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Whimsicality is a tough old nut to crack in cinema, with filmmakers attempts so often contrived. However one man that has walked that tight rope so often before – triumphantly – is Michel Gondry, and the man behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, now returns with his latest endeavour Mood Indigo, where he’s as surrealistic and whimsical as he’s ever been.
We had the great pleasure of sitting down with the unique filmmaker to discuss his latest project, as he told us what it was about this renowned Boris Vian novel that inspired him to make a movie, and he explained his decision to be so creative with this piece, and the balancing act between the more intimate aspects of the narrative, with the grandiose.
- Stefan Pape
To mark the release of Mood Indigo on 1st August, we’ve been given a Prize bundle to give away including an original Mood Indigo poster signed by the Oscar winning Director, Michel Gondry, a rejacketed edition of the Boris Vian original novel for Mood Indigo, DVDs of Paris (with Romain Duris) and Coco before Chanel (with Audrey Tautou).
Based on the cult novel by Boris Vian and directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), Mood Indigo tells the surreal and poetic tale of Colin (Romain Duris, Populaire, Heartbreaker) and Chloe (Audrey Tautou, Coco before Chanel, Delicacy) and their idyllic love-story. Set in a fantasy version of Paris, their romantic adventure is turned on its head when Chloe falls sick and discovers a water lily growing in her lung…
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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
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
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
Audrey Tautou is no stranger to whimsy — she starred in Amélie, after all — but she’s never made a movie quite like Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo. Truth be told, nobody has: In addition to an unusual story that finds Tautou’s character falling ill because of a water lily growing in her lungs, Gondry dresses up the movie around her with all manner of visual tricks, from stop-motion animation to bizarre-yet-practical special effects. Still, there may be no better effect in the movie than the impish sensibility that Tautou comes by quite naturally. Last week, she called up Vulture to discuss her love of Michel Gondry and problems with the red carpet.There are so many creative special effects in Mood Indigo. Which was your favorite?Maybe because I’m 7 years old, but I really love the special effect with the doorbell [where it crawls around and is smashed »
- Kyle Buchanan
When the lights went down at New York's packed Paris Theatre for the world premiere of Woody Allen's Magic In The Moonlight, starring Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins, Simon McBurney, Hamish Linklater and Marcia Gay Harden, a very special festive hush descended over the star-studded audience.
Among those attending the Dolce & Gabbana - Sony Pictures Classics (Michael Barker & Tom Bernard) invited screening were Audrey Tautou, John Turturro, Oliver Stone, Fed Up's Katie Couric, Danny Strong, Gina Gershon, Josh Lucas, Christina Hendricks, Dane DeHaan, Dana Delany, Mia Moretti, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Anna Wintour, Christine Baranski, Olivia Palermo, Michael Stuhlbarg, Regis Philbin and Soon-Yi Previn.
"Tell me, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
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
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
Paris– Studiocanal is set to reteam with Michel Gondry on “Microbe et Gasoil,” the French helmer’s follow-up to “Mood Indigo.”
Pic is a comedy turning on two left-of-field teenagers, Microbe and Gasoil, who, instead of spending their summer vacations with their parents, decide to build their own car and embark on a doomed yet colorful road trip across France.
Shooting will take place in Ile de France (Paris and its suburbs) and Bourgogne between August 4 and late October.
Studiocanal worked with Gondry on his latest feature film, “Mood Indigo,” a romantic fantasy pic based on Boris Vian’s “Froth on the Daydream.”
Gondry, whose »
- Elsa Keslassy
All-purpose director Ron Howard brings the requisite cinematic flash to novelist Dan Brown's twistacular tale of Catholic intrigue, killer monks and mythical relics. Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, the tenacious Harvard professor who hooks up with Audrey Tautou's cryptologist to discover the whereabouts of the Holy Grail. The oddly un-Christian attitude of Paul Bettany's murderous monk is just one intriguing part of the byzantine riddle. »
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
Michel Gondry's "Mood Indigo" finally arrive in U.S. theaters this weekend, and he's celebrating by getting back to work. He starts shooting in a few weeks on his next film, "Microbe et gasoil," and he's now attracted a big name to the film. Chatting with Nerdist, Gondry revealed he'll be working with "Mood Indigo" star Audrey Tautou once again for his next film, and went on to describe the plot. "She’s going to be in my next film," he said. "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. 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 »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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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