INTERVIEW: Director Michel Gondry on his latest ‘Be Kind, Rewind’


Michel Gondry started his career making handmade fantasies for popular performers: As an in-demand video director, he worked with everyone from Björk to The White Stripes to Beck to The Rolling Stones. He made the move to features in 2001 with the underrated, barely released Human Nature, scripted by Charlie Kaufman. They collaborated again, to wider acclaim, on 2004's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, which won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their script with Pierre Bismuth. In 2006, two very different Gondry films offered further proof that his sensibility could work at feature-length: the dreamy, melancholy romantic fantasy The Science Of Sleep and the exuberant concert film Dave Chappelle's Block Party.

Chappelle was originally attached to Gondry's latest film, Be Kind Rewind, but he stepped away from the project. Like Block Party, it settles mostly on a single city block. There, Danny Glover runs a video/thrift store/Fats Waller museum, which the city is threatening to close. While Glover is away, the store's all-VHS film collection is accidentally erased, leaving manager Mos Def and local character Jack Black to keep the store afloat by remaking all the films with themselves as the stars. When The A.V. Club spoke to Gondry during a Chicago stop, he made it clear that he thought self-produced entertainment would be a fine idea.

(Source: AV Club)

Directors, Filmmaking, Interview

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