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While those this side of the English Channel may not have heard of it as such, Boris Vian’s influential 1947 novel Froth on the Daydream is one that has become almost ingrained in French, teenage society, as a piece of literature that is something of a staple, must-read amongst a younger, impressionable crowd. Gaining a cult-following in the process, the much celebrated, innovative filmmaker Michel Gondry seemed the perfect fit to bring this fantastical tale to the big screen. However in this instance, the director’s inclination for contrived whimsicality devalues an otherwise enchanting love story.
Of course the story demands a surrealistic, wondrous approach, given the ethereal, dreamlike nature of the tale – but what can be achieved on paper does not always amount to a triumph on screen, as some things are best left to our wildest imaginations. To help bring this tale to the big screen (renamed Mood Indigo »
- Stefan Pape
Michael C. returning for duty. I'll be joining Nathaniel on the weekly new film review duties so you'll get two each weekend instead of just one.
My reflex reaction is to be protective of Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, and not simply because the director exists in a permanent state of grace for giving the world Eternal Sunshine. It’s because his latest film is such an easy target. To come branded with the moniker “quirky” is to risk immediate snide dismissal by those who would sooner face a firing squad than offer a stamp of approval to anything with hipster appeal, and Mood Indigo may well be the quirkiest thing that has ever happened. It is the black tar heroin of twee.
This film is such a perfect culmination of Gondry’s work up to this point, it’s a surprise to learn it didn’t originate in his »
- Michael C.
We talk to one-of-a-kind filmmaker Michel Gondry about his new film Mood Indigo, Eternal Sunshine, Philip K Dick adaptation Ubik and more...
Over the period of 20-or-so years, Michel Gondry has steadily built up a voluminous and relentlessly individual body of work, ranging from commercials and experimental short films to full-length features. Although Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind is arguably Gondry’s best-known and most acclaimed work, he's also made such films as Be Kind, Rewind, The Science Of Sleep, his quirky collaboration with Noam Chomsky, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, and The Green Hornet, while flawed, has much to enjoy in it.
Mood Indigo is Gondry’s latest feature, and once again, it’s hand-crafted, warm and decidedly dreamlike. Based on the novel L'Écume des jours by Boris Vian, it’s about a young man named Colin (Romain Duris) who falls in love with a »
In a season where studios are spendings hundreds of millions of dollars on special effects to help tell fantastical stories, once again Michel Gondry is showing Hollywood how it's done. On a much smaller scale, and with far less cash, "Mood Indigo" presents no less an imaginative story, full with no shortage of Gondry-esque touches. And today we have some special items for Gondry fans. Starring Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy, Aïssa Maïga and Charlotte Le Bon, "Mood Indigo" is based on the cult novel by Boris Vian and follows the the wealthy bachelor Colin, who falls headlong into a dizzy romance with Chloé. But when she succumbs to an unusual illness, one that causes a flower begins to grow in her lungs, Colin discovers the only cure is to surround her with a never-ending supply of fresh flowers. It's the perfect kind of story for Gondry to tackle, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Maverick French director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) concocts another out-there conceit focussing on a woman (Audrey Tautou) who is diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs. Her lover ( Romain Duris) - a wealthy bachelor who is trying to perfect a piano that can also make cocktails - throws himself into the pursuit of a cure. »
I just reviewed Michael Gondry's "Mood Indigo," but I'll add that a week or so after seeing it, there are images from the movie that randomly pop into my head each day. While narrative and logic may not be Gondry's primary interests when he's making a movie, images are, and there's no faulting him for the way he's created these visual ideas that make "Mood Indigo" feel like something I dreamed, not something I actually saw. The film begins to expand to more screens this weekend, and Drafthouse Films decided to celebrate by sending us an exclusive clip that I think does a wonderful job of laying out how sublimely silly Gondry's world is for this film. With clips from giant summer movies or most studio fare, you probably already know whether or not you want to see something. Sure, it's nice to get a peek at something if you're excited about it, »
- Drew McWeeny
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
“Mood Indigo,” the latest from the Michel Gondry dream factory, is something of a cinephile's movie. The playful whimsy merchant might be closing a book or opening a new one, since the picture almost feels transitional. All the Gondry staples are there—the dreams that fold into reality, the un-acknowledged fantasy, the entirely-too-pleased-with-itself practical effects. But this feels different. Some will find this romantic fantasy the uber-Michel Gondry text, indulging in all his worst tendencies. But if anything, this is like the head-in-the-clouds fantasist finally closing his beloved sketchbook and facing the rest of the world. In the Gondry role of the enterprising, selfish, dapper young man is Romain Duris, the sharp-jawed charmer who has represented Gaellic shorthand for easygoing charisma and traffic-stopping handsomeness. As Colin, a layabout inventor with a wild mind, he concocts implausible and unnecessary devices like a rotating table that serves drinks, or a »
- Gabe Toro
As one might expect from Michel Gondry, his new film, Mood Indigo, features surreal scenes, set pieces and sight gags that one wouldn't expect to see in reality. But almost all the inventive creations seen in the film really existed on set, star Audrey Tautou tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I never shot in front of a greenscreen or a bluescreen," the actress says, explaining that she and co-star Romain Duris really took a magical ride over Paris in a floating vehicle designed to resemble a cloud and danced with giant jazz legs, as shown in the movie. A
- Hilary Lewis
What will you be watching this weekend? Here are nine films now in theaters or available to stream. I Origins Dir. Mike Cahill, USA | Fox Searchlight Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Archie Panjabi 51% Fresh | New York Times: "It may blow your mind, but only if you're not in the habit of using it." Read our interview with Mike Cahill Mood Indigo Dir. Michel Gondry, France | Drafthouse Films Cast: Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Omar Sy, Aissa Maiga 54% Fresh | New York Magazine: "An elaborate, endless clown-car of whirligig contraptions and unreal images, with little bursts of romantic melancholy peeking out here and there." Wish I Was Here Dir. Zach Braff, USA | Focus Features Cast: Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad 36% Fresh | Salon.com: "It is sometimes maudlin, sometimes trivial and sometimes very moving, but never less than achingly sincere." Aftermath Dir. Peter Engert, USA | Image »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Mood Indigo feels like a line in the sand. For the anti-appreciates of Michel Gondry‘s style, it could almost be taken as a dare. “You don’t like twee whimsy? Here’S Even More Of It.” For fans of the director, it comes across as a test. “You love this cotton candy stop-motion quirk? We will shove it down your throat for two hours (an hour and a half in the Us cut).” In previous Gondry films, flights of fancy came within specific settings, like dreamworlds or sweded movies. The entire universe of Mood Indigo is a cacophony of magical doohickeys, alien practices and other phenomena that go both unexplained and uncommented-upon. Alarm bells skitter around on insect legs. People go on dates in flying cloud machines. When they dance, their bodies contort into weird, often unsettling ways. A contraption called a pianocktail mixes drinks based on what keys you hit on a piano. And »
- Dan Schindel
In a world where anything can be created in a computer, we need filmmakers like Michel Gondry more than ever. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director has a real affinity for practical, tangible special-effects that have a certain handmade charm, and he's never stuffed more of them into a movie than he has with his new effort, Mood Indigo, a whimsical tragi-romance where the courtship between Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou is threatened by a water lily growing inside her lungs. (For more proof of Mood Indigo's out-there visual sensibility, check out our collection of crazy GIFs from the film.) Gondry called up Vulture yesterday to discuss how he made the movie his own, his sometimes-confusing friendship with Dave Chappelle, and why he wasn't as successful a music-video director as you might have thought.Is there any part of Mood Indigo that we might be surprised to find »
- Kyle Buchanan
Michel Gondry had a Tin Drum moment on the red carpet for his Mood Indigo*, starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris with Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy, Aïssa Maïga and Charlotte Le Bon. Boris Vian transformed into Günter Grass with a Volker Schlöndorff image stuck in and out of Gondry's head ending up in Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation With Noam Chomsky and out of a faucet in Mood Indigo. Tautou and Duris walked the red carpet in 2013 at The Paris Theatre - she for Claude Miller's Thérèse Desqueyroux and he for Régis Roinsard's Populaire.
Audrey Tautou at Mood Indigo New York premiere: "I was really intrigued by the imagination and phantasy of this universe." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
David Byrne, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Courtesy of Drafthouse Films
If you’re in New York, make sure to catch Audrey & Michel at the Landmark Sunshine tonight, tomorrow & Saturday for exclusive Q&As.
Mood Indigo Clip Honeymoon from We Are Movie Geeks on Vimeo.
Director Michel Gondry will appear in person on Thursday, July 17 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show.
He will also appear with actress Audrey Tautou on Friday, July 18 for Q&As after the 5:00pm and 7:15pm shows and to introduce the 9:30pm show. On Saturday, July 19, Michel Gondry will appear in person for Q&As after the 4:00pm and 6:00pm shows.
In her review, Amy Nicholson (La Weekly) writes the film is, “bitter candy, a heartbreaker that uses sugar as a trap. »
- Melissa Thompson
As a director, Michel Gondry has never been afraid to engage in a bit of visual whimsy: Just think of the “Baby Joel” scenes from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Green Hornet’s fight sequences, the “dream preparation” bit from The Science of Sleep, or nearly any clip from Gondry’s long and delightful music-video résumé. (The man is not afraid of a little bit of yarn and a lot of stop-motion animation.) Still, even audiences who are used to Gondry’s inventiveness may be surprised by the sheer amount of visual quirks he’s packed into his newest film, Mood Indigo. The movie’s unusual premise — Colin (Romain Duris) must attend to the love of his life (Audrey Tautou) when a water lily begins to grow in her lungs — may actually be the most down-to-earth thing about it, because rarely a minute passes by in Mood Indigo »
- Kyle Buchanan,Lindsey Weber
The actress will reunite with the director after starring in his latest film Mood Indigo.
"It's a sort of coming-of-age movie with two teenagers who are outcasts, and you see them sort of struggling with the rest of the class at school," Gondry told Nerdist.
"They eventually build a car, and they go and cross France with their special car that they've built. But they've built the car in the shape of a house so the cops cannot arrest them.
"They are not of an age to drive, so when the cops drive by, they stop the car and it looks like a house. So they have many funny adventures. It's quite imaginative, but it's gonna be shot in a very realistic manner."
Tautou features opposite Romain Duris in Mood Indigo, which will be released on July »
This weekend, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel heat up the screen in the raunchy comedy "Sex Tape," Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) takes flight once again in "Planes: Fire & Rescue," Season 3 of "Hell on Wheels" hits Netflix on Saturday, in time for its Season 4 premiere August 2, and women have stopped bearing children in the dystopian drama series "The Lottery," premiering this Sunday on Lifetime.
Also in theaters this weekend: "The Purge: Anarchy" follows a couple, a mother and daughter, and a vengeful father as they all try to survive the lawless night in this sequel to last year's "The Purge." "Wish I Was Here" stars Zach Braff as a 35-year-old man at a major crossroad, forcing him to reexamine all aspects of his life -- particularly his family. Braff also wrote and directed this Kickstarter-funded project. "I Origins" stars Michael Pitt as a molecular biologist who uncovers startling scientific evidence »
- Jonny Black
From the moment it sputters to low-fi life, "Mood Indigo" is unmistakably the work of Michel Gondry, a sweet and sad little song of longing with the most visually inventive approach to emotion in any film this year. It is a strange surreal world that Gondry has created, one with no rules other than if someone in love starts coughing, that's not a good sign for them making it through to the end of the film. Gondry is a romantic, no doubt about it, and he's also a guy who rejects the idea of living a "normal" life, meaning his lead character is a man-child who drifts through his days, his whole mind focused on whimsy and the ridiculous. The worst thing in the world in this film is the notion of getting trapped into doing a "normal" job. Gondry seems to view that as death. Sure, he's working from a novel by Boris Vian, »
- Drew McWeeny
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