The Work of Director Michel Gondry is the third volume in the Director's Works DVD series. It contains a wide selection of the music videos, commercials and short films Gondry has directed throughout the years, plus a wonderful documentary called "I've Been 12 Forever", featuring interviews with the bands and Gondry himself (not to mention his mother, and a shot of his girlfriend naked). The DVD comes with a 52-page booklet with various stories by Michel Gondry that are not on the DVD.

Gondry's videos, when compared to those of Spike Jonze or Chris Cunningham (the other directors thus far in the series), reveal an knack for understanding cycles and circular motion. Gondry's videos all contain an almost mathematical loop of events or some amazingly intricate system that governs them, whether it be the elaborate character-to-instrument setup of his video for Daft Punk's "Around the World" video, the amazing orchestration of cheesy video effects and professional dancers in The Chemical Brothers' "Let Forever Be", or the insane multiplication of not only its star but everyone surrounding her in Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World".

Gondry's other loves include his own strange art style (most visible in his older work for the rap band he was in, Oui Oui -- it was French), his cartoons, and in the documentary on the DVD. Of great importance to anyone interested in Gondry is his partership with Björk, which spawned seven videos, including "Human Behavior", "Bachelorette," and "Hyperballad". In order, these demonstrate perfect examples of Gondry's artwork (the final shot especially), his spiraling narrative, and his visual brilliance (a lovely, 8-bit masterpiece).

His commercials are very much like his music videos, circular and amusing. The ones on display here (except for the "Lacuna Inc" commercial done for his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) are perfect examples of this. The Smirnoff ad is particularly head-spinning. His short films, however, are quite different. Certainly nothing else will prepare you for David Cross as a gigantic piece of increasingly fascist excrement, or Jim Carrey singing Elvis on a motorized bed. The last thing to remember about Gondry is his ability to create many visual effects in-camera, a strength that makes many of his videos that much cooler (see "Lucas With the Lid Off").

It's a shame that the DVD doesn't contain audio commentary by the bands or Gondry himself (like Jonze's disc). Although the documentary is satisfying, a commentary would have completed the package. Still, there's very little to complain about with all the wonderfully creative filmmaking on display here. If you buy the Director's Works Box Set DVD, then not only does he participate in the Q&A, but you get an additional two pieces: "I Wonder" - The Willowz (a nice combination of his quirky art and his roundabout direction), and the short "Ossamuch!" starring Kishu & Co. (just plain funny).

The Work of Director Michel Gondry (2003)

Released: October 23, 2003
DVD Format: Color | Double-Sided | Dual-Layer | Available in Region 1 (NTSC) and Region 2 (PAL)

Side A (2003-1996)
Music Videos

Stories and Things

  • "La Lettre"
  • "One Day"
  • "Lacuna Inc"
  • "Drugstore" - Levi's Commercial
  • "Smarienberg" - Smirnoff Commercial
  • "Resignation" - Polaroid Commercial

"I've Been 12 Forever" (Part 2: Age 12-12)

Side B (1995-1987)
Music Videos

Stories and Things

  • "Drumb and Drumber"
  • "Pecan Pie", a short film starring Jim Carrey
  • "Three Dead People"
  • "My Brother's 24th Birthday"
  • "Tiny"
  • Oui Oui (Live Concert Footage)

"I've Been 12 Forever" (Part 1: Age 12-12)

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