I Netflixed a DVD of work from Michel Gondry. Before he gained mainstream recognition through Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind he used to do music videos.
In a time when the music industry is criticized for being bland and unoriginal, it’s great to see videos particularly like these. One of the things that is common in these videos is something that, for lack of a better term, I’m going to call “visual rhythm”. For example, he did a video of Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers. It’s really interesting because camera is from the point of view of a train, as if it were attached on the outside. But, the objects passing outside are IN SYNC with the beat of the song. A kick drum is represented by a gate, and a snare is represented by a barrel or something. So, if you hear a string of 16th note snares, you SEE a string of barrels roll across the screen.
There’s also a video of Daft Punk’s Around The World. People tend to hate this song because of it’s incessant “Around the world, Around The Worlllird” vocals. But Gondry’s video is really fun because each group of dancers is assigned a part. The stage is this round thing, the back is elevated. So there are stairs…like a Q*Bert board without cubes. So, you see dancers do the bass line by climbing the stairs on the left slowly and then rushing down the stairs on the right.
The best thing that I’ve seen is video of Gondry getting out of a bathroom stall, washing his hands, and from the stall emerges a giant turd who is none other than MR. DAVID CROSS!! The turd chases Gondry asking “Why did you try to murder me?!”
I’ve got to watch the rest of this. There are two sides, this is only Side A.