Michel Gondry, Partizan

By Ti Published on .

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For the level of influence he's had on directors, film lovers and the craft of modern filmmaking and sheer effortless cool generated, Michel Gondry can be considered the Clash of commercials and video artists. After Levi's "Swap," Gondry has been devoting his time of late to his second feature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a Charlie Kaufman-penned film, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, which travels directly up Gondry's alley, toying, as it does, with time, memory and the inner workings of the mind.

You're obviously known as a visual innovator, but your work always manages to have a humanity to it. How do you balance technique and storytelling? "I try to find creativity in every step of the work - from the story, the elaboration of the character to the technical problems to be solved. To me, there's no job too big or too little. I think the way I solve problems at any level is how I mainly express myself. Furthermore, I always try to find a position of equality between the actor or the singer I'm shooting and myself. I always imagine they're my friends or a family member when I'm behind the camera."

What are the most important elements in the 30 second story? "I try to keep some elements of magic, which are not there only to tell the story."

What is the unifying element to your work? "That's for you to decide. On my end, I always try to go each time in the most opposite direction. Maybe the invisible connections between the different projects are defining me the most. I really don't know."

What did you learn from your first feature, Human Nature, that you're applying to your current film? "I actually filled up an entire notebook with things I discovered while working on my first film. I wrote down all the stuff I didn't like in the movie and solutions to improve them. I read the notebook every morning while shooting Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's a bit of advice I would give to everyone: Write down all your thoughts and problems in a notebook, then when you're rested and not too depressed anymore, think of solutions, answers, and write them down in the same book. It works."

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