A Cinephile's Labyrinth
Michel Gondry is like that kid in high school that was always making movies with his friends in the backyard with wooden swords and a dog dressed up to look like a dragon. The difference is that when the rest of those kids tried to put down childish things so they could hurry and grow up, Michel held onto the fabric of his youth.
Michel carried that youthful imagination with him as he directed brightly colored music videos full of DIY special effects for artists like Bjork, Foo Fighters, Daft Punk and The White Stripes. After creating a distinct look that was very much his own, Michel moved to the big screen with dreamlike films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Science of Sleep and Be Kind Rewind.
His latest film L’ecume Des Jours (Mood Indigo) stars Audrey Tautou who plays Chloe, a young lady whose life begins to unravel due to complications from a flower growing in her lungs. The films trailer shows that the director is still just that kid with the gigantic imagination making films in his backyard.
While in France, Gondry met up with director Tiffany Limos and showed gave her a tour of his favorite video store. The tightly packed video store served as treasure chest of inspiration for Michel as he prepped for films. As Limos’ camera rolls, Michel introduces the shop owner, and shows off some of his favorite titles.
We talked with Tiffany Limos about the film:
Milk Made: Tell us about how this short film came about, whose idea it was and why you wanted to make it?
Tiffany Limos: Michel and I have collaborated for years and I happened to be in Paris… it was my idea to film him and I wanted to make the film as a memory of 2012 while he was editing L’ecume des Jours.
MM: Have you known Michel for a long time?
TL: I have known Michel for many years, more than a decade. I always love collaborating with Michel. We have collaborated on many projects such as the documentary Block Party and a music video I helped produce for him and Kanye West called Heard’em Say
MM: Where is Video Club and how did you find it?
TL: The video club is next door to Michel’s flat in Paris. Its a place that Michel took me too when we were working on The Science of Sleep. I laughed out loud because they had Larry Clark‘s Teenage Caveman on display (a Tarantino favorite) I knew it was a cinephile haven at that point.
*MM: What is it about this shop that felt like the right setting for you?
TL: I’m a cinephile and Michel is a cinephile… its the perfect setting for true cinephiles. The lost art of having a videostore is what appealed to me… Christophe Petit & Francois Petit are like family… What more could one want?! A great library of videos and owners who unpretentiously help guide your video seeking interests.
MM: Gondry talks about the importance of shops like the Video Club where you can discuss films, find out about cinema and reach out and touch the films as you go.
Is this something that is also important to you? Do you need to feel that there is a physical side to your art?
TL: I grew up in a videostore practically. I was the only kid in my city, Mesquite, Texas, that was a true cinephile. Going to a videostore is important to me because any true cinephile can tell you that it aids in their process of filmmaking and it definitely aids in mine.
MM: What is it like working with Gondry?
TL: Out of all the directors I work with, Michel is the the most fun because he makes me laugh out loud constantly. Michel will be a long term collaborator of mine. He has always been there for me when it comes to work and life, I appreciate him very much. He’s the BEST!
MM: What is the overall message you want people to come away with when they watch?
TL: To support your local video stores. Not having these video stores around will mess up the equilibrium of cinema. They are becoming extinct now.