He’s come a long way – for the cinema, anyway. Lately, too many things have kept Michel Gondry away from the big screen where he had become a valuable auteur with films as original as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Science of Sleep (2006) or Be nice, rewind (2008). But after an intense period which saw him move from a big Hollywood machine (Green Hornet2011) to a small docufiction filmed in the streets of the Bronx (The We and the I, 2012), something was broken in the former king of music videos, inventor of a DIY cinema that is particularly appreciable in these times of the all-digital rush.
With its adaptation of The Foam of Days (2013) by Boris Vian, he came across a bone: too much money, too much interference, too many expectations. Then, despite a start with an autobiographical childhood film, Microbe and Diesel (2015), nothing more. Eight long years of silence (relative, in fact: the most connected will have seen a few clips and short films, some animated, on the internet). In The Book of Solutions, a film launched at the Cannes Filmmakers’ Fortnight, Michel Gondry explains: during the post-production of The foam of days, he “lost his temper”. Rearranged in The Book of Solutions in comedy form, the episode becomes very funny. But the matter is serious and, since then, the eternal pre-teen (12 years of ideal mental age claimed) who has just turned 60 has been taking care of himself.
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