D File

Michel Gondry Interview

Michel Gondry is not your ordinary music and film director. His innovativeness is beyond comparison with some of the other big names in the industry. When he works on a project, anyone can expect astounding and groundbreaking results. Check out what makes Gondry a man ahead of his time, and learn about his insights on a wide variety of topics.

  • Who helped Gondry discover his artistic skills?

    The phenomenal director traced his artistry from his parents. His father was a freethinker, and he encouraged his children to explore their creativity. Gondry described his father as a “rightwing hippie” with long hair, and always interested in pop culture. His grandfather, the famous Constant Martin, was an inventor who had a number of patents for creating electronic musical instruments.

    Gondry had a very interesting childhood, as he grew up with an understanding of art and science. In addition, his parents encouraged him to follow his own path. Now that he has a teenage son, Gondry makes sure to support and encourage the young boy the way his parents did to him.

  • What was his childhood interest that he decided to pursue later on in life?

    As a young boy, Gondry has always liked the idea of creating and inventing new things. His naivety, according to his father, would help him become a good inventor. He was always a curious and inquisitive child, and he always tried to be extraordinary. While he challenged the idea of being an inventor, he soon realized that he had a knack for creating brilliant outputs. For instance, he set out to experiment in animation, which was his initial step to filmmaking. With an original idea in his mind, he tried to make a collage of images work for the camera. Since then, he knew how much he wanted to become a professional music and film director.
    He believed that his creativity was in his genes since he had a highly artistic family. Gondry’s grandfather, who lived nearby, had an attic full of appliances and other inventions that he accumulated for over 50 years. Among his famous inventions was the clavioline, a type of keyboard heard on a few of the Beatles songs.
  • How does he deal with people and their varying temperaments?

    He and his friends started a band during their teenage years. When they made their first video, which was entitled Ma Maison (My House), he had plenty of ideas that he wanted to incorporate in it. He wanted to create a video that features some shadows, as these would symbolize the way people live their lives. The band’s leader rejected the idea, and the group ended up making a video about insects. Gondry was always flexible in dealing with others, so this situation did not cause him to be upset. He has learned the importance of collaborating and working harmoniously with others. These values helped Gondry to get along with all types of people, even those who can be very difficult.

    The same experience happened when he worked with Bjork as they collaborated on the video for her song “Human Behavior”. He thought they would travel to Iceland to shoot some landscapes, only to realize that Bjork wanted to incorporate animals in the video to depict human nature. The music video turned out perfectly, though, because of his openness to her brilliant suggestions.

  • Did he ever have insecurities?

    During the filming of Eternal Sunshine, his fears haunted him occasionally. He was afraid that other people would ask him why he was chosen to direct the film, which was the kind of question he encountered after the release of his first film “Human Nature. His fears dissolved quickly when the film earned him an Oscar award for Best Original Screenplay, in 2005. A year before that, the Toronto Film Critics Association gave him the Best Director award for the excellent work on his second film.

    Gondry worked with a number of talented artists who were very outspoken about their ideas. He may be a creative genius, but there were occasions when Gondry doubted himself a bit. He even expressed that at one point, he began to feel as though he was just the arm of those artists he worked with and that they were his brain. Nevertheless, he focused on the thought that while these people may have various ideas, it was his job to organize all those to create a superb masterpiece. With this in mind, he would regain his confidence. Moreover, he has earned a number of recognitions that were evidences of his artistry and ingenuity as a music video and film director.