Thursday, February 15, 2007
Sound in movement
"Marie Antoinette" Soundtrack CD 1
"Marie Antoinette" Soundtrack CD 2
"Little Miss Sunshine" Soundtrack
"The Science of Sleep" Soundtrack
"Like Stéphane (the character played by Gael García Bernal), Gondry once held down a dead-end job at a Paris calendar publisher. Like Stéphane, he once nursed a forlorn crush on a casual female acquaintance. In real life, his love was not reciprocated. In the film, it sort of is, although during the production Gondry was not entirely certain of this and had to ask Charlotte Gainsbourg (the actor who plays the girl) for reassurance. Afterwards, he felt happy and relieved. [...]
He made "Human Nature" and the Oscar-winning "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in tandem with the writer Charlie Kaufman. He collaborated with the comic Dave Chappelle on the eponymous Dave Chappelle's Block Party.
"The Science of Sleep" is his first outing as both writer and director - the first one he can truly call his own.
While film lacks the pure emotional wallop of "Eternal Sunshine", it remains a beguiling, sugar-frosted fantasy, utterly unlike anything else currently doing the rounds. It also boasts a lovely chemistry between Bernal and Gainsbourg as the mismatched playmates who may just become lovers.
Of course, movies have a knack of bamboozling the viewer. Previously, I had always imagined a similar connection between Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine. Off-screen, however, this turns out not to have been the case.
"Much more difficulty," Gondry says. "They were very different personalities and I think they are coming from such different backgrounds that they are having to stretch to meet. They did an amazing job, but it was a lot to ask for them to become friends."
This thorny relationship was reflected across the entire production. "We had two producers, one from New York and one from LA, so different backgrounds again. Then you had Charlie Kaufman and Jim Carrey, two strong personalities. And I was in the middle. I would talk to Jim Carrey and listen to his ideas. And I liked them, but they were -" he gestures across the room - "way over here." Like what? "Well, I remember he would go, 'Oh, maybe I'm eating a cake and my house is inside the cake.' Or, 'Maybe I suddenly lose my eye and I'm rotting and it's like a horror movie.' And I would never even dare to pass these ideas on to Charlie Kaufman. His views were very different."
Gondry insists he never feels resentful that "Eternal Sunshine"
is generally viewed as a Kaufman film, with the director playing second fiddle. "People write these things in newspapers, so it's obvious they gravitate towards the writer," he shrugs. "Yet film is a visual language, not a written one. So when people say I can't tell a story because I'm coming from videos, it's very dismissive of what movies really are."
"English is more direct, more confident," Gondry says. "I had an English girlfriend after breaking up with Paul's mother, who is French. I would never say 'I love you' in French. It is too definitive. If you say it once, that's it. It's like saying, 'I will die for you.' In England, you can say it casually."
He pauses to ponder this conundrum; this thicket of missed connections and language barriers, gaudy dreams and cold realities. Eventually he is forced to let it lie. "I wish there was an easy answer," he sighs. "It is very complexicated".