Chloe (Tautou), but unfortunately, she falls ill during their honeymoon thanks to a water lily that enters her lung, and the only way to treat the ailment is to surround her with flowers — and the expense soon drains his funds. You probably would have guessed this was a Gondry project when you read “inventor of an olfactory musical instrument”. Filming is set to begin in April.
Hit the jump for news on Gondry’s recently-completed indie film, The We & The I.
With Michel Gondry’s Green Hornet taking in almost $230 million worldwide (before home video), it is one of those films that could easily get a sequel. After all, studios are always looking for franchises, and I’m sure Sony was hoping Green Hornet would be a big enough hit that everyone involved would want to make another one. So when I sat down with Seth Rogen for 50/50 at the Toronto Film Festival, I asked about the status of a Green Hornet sequel. He told me:
“Not any time in the foreseeable future. It’s just not something we’re interested in right now. It’s a lot more fun to make cheaper, much dirtier movies.”
Hit the jump for more.
The Green Hornet director Michel Gondry’s next movie will be an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1966 science fiction novel, Ubik. The screenplay will remain loyal to Dick’s original text.
This will be the second attempt by a French filmmaker to adapt Dick’s famed work. In 1974, Jean-Pierre Gorin commissioned the writer to adapt his own novel to a screenplay. The movie never got made but Dick’s labor didn’t go entirely to waste – it was instead published as Ubik: The Screenplay.
Highly respected in France, Philip K. Dick is perhaps one of the most popular American sci-fi writers in the world – and Hollywood. Hit the jump to find out which classic movies were inspired by his works.
Last year on our podcast, Running Dialogue, /Film’s Russ Fischer described Iron Man 2 as a “happy drunk”, which was a fitting description for the sloppy, yet joyful superhero movie. I would like to steal his phrase and begrudgingly give him credit as I think Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet is a happy drunk as well as a happy stoner and at times a happy cokehead. The film is colorful, vibrant, and has enough of Gondry’s stylistic flourishes without becoming oppressively whimsical. Even when the film starts to drag or the plot becomes muddled and we’re forced to spend time with underdeveloped characters, Seth Rogen’s infectious enthusiasm keeps the mood of the picture light and fun even though his character is an unethical, egotistical jerk. The Green Hornet is a film that succeeds in spite of itself and it’s a happy drunk that won’t leave you with too much of a hangover (despite the unnecessary 3D).
With Sony’s The Green Hornet arriving in theaters this weekend, I got to sit down with the cast and the filmmakers on the Sony lot last weekend. Over the past two days I’ve posted Seth Rogen/Cameron Diaz and Jay Chou (Kato). For tonight’s installment, I’ve got director Michel Gondry.
What I especially loved about talking to Gondry was how relaxed it was. When I sat down, I noticed that he’d created a Green Hornet TV microphone flag and attempted to run the interview like we were on TV. It’s how the interview started and ended. Which was very different and a lot of fun.
Anyway, during our extended conversation we talked about his haircut (really), the buzz on Green Hornet, what did editor Sally Menke bring to the film, how he edited a very cool scene, what might be on the DVD/Blu-ray, and he gave me an update on his animated documentary that he’s doing on Noam Chomsky. So what are you waiting for, hit the jump to watch, read or listen to Green Hornet TV with Michel Gondry!
With Sony’s The Green Hornet arriving in theaters this weekend, I got to sit down with the cast and filmmakers on the Sony lot a few days ago. Since I spoke to so many people, I’m breaking up the interviews and posting a new one every day this week. Yesterday I offered you my video interview with Jay Chou (Kato), and today I’ve got Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz.
One of the many things I love about Seth Rogen is how honest he is. Unlike some celebrities that are careful to say all the right things and never engage in any controversy, if you ask Rogen a question, he’ll tell you exactly how he feels. So when I sat down with Rogen and Diaz, one of the many things I wanted to know was their thoughts on the buzz for their film. Rogen gave me a great answer. On top of that, we talked about the rehearsal process, their chemistry, what Michel Gondry brought to the film, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch the interview:
In anticipation of The Green Hornet‘s January 14th release, director Michel Gondry will helm the January 13th episode of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Via the press release, The Green Hornet star Seth Rogen will be Kimmel’s featured guest with actress Elle Fanning and rock super-group (featuring members of Anthrax, Fall Out Boy, and Every Time I Die) The Damned Things also scheduled to appear.
With his directorial appearance, the Oscar-winning Gondry (via co-writing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will join the likes of Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams as feature directors who have taken over Kimmel’s late-night show. To check out the full press release, hit the jump.
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself. I had to do just that last month when I got a chance to drive Black Beauty from Columbia Pictures’ upcoming The Green Hornet. The decked-out 1965 Chrysler Imperial has been touring the country in promotion of the film, and they made a stop in the Dallas area with an offer for press members to drive the vehicle. Even amidst a packed week, I couldn’t resist the offer so I went out to the Carl’s Jr. to cover the event. Hit the jump to check out a video from inside the car as I take it for a brief spin, tons of pictures, and highlights of my discussion with the handler of the Black Beauty.