rented the work of director michel gondry, vol. 3 of the “director’s series”. i’d seen the chris cunningham DVD (best known for his vid of bjork’s “all is full of love” and aphex twin’s “come to daddy” and “windowlicker”) and had been disappointed by the paucity of content and lack of range. not so w/ the gondry DVD. gondry is prob. best known for his bjork vids (such as “human behavior”) and his lego vid for the white stripes, and more recently from his direction of eternal sunshine (which i haven’t seen yet, but am jumping to do so after seeing this).

this collection is extremely generous and has two sides filled w/ some 20+ music vids, a few commercials, some 10+ short videos, some interviews w/ artists (inc. segments w/ the seemingly verbally and personality-challenged lead singer of the foo fighters), and a mostly perfunctory autobiographical documentary in two parts. there are recurring techniques and ideas, but also a very satisfying amount of variety, much of it in that sort of charmingly eccentric french way. something that makes gondry unique is his ability to create videos that you want to watch several times in a row. in a short clip w/ spike jonze, jonze says (loosely paraphrased) that gondry taught him that making a music vid is like being a magician: you keep the audience’s attention fixated on one hand; meanwhile you’re assembling tricks right under their noses with the other.

luckily for me his 7 bjork vids turned out to actually be his least interesting. highlights for me included: videos for cibo matto, daft punk, and the chemical brothers. i was also psyched to have my first exposure to oui oui, an endorphin-inducing french band he started in as drummer and whose videos were gondry’s earliest successes in the genre. (unfortunately the band seems to be pretty obscure; haven’t been able to find anything of theirs on amazon.fr.)

my absolute fav, though, was his vid for kylie minogue. i didn’t really know a whole lot about her other than she’s sort of the australian/UK madonna (although i vaguely knew that her only US hit really thus far was that familiar club staple “can’t get you out of my head”), but the video is utterly addictive and, perhaps as a sign of how successful the video is, i’ve really gotten into the song as well. i don’t want to tell you anything about the video b/c the surprises are a big part of it, but i can tell you that i’ve watched it at least 15 times and each time i still notice something interesting in it. a very, very, very cool mini-masterpiece.

so i guess now i can declare myself to be a fan of gondry. i’m currently exploring the kylie territory. borrowed a CD from andy and like it. it’s the type of pop that i think most americans would find too saccharine, but being a long-time fan of erasure it doesn’t bother me too much. will be digging up another album of hers sooner than later probably.


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