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December 12, 2006 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Michel Gondry solves a Rubik's Cube with his feet. Guess how he does it. (youtube)
posted by fungible (40 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, way to throw in a spoiler. :P

Very slick though. I'm impressed that he's got that much toe dexterity at all.
posted by Mercaptan at 7:22 PM on December 12, 2006


I used to do this too, it's a great trick in a big company, however, not with my feet.

In my office drawer I'd have a few Rubik's Cubes messed up in a pattern I'd memorized, and one on my desk. When someone would come into my office and ask me a technical question that was simple (e.g. are .html files the same as .htm files?) I would pick up the Rubik's cube on my desk, and start turning it. I'd ask them first what prompted the question, and then solve the puzzle in 25 turns, and answer the question for them.

If they commented on the cube, I'd toss it to them and tell them to mess it up for me. If they wanted me to solve it again I'd have them toss it to me, fumble it in my desk and pull out a properly messed up one.

This worked best on management types. I developed a management relationship in that company not unlike Getafix to the villagers in the Asterix comics.

In watching the video it is easy to assume that Gondry is playing with a random cube. Like Mercptan I am impressed wih his dexterity.

note: I don't do this anymore. Now I yo-yo.
posted by DragonBoy at 7:39 PM on December 12, 2006 [5 favorites]


(he's not playing with a random cube)
posted by DragonBoy at 7:40 PM on December 12, 2006


With his feet?
posted by mss at 7:41 PM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Dragonboy: That's what I thought initially too. But that's now how he does it.
posted by Mercaptan at 7:41 PM on December 12, 2006


"not", not "now"
posted by Mercaptan at 7:41 PM on December 12, 2006


Well, I'll stomp on it:

Why does some random guy walk thru the scene a couple of times? To give direction to time's arrow, perhaps?
posted by hexatron at 7:42 PM on December 12, 2006


Spoiler:

It's video played backwards of Gondry taking an already-solved Rubik's Cube and messing it up with his feet. Which actually makes the whole thing that much more impressive, because that means that the guy walking around in the background was actually walking backwards, and that the audio is faked too.
posted by joedan at 7:44 PM on December 12, 2006


And I just noticed the title for this piece. That telegraphing--5 points off!
posted by hexatron at 7:45 PM on December 12, 2006


I know there are cube-solving algorithms. But upon thinking further, I realized the real trick. Very cute.
posted by luftmensch at 7:46 PM on December 12, 2006


and that the audio is faked too

There's no onscreen audio to fake, it's just dropped in audio.
posted by dobbs at 7:50 PM on December 12, 2006


I heart Michel Gondry. If you get a chance, I highly recommend the DVD of his music videos, which includes lots of behind the scenes stuff and general wackyness like this.
posted by zardoz at 7:54 PM on December 12, 2006


Guess how he does it.

Check. Now I'm trying to guess why he does it.
posted by trip and a half at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2006


I forget how long ago it was - before Eternal Sunshine - but one day I was surfing around on the web and realized that all of my favorite music videos (Daft Punk's Around the World, Foo Fighter's Everlong, hell even Lucas' Lucas with the Lid Off, and so many others) were all done by one director... and then I rented his DVD and realized he did so much more....
posted by deliquescent at 8:00 PM on December 12, 2006


Given how impressive his efforts have been with very elaborate SFX in music videos and such, I like that Gondry's using an incredibly simple, no-budget "trick" to make this cute little video.
posted by bunglin jones at 8:05 PM on December 12, 2006


I wish I could have his babies.
posted by piratebowling at 8:20 PM on December 12, 2006


Damn it, I meant FX, not SFX.
posted by bunglin jones at 8:36 PM on December 12, 2006


OK, it's Spike Jonze, not Gondry, but what the hell... drrrrop!
posted by gwint at 8:39 PM on December 12, 2006


Given how impressive his efforts have been with very elaborate [FX] in music videos and such, I like that Gondry's using an incredibly simple, no-budget "trick" to make this cute little video.

I think the results of much of Gondry's work—music videos and all else alike—are 'very elaborate,' but his ways of achieving the effect are always imaginative and elegantly simple.

Pecan Pie
posted by carsonb at 8:52 PM on December 12, 2006


Gotta admit, though -- the guy who walked forwards/backwards through the scene did a pretty believable job. Usually when people walk backwards through scenes to later be reversed into walking forward*, they look all robotic and uncanny valley-ish.

*Not like it happens a lot anymore, but Coppola did some stuff like that in his Dracula remake, and there's that long, goofy backwards/forwards scene in Top Secret.
posted by redshifter at 9:20 PM on December 12, 2006


actually, watching the video again, the guy walking buy is moving rather strangely (it's a bit after 1:15) he's very, 'wobbly'
posted by delmoi at 10:00 PM on December 12, 2006


I think the results of much of Gondry's work—music videos and all else alike—are 'very elaborate,' but his ways of achieving the effect are always imaginative and elegantly simple.

When I described his use of effects as elaborate I was thinking of that Kylie Minogue thing where she multiplies all over the town square, but, yes, I think you're right - for the most part, he does use simple techniques to great effect.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:04 PM on December 12, 2006


Of all the things I want to see before I die a French film director solving the Rubik's cube with his feet is not one of them.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:18 PM on December 12, 2006



When I described his use of effects as elaborate I was thinking of that Kylie Minogue thing where she multiplies all over the town square, but, yes, I think you're right - for the most part, he does use simple techniques to great effect.


A good example of this in Eternal Sunshine is when Jim Carrey's character is back at his childhood home. Gondry just made a large room (tables, chairs, sink, etc.) rather than rely on CG or anything like that. He's got a lot of cool techniques and has certainly made many of the most memorable videos from the past ten years or so.
posted by The God Complex at 11:20 PM on December 12, 2006


I hear he also made the science of sleep backwards and with his feet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:37 PM on December 12, 2006


Michel Gondry is my most favourite director ever. I second the recommendation on his music video DVD.
posted by tickingclock at 12:09 AM on December 13, 2006


A friend of mine in college - smart, but not extraordinarily smart - learned in a short time to solve any cube, in <2 minutes with a few practicable algorithms. admittedly i did not bother to learn them, but afaict there was nothing remarkably complex about them (i saw the list of moves [see this pattern. . . do this . . .] which were given to him by his fundy xtian math teacher). just took him memorizing the moves and practicing them for a few months. so if gondry already has the dexterity to manipulate the cube with his feet, the, uh, feat chosen to bewilder with a gimmick was unfortunate. sort of like writing 70 lbs my 40 lb barbell, or speeding up a video of me treadmill by 40%. he probably i>could do that with a minimal bit of practice.
posted by dgaicun at 12:46 AM on December 13, 2006


OK, that post looks nothing like it did when I formatted it! I used capitals, dammit.
posted by dgaicun at 12:49 AM on December 13, 2006


Browser memory. Here's a screenshot. WTF??
posted by dgaicun at 1:00 AM on December 13, 2006


Matt's fucking with your head.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:56 AM on December 13, 2006


I bet it was your use of the "less than sign" - <.
posted by bshort at 7:57 AM on December 13, 2006


KRUSTY: Now, Johnny, whatcha got for us? Jokes? A little magic?
JOHNNY CARSON: "Actually, I thought I'd lift this 1987 Buick Skylark over my head."
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:33 AM on December 13, 2006


That's awesome and I loved it please.
posted by Milkman Dan at 8:34 AM on December 13, 2006


With my stinky feet, Messing with your cube, I am in your office
posted by srboisvert at 8:50 AM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Are all the Rubik's cube videos on YouTube fake? Like, say, this one? (Some cynics claim it is, but I'd be heartbroken if they were right.)
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 9:54 AM on December 13, 2006


Now that the cat's out of the bag, here's another: Pavlov's Bell by Aimee Mann.
posted by dhartung at 10:10 AM on December 13, 2006


Now that the cat's out of the bag

Don't believe it...it's a backwards video of someone putting a cat in a bag.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:54 AM on December 13, 2006


AJ, I thought those blindfold videos must be fake, but it would be really tough to fake the "whipping off the blindfold" after completion movement backwards. There is one of a girl with long hair doing it, and she pulls her blindfold right off her head and down along her ponytail before tossing it. You couldn't do that backwards.
posted by JBennett at 12:35 PM on December 13, 2006


In the 1950's incarnation of the NBC 'Tonight Show', hosted by Steve Allen, there were occaisonal 'backwardsnessers'.

I particularly remember the game of 'Stop Ball'--a small white ball was stopped dead by an exquisitely-timed block with a golf club. Film of a golfer, shown backwards. I liked it at the time. (Compared to what--Arthur Godfrey)
posted by hexatron at 7:26 PM on December 13, 2006


So what's the trick with this guy?
posted by tombola at 3:29 AM on December 14, 2006


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