Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
A visionary journey into a punk-rock future where three rebellious teenagers rise up against their government and discover that ruling the world is not as easy as it seems, based on a universe created by Michel Gondry's son Paul.
Michael Gondry, renowned for his visual escapism and audacious visuals, brings us a sombre, almost exclusively down-to-earth low key picture of the life and times of a section of the Gondry family. Focused primarily on his Aunt Suzette, a retired school-teacher is a secluded village district, Gondry subtly paints a picture of an ordinary family and its trials and tribulations. Save for the odd bits of quirky animation, a train-set functioning as a time device and a bit of cinematic fun with invisible children, Gondry goes full frontal bare minimum on us, largely escaping more inventive cinematography, instead for a more sombre, albeit simultaneously ecstatic presentation of tidbits of family history.
Aunt Suzette is an endearing person, as is her somewhat estranged, even resentful, son Jean Yves. Firmly on their shoulders the almost prosaic movie does delivers moments of restrained satisfaction, much like peeking at home movies of your neighbours. Venturing a bit through time and touching on some grinding internal family issues, Gondry's documentary is a slight odd ode to the Gondry clan, which at times feels too personal to actually be suited for a publicly attainable feature. The movie even features significant snippets of private collections of 16mm home-made movies, which, largely unedited, imprint an even more voyeuristic feel to the viewing. By the end credits I did come to like the family, and even developed an affinity for the warm demeanour of Michael Gondry himself. Suzette as well as draws you in and surprises with small tidbits of prolific wisdom as well as her heartfelt remembrance of days past. This is probably the type of movie most of us would dream of doing - a summary of a life of someone dear to you kept forever on celluloid.
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