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Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Kaufman’

the-white-stripes-city-lights-video-640x470Michel Gondry, one of the most inventive and utterly unique motion picture wizards of our time, has delivered again.  In an original gesture, he went and made a video on his own for the White Stripes song “City Lights” as a gift to Third Man Records (having made a number of legendary music videos together, including the Lego classic “Fell in Love with a Girl” and the Meg White-inspired masterstroke “The Hardest Button to Button“).  Lessons to learn from his music videos in general: a hefty dose of vision; planning, then planning and practice and planning; and execution.  And throw in a few dashes of visual and sonic magic.

mondo_microbe_and_gasoline_1600x1200_86d7a1ee-2ea0-4e41-a3b3-8990a90e4185_1024x1024Gondry’s book The Be Kind Rewind Protocol is great food for thought for filmmakers and educators alike, and of course there are his movies, notably that one featuring Mos Def, Jack Black, and Danny Glover; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his exceptional collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (and which I feel gets even better with age); The Thorn in the Heart, a documentary that grew out of a family story; an episode of Flight of the Conchords; and the mix of music videos, shorts, commercials, and odds and ends that have made up his twisting and turning career.

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I'm Here Spike JonzeAfter directing scripts by Charlie Kaufman for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and then collaborating with Dave Eggers to write Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze went solo to pen the script for his most recent feature Her and promptly won numerous awards for his effort, including the Oscar for original screenplay.  Aside from studying the script for Her, I also recommend checking out this far less known short that Jonze made in 2010, I’m Herewhich is a bit of a thematic and stylistic warmup for issues explored in Her.  Also, you can check out the links with each movie above for screenwriting perspectives and discussions with Kaufman, Eggers, and Jonze.    

Besides the clear applications to Chapter 7 of Moving Images (From Page to Screen), I’m Here also prompts topics explored in Chapter 5 — Personal Expression and Studio Production — by provoking questions of “Who made this? / Why did they make it?” and related inquiries.  In this case, Jonze, who has worked on music videos and commercials throughout his career, creates here a “commercial” that is 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds.  And that is not truly a commercial.  Well, it’s really a (long-ish) short funded by Absolut for production studio credit and some cachet, it appears.  “Merchants of Cool,” indeed.

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