The Creative Mind of Michel Gondry - La Maison Française
French filmmaker extraordinaire Michel Gondry was born in Versailles, France, where pop music and artistic creativity heavily influenced his youth. A gifted and imaginative individual, he joined the band Oui Oui and attended art school, allowing his skills to develop through multiple mediums.
With his wildly inventive style and unique manipulation of mise-en-scène, Gondry has become one of the most visually innovative directors of our time, working with artists such as Björk and Daft Punk for music video collaborations as well as with filmmaker Charles Stuart Kaufman.
His collaborations with Kaufman, particularly for the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, paved the way for his success in Hollywood, marked by Gondry’s Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2004. Michel Gondry has spent his career living between the United States and France, and has directed films in both English and French.
This Franco-American influence, mixed with his mastery of surreal visual effects, makes him a remarkably unique director in the world of cinema.
To celebrate Gondry’s genius, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy is proud to present The Creative Mind of Michel Gondry, a series of three of his most powerful and imaginative cinematic masterpieces.
The Science of Sleep (La Science des rêves)
2006 – France – 106 minutes
November 12 | 7:00 p.m.
Perfectly encapsulating Michel Gondry’s wildly creative visual style, The Science of Sleep dips in and out of the vivid dreams of the protagonist: Stéphane Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal). As Stéphane’s imagination interferes with his ability to interact with the material world, he develops a complex relationship with Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), his neighbor and fellow artistic soul. Jealousy, despair, love, and confusion characterize the movie’s multi-layered plot and the relationships of its characters. The distinction between fantasy and reality gradually disappears as the film progresses, intertwining the world of dreams with reality as Stéphane navigates his social and work life through a surreally imaginative lens.
Mood Indigo (L’Ecume des jours)
2013 – France – 131 minutes
November 26 | 7:00 p.m.
An adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1947 novel Froth on the Daydream, Mood Indigo follows the love story of Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloe (Audrey Tautou) alongside that of their mutual friends’ Chick and Alise. Fictitious terminology and play-on-words add an imaginative touch to the plot, which Gondry’s echoes in his visual style. Following illness and tragedy, the aesthetic of the film evolves from colorful and whimsical to monochromatic and tragic as the film progresses.
2004 – USA – 108 minutes
December 10 | 7:00 p.m.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is arguably Michel Gondry’s most famous film. Soft-spoken Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and unrestrained free spirit Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winselt) erase each other from their memories after a painful break up and meet again on a train to Montauk, New York. While they believe to be total strangers, the truth eventually surfaces, bringing a myriad of complex emotions into their relationship. The plot bounces between the present and past, toying with the concepts of memory and romantic love. With elements of a psychological thriller and a nonlinear narrative, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind plunges the audience into a whirlwind of passion and pain as Joel and Clementine determine their fate for a second time.
November 12 - Deсember 10, 2019
Embassy of France - La Maison Française
4101 Reservoir Road, NW - Washington, DC