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Michel Gondry 2: More Videos (Before and After DVD 1) (2009)

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I’ve always been a firm believer that if he doesn’t have an amazing feature script, Michel Gondry should stick to making his brilliant short films and music videos. In my estimation, Gondry has made one great movie (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and several mixed to shitty ones (Human Nature, Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind). The brilliant Director’s Label series (which is reportedly kaput) put out a double-sided disc of Gondry excellence in 2003, but many of his videos were left out. Enter 2009 and witness the self-released second volume.
The presentation isn’t as slick as the Director’s Label set and doesn’t include a book, but Gondry attempts to make up for it by stuffing the disc with wild left-field content. Suspiciously left off the first set was Radiohead’s “Knives Out.” According to recent interviews, Radiohead prevented that from happening since they didn’t have the best time doing the video and weren’t pleased with the results. Despite the controversy, the song’s Operation theme is still compelling. Perhaps the coolest video on this release is Steriogram’s yarn-filled “Walkie Talkie Man,” but you’ll also see great storytelling videos from Sinéad O’Connor, The White Stripes, and Dick Annegarn. However, there’s a lot of relative crap here, including a horrific cameo-filled video for Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Will Do You Good,” and a painful take of Wyclef Jean ft. Pras & Free doing Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” To be honest, this is the odds and sods B-side collection from the camera trick magician Gondry. The extras include several behind-the-scenes featurettes of videos including Paul McCartney’s “Dance Tonight,” which features Natalie Portman as a ghost. Seeing how the perspective changes were achieved in The White Stripes’ “The Denial Twist” makes you appreciate Gondry’s genius madness. Several other animated shorts and strange asides are also included. The most honest and poignant is about Steven Seagal’s daughter Ayako Fujitani, who appeared in Gondry’s Tokyo segment. She talks about her dad blowing up a helicopter on the set of Under Siege. I’ll leave some of the other surprises unrevealed for you to discover.
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Documentary, Special Interest
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