The mercurial French director Michel Gondry seems to polarize the film community. For everyone who hails him as a dazzling creative talent, some naysayer will pipe up to say that he’s style over substance, trickery over talent. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. While he’s had some misfires in the feature-film department (the messy Human Nature, the uneven The Science of Sleep), his best work positively soars: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party is a joyous concert film, and the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind deservedly ended up on many critics’ best-of-the-decade lists. (This publication liked it too.) But his background as a music-video director comes in for far less (if any) criticism. His groundbreaking work for the likes of Björk, the Chemical Brothers (see sublime example below) and the White Stripes might just be some of the genre’s finest examples.
As for Gondry’s new movie, The Green Hornet, it’s had a rocky ride, from its being booed at Comic-Con to its January release date (unconventional for a blockbuster). Of course, there are those who swear by it. When it comes to Gondry, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
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