Talented french director Michel Gondry, strikes again with his last movie "The Science of Sleep". I invite you to visit the dedicated micro-site of the film... it should give you an overview of what it is all about : a creative and innovative mind, lost between dreams and reality. Plus it is fun, fresh, crazy, poetic, and features the film soundtrack. In other words... worth the click.
The synopsis given by Warner Independent pictures is :
"The Science of Sleep, a playful romantic fantasy set inside the topsy-turvy brain of Stephane Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal) an eccentric young man whose dreams constantly invade his waking life.
While slumbering, he is the charismatic host of "Stephane TV," expounding on "The Science of Sleep" in front of cardboard cameras. In "real life," he has a boring job at a Parisian calendar publisher and pines for Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), the girl in the apartment across the hall. While Stephanie is initially charmed by Stephane, she is confused by his childishness and shaky connection to reality. Stephanes co-worker, Guy (Alain Chabat) a vulgar but practical man, offers advice on the opposite sex, but Stephane is too far in the clouds to listen. Unable to find the secret to Stephanies heart while awake, Stephane searches for the answer in his dreams."
Now this said, here is a little tribute to Michel Gondry. This is definitely not intended to be a complete biography (you can find a tons of information on Kevin Holy's very documented site or on Michel Gondry's official site, in french...). This is more like a little reminder, for those who think they don't know Gondry (come on, I'm sure you do!).
Gondry made his reputation as a video clip director. He met Björk in 1993 and this was the beginning of a long business relationship based on mutual understanding and respect for each other's work. He directed quite a few of her videos. "Human Behaviour" won all the possible video awards the year it was out. Then "Army of me" (this one I loved for the crazy universe he created, and "Isobel" (black & white poetic voyage), etc.
Besides Björk, Gondry directed many videos, for the most famous artists in the world... always coming with an unexpected point of view : Massive Attack "Protection" incredible sequence and camera movement, Rolling Stones "Like a rolling stone" using a unique photographic technique, Daft Punk "Around the world" stunning studio choreography with a funny dark pop style, Beck's "Deadweight" where he explored the dream vs reality cocktail (Mmmmh!). In 2003 he used Lego blocks for The White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Girl", etc. His last video (until now) is Cody ChesnuTT's "King of the Game", graphic fantasy he directed it in 2006.
Ok, ok, let's imagine you never saw any of these videos, then... you must know him as an advertising film director. His innovative, ultra-creative, surprising style must have been at least once screened by your eyes. Smirnoff "Smarienberg" in 1995, Levi's "Drugstore" (Cannes Advertising Film Festival Gold Lion in 1996), Levi's "mermaids" in 1996, Air France "Le Passage" in 1999 and "Le nuage" in 2002 (seems he's been a cloud lover for quite a while), etc. His last ad is Nespresso "The Boutique" (which is not my favourite, after reviewing the above list).
Last but not least Gondry has directed feature films like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Minds" (2004), or "Dave Chapelle's Block Party"... the most known (although this is indeed quite subjective).
I do have a lot of respect for Michel Gondry and his work... He definitely "Thinks Different" and has one of those "crazy" minds always pushing the limits of creativity forward. Now, I have not seen "The Science of Sleep", but given all these elements... you bet I will. I wish I could fly to see it ! Time to go to sleep, or... am I already sleeping?