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Michel Gondry

Feature film director, commercial director, and award-winning music video director, Michel Gondry, often surprises himself with his own extraordinary ideas. Not one to limit himself to a single creative outlet, Gondry embraces each endeavor with the same creative flourish and always looks to entertain his audience with his latest idea or dream. Gondry also recently received a 2005 Academy Award for his original screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for which he created the story alongside Charlie Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth.

Gondry's most recent film, The Science of Sleep,, world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was purchased soon-after by Warner Independent Pictures. The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) in a sentimental comedy about a day dreamer (Bernal) who falls in love with his lovely neighbor (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and starts to confuse his dreams with reality. Gondry most recent release, the critically lauded Focus Features Dave Chappelle's Block Party, which was developed and produced with Dave Chappelle. Dave Chappelle's Block Party was filmed in September 2004 in the streets of New York City and features performances by Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, The Roots, Common, Dead Prez and a special reunion of The Fugees. Gondry is in pre-production on his next film Be Kind Rewind, with Jack Black set to star. The film, produced, written and will be directed by Gondry, will begin production in Fall 2006.

Gondry's previous feature film was the critically acclaimed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, as a couple attempting to rescue their failing relationship by having their bad memories erased. Eternal… marks the second collaboration between Gondry and the Academy Award-winning writer Charlie Kaufman, with whom he conceptualized the story. The film was released theatrically on March 19, 2004 by Focus Features and on DVD in September of the same year. It went on to become one of the best reviewed films of 2004.

In 2003, Gondry saw the successful launch of The Work of Director Michel Gondry, which features a DVD collection of his work as well as a book which includes Michel's stories, drawings, photographs and interviews. Included on the DVD is the personal full-length documentary, I've Been 12 Forever. The film highlights interviews with some of Gondry's previous collaborators, including Björk, Daft Punk, Beck and Dave Grohl. Gondry himself appears in the film describing the inspiration behind many of his projects. Additionally, in an effort to highlight his personal influences, there are upfront interviews with family members, including his mother and young son, Paul, who is an aspiring creative force in his own right. The DVD was released under the newly launched Directors Label under the Palm Pictures banner in November 2003 and has since been well-reviewed by critics and lauded by both the filmmaking and music communities. Human Nature, Gondry's first film, premiered at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival and to U.S. audiences at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, before being released by Fine Line Features in April 2002. Human Nature starred Patricia Arquette and Tim Robbins, and is a philosophic look at the sometimes tragic, but quite human, interplay between an abnormally hirsute author, a feral young man, a kindly electrolysist, a repressed rodent researcher and his nubile French assistant.

When not contemplating the politics of personal relationships or body hair, Gondry is a highly regarded commercial and music video director. One of his first commercials, Levis' Drugstore (1994), garnered the Lion D'Or at Cannes and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most award-winning commercial of all time. Among his other notable credits are Levi's Mermaids, silver medal winner at the Clio Awards and as well as a bronze at Cannes; and Smirnoff's Smarienburg (1997), which captured gold medals at Cannes and the Clio Awards. Most recently, Michel completed Diet Coke's Bounce featuring Adrian Brody which began airing last summer, Levi's Bellybuttons spot, and a series of spots for Gap's lyrical That's Holiday campaign.

Gondry got his start while studying graphics at a French art school when he began directing videos for the band Oui Oui, for which he played drums. The clip's success attracted other local bands, and it wasn't long before he was working internationally. In 1993 Gondry met pop singer Björk, commencing one of his longest and most successful professional creative relationships. Their first collaboration, the video for Human Behavior, won practically every existing music video award. Gondry went on to helm another five of Björk's videos, including Joga and Bachelorette, while also collaborating with such wide-ranging artists as The White Stripes, The Rolling Stones, Beck, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Cibo Matto, Kylie Minogue, The Willowz, The Polyphonic Spree, Steriogram and Gary Jules. Most recently, Gondry directed his fourth video for The White Stripes, The Denial Twist featuring Conan O'Brien, in which Gondry recreates a distorted version of the week the Stripes appeared on Late Night in 2003, as well as Kanye West's Heard 'Em Say shot entirely on location at Macy's in New York for a special 2005 holiday release.

Gondry currently resides in New York with his son.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.
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Michel Gondry Facts

BirthdayMay 8, 1963 (59)
BirthplaceVersailles, France

Selected Filmography

Unnatural Love
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Be Kind Rewind
The Green Hornet
Microbe & Gasoline
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
4 Movie Marathon: Heartbreak Collection
Mood Indigo
The Science of Sleep
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