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The Playlist

Blessed Are The Forgetful: Remembering ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ On Its 10th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 18, 2014 3:33 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
It’s 2008. April-ish. Manchester. My girlfriend of 18 months and I have just broken up. The first really serious, vaguely grown-up relationship, the one that makes you understand why people put themselves through all of that stuff. It's been on its way for a while, but the plug was finally pulled in a phone call, one that we both cry our way through. Eventually, we hang up. I could get on with this new life, or I could drink myself into warm, nauseous oblivion until I don’t feel the absence anymore. Behind me, on the wall (tatty, faded, and with the top-left corner hanging off, because I haven’t yet taken that step into the crucial and significant part of adulthood where you stop using Blu-Tack and start framing your shit), is a poster for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Watch: Video For Metronomy's "Love Letters" Directed By Michel Gondry

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 11, 2014 9:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Metronomy Love Letters
Cardboard props, bright colors, a poppy buzzy song that's practically coated in sugar? Yep, sounds like the right ingredients for a video directed by Michel Gondry.

Watch: 30-Minute Conversation Between Michel Gondry & Linguist/Philosopher Noam Chomsky

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • December 5, 2013 12:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Michel Gondry’s latest film, the Noam Chomsky documentary “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy," made its theatrical premiere just over two weeks ago. The movie combines Gondry’s unique, whimsical style of animation with a series of conversations the director had with Chomsky. One of our own writers was quite smitten with the film, describing it as “a reverse 'Drunk History'—surreal, humorous visualizations of sober ideas with their own internal logic.” Thankfully, the film’s release allowed for the chance to see Michael Gondry and Noam Chomsky together once again in a 30-minute chat during last month’s NYC DOC Festival.

Review: Michel Gondry’s Noam Chomsky Documentary ‘Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 20, 2013 5:16 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Twice in 2010, director Michel Gondry met with Noam Chomsky for a series of conversations about the philosopher, linguist, and author’s childhood in Philadelphia and his theory of generative grammar. The film that resulted, “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?,” gives no reason beyond curiosity for this collaboration, but it is all we need — how else should any worthy project be assembled? “If you’re willing to be puzzled, you’re able to learn,” Chomsky says at one point. To his credit (and without affectation), Gondry doesn’t cloak the fact that he is often perplexed by his subject. Because of his confusion though, we are able to learn quite a lot.

Michel Gondry Talks Making Sense Of Noam Chomsky In New Animated Doc, Cutting ‘Mood Indigo’ & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 20, 2013 10:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, Michel Gondry
The prospect of holding ones weight conversationally with one of the world's most prominent thinkers is daunting enough, but in sitting down with cognitive scientist and activist Noam Chomsky for the animated documentary “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?,” director Michel Gondry chooses a personal path through the intellectual distance. Illustrating Chomsky’s ideas on linguistics and his childhood memories via Gondry’s hand-drawn 16mm animation, the film is at once dense and incredibly playful, packed with the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director’s trademark visuals and Chomsky’s logical clarity whether explaining the emergence of language or simply what makes him happy. We sat down recently with Gondry to discuss the film, his decision to cut down his latest effort “Mood Indigo,” and why Roman Polanski shoots Paris better than any French director—but first Gondry described how his path crossed that of Chomsky in the first place.

10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 13, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers
Many years ago, The Playlist started off as a blog dedicated to soundtracks, scores, music movies and the rest of the middle part of the Venn diagram where the worlds of music and film collided. Though we’ve evolved since then, that overlap is still something close to our hearts. One way those worlds are inextricably interlinked is in the number of directors who come from a music video background to work in features, and with most of us being that precise age that we can still remember the first heyday of the music video, it never ceases to surprise us how many of the promos we remember best were shot by filmmakers we now associate primarily with features. Arguably the form is experiencing something of a renaissance in relevance these days, not just via YouTube, but also with high-profile bands like Arcade Fire embracing and expanding their music videos’ artistic potential, even while the Robin Thickes of the world grab some extra headlines with risque or provocative content.

Watch: New Trailer For Michel Gondry's Animated Noam Chomsky Documentary 'Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2013 3:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So what happens when you pair fantastical director Michel Gondry with noted linguist Noam Chomsky? Well, it's pretty much as you might expect; a hybrid of their personalities on film, with the filmmaker's whimsy paired with Chomsky's musings in a movie that could only be called, "Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?"

Watch: New Ads Directed By Michel Gondry, Roman Coppola, Jordan Vogt-Roberts & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 18, 2013 10:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The commercial world provides all kind of opportunities for filmmakers either looking to make their name before leaping to features or established directors trying to keep their skills sharp between gigs, while taking home some extra pocket money. And so today, we bring you a handful of new ads from some filmmakers of note, so let's dive in...

Michel Gondry Worked With A New Editor On The Shorter International Cut Of 'Mood Indigo'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 21, 2013 5:49 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While even the mere suggestion that a film will be re-edited, cut or tweaked for theaters sends up a reactive, pearl-clutching shock from cinephiles, it's not uncommon. David Lowery snipped 10 minutes of "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" from his Sundance cut before it opened in theaters last week, and even the forthcoming "Una Noche" has gone through some slight revisions before its impending arrival this weekend. Granted, those are not quite as potentially altering as the rumored changes requested of Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer," nor the 36 minutes of footage removed from "Mood Indigo." But it's a good reminder that sometimes, even directors know their films need a second look.

International Version Of Michel Gondry's 'Mood Indigo' Is 36 Minutes Shorter Than The Original Cut

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 8:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
"You ain't been blue, till you've had that mood indigo," goes the classic jazz standard "Mood Indigo," and fans of Michel Gondry will indeed be feeling that way upon this morning's news. The director's latest is still without a U.S. distributor, while it continues to open in various international territories, and has played a couple of festivals too (Karlovy Vary and New Zealand). However, it appears those folks outside of France, are getting a very different movie than the one Gondry released in his home country this spring.

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