From LA To New York
September 24, 2004 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Michel Gondry. Inventor of the Matrix-style "Bullet Time". There's a cool DVD out now with a collection of his music videos and juvenilia.
posted by meehawl at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2004

Gondry is a blessed font spewing out the New. More here.
posted by gwint at 1:34 PM on September 24, 2004

Gondry is a fucking genius. My boyfriend and I just watched a bunch of his music videos, and they're simply the coolest music videos ever made -- there was one in particular that he made for the Chemical Brothers, of the side of the road zipping past a camera mounted in a car, and Gondry was able to synthesize/sync-up the passing streetlights roadsigns silos houses perfectly with the rhythm of the tune. Subtle and breathtaking.

(To say that Gondry was "the inventor of Matrix-style 'Bullet Time'," however, is to leave out half the story. Sorry for the self-link, but scroll down to the mentions of BUF Compagnie and Paul Debevec for the rest of the Bullet Time tale.)
posted by digaman at 1:42 PM on September 24, 2004

Gondry is the shit. Check out his video for Cibo Matto's "Sugar Water". His "Directors Label" DVD from Palm Pictures is worth its weight.
posted by John Shaft at 1:56 PM on September 24, 2004

Goddamit, another idea of mine stolen. I had an idea like this about 5 years ago, only it was a little different. I was going to have a feature-length video with 1.5 hours of music. Each of the different song would feature a different car and locale that suited the music. So, a Beastie-Boys remix while cruising in, say, an Escalade rolling down the QBE into Manhattan at night. Or a '67 Mustang cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with, say, the Orb.

The other problem (besides not owning any video equipment and having no DJ skills to speak of) was that each section had to be a continuous shot. Traffic would have severely interrupted the 'flow' of the music, requiring almost all the sections to be shot at night.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:00 PM on September 24, 2004

Boy, I hate the <embed> tag. Direct link to video:
posted by Nelson at 2:00 PM on September 24, 2004

Yes. That "Sugar Water" video is like Borges.
posted by digaman at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2004

This video is great simply to view traffic on NYC streets moving at faster than a snail's pace.
posted by adamms222 at 2:03 PM on September 24, 2004

Digiman, that sounds like the Star Guitar video, shot out of the window of a train...
posted by rajbot at 2:04 PM on September 24, 2004

Though I generally don't turn out to like the songs he does videos for, Gondry is brilliant. Also, very polite, as I learned in a Q&A session following Eternal Sunshine in which people asked him retarded or offensive questions that made me squirm in my chair, and he deftly and diplomatically rolled with them.
posted by Hildago at 2:11 PM on September 24, 2004

sorry rajbot, that's it, thanks.
posted by digaman at 2:13 PM on September 24, 2004

This is one of the best things I've seen, er.. this week. And wheeeeeee! do I love Gondry.

I loved the section where the car ends up in the garage. For some reason it just made me chuckle. :)
posted by 40 Watt at 2:19 PM on September 24, 2004

Coralized for your pleasure.
posted by SteelyDuran at 2:22 PM on September 24, 2004

This reminds me of the car sequences in Koyaanisqatsi.
posted by zsazsa at 2:55 PM on September 24, 2004

*ducks head* I thought that was boring, sorry. *sneaks out*
posted by adrober at 3:19 PM on September 24, 2004

Very sweet. Sweet as in totally fookin' kickass...

I even recognised some roads out west I've driven.

C_D: Don't worry, traffic set to music is always good. I have a whole stack of 20 sec clips from around the world (including Bangkok!) waiting to be cut up & set to music. One day. Maybe...
posted by i_cola at 3:35 PM on September 24, 2004

Because I'm a dork and a Koyaanisqatsi fanboy, I encoded a video clip (5MB, AVI file, plays in VLC for the Mac folksi) of one of the car sequences I mentioned above. Only clicks from MeFi are allowed to prevent bandwidth theft, so make sure you hav nothign blocking your referrer string.
posted by zsazsa at 5:24 PM on September 24, 2004

Thanks, thanks, Armitage Shanks.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2004

See also LA to Oregon at Mach 9. Well, not right now actually as the video seems to be down but the site is still there.
posted by euphorb at 7:22 PM on September 24, 2004

Didn't do much for me, but I'm definitely not a fan of his work. And I genarally can't stand the songs he does videos for (this one was no exception). Then again, anything that keeps him busy and away from narrative feature filmmaking is aces with me.
posted by dobbs at 8:19 PM on September 24, 2004

Well, that's the nattering nabob of negativity angle covered.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:27 PM on September 24, 2004

Michel Gondry actually made me enjoy a Kylie Minogue song, so that's saying something. I like this, though for some reason it bugs me that I suspect the mechanic thing was set up. Not that 100% of other videos aren't set up.

Also, hooray for sites using Quicktime instead of RealPlayer.
posted by lisa g at 9:12 PM on September 24, 2004

In a way, the real stars of this film are the state roads and US routes he took in preference to the Interstates, at least for the daylight driving scenes. It takes a long time to get anywhere that way but it's the difference between a trip worth experiencing in itself, as opposed to one that you endure in order to get it behind you as quickly as you can.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:11 PM on September 24, 2004

This is cool. Reminds me of the BBC's London to Brighton in 3½ minutes film.
posted by chill at 1:29 AM on September 25, 2004

zsazsa, I got a "Forbidden" error trying to look at your Koyaaanisqatsi link. Hope you'll fix it soon! That movie resonates for me.
posted by alumshubby at 6:32 AM on September 25, 2004

Lovely stuff.

I'm a big fan of Michel Gondry's stuff. If I ever need cheering up I just have to watch his Je Danse Le Mia video - it really is fantastic and a great tune too. The DVD of his work is a must have for any music video fan (Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham are also available in the same series).
posted by dodgygeezer at 9:11 AM on September 25, 2004

Lisa, of course the mechanic thing was set up. It's a music video...I'll bet a good portion of it was set up specifically to look good. In fact, if you look carefully there's a few spots where Gondry's carefully manipulated the timing of certain key events on the film to match the music, much like "Star Guitar", although to a much more subtle end.

I don't think that takes away from the coolness of it though...
posted by 40 Watt at 1:56 PM on September 26, 2004

I too thought it was boring. Doesn't hold a candle to the boredom of making the trip for real, though.
posted by bingo at 2:19 PM on September 26, 2004

A friend of mine who has worked with Gondry asked me to take a roadtrip with him this past summer. I think our trip could have been the inspiration for this video. We even had to put the car in the shop about 3/4 of the way through. check out the blog ronnie kept

and judge for yourself
posted by chris0495 at 7:09 AM on September 27, 2004

« Older PS2 Birds with One Moan   |   Oops I blew it up again Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments