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Michel Gondry takes backyard video to new heights

Posted at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2007 by Euan Kerr (2 Comments)

Michel Gondry, director of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Dave Chapelle's Block Party" amongst others, is working very hard at remaking movies right now.

He took a break from the final mix of "Be Kind Rewind," his new film with Jack Black to chat with me about his upcoming visit to the Walker Art Center for a Regis Dialog in late June.

"Be Kind Rewind" tells the story of an unlucky fellow who accidentally erases all the VHS tapes in a friends video store. They try to cover the problem by remaking each film in the backyard.

Gondry says the idea came to him after he bought a boxed set of the original "Planet of the Apes" series. He noticed that each successive film had a smaller budget than its predecessor. That of course changed with the 2001 Tim Burton remake which cost an estimated $100 million.

Gondry, who is known for his delight in home-made props turned the whole thing on it's head and wondered what it would be like to do a remake, or several remakes, with no budget.

Intriguingly Gondry says the biggest problem he had with the remakes was getting the rights - not to the plots of the films, but for the rights to show the VHS boxes of the erased tapes. Apparently that's where the studios feel a lot of the value in their product lies.

You can hear an extract from the interview here, and we'll air longer version closer to the date of the Walker event (which is sold out.)

Comments (2)

Cool! Well you be posting the full length version after it airs? Can I look for this on my local public radio station ? (I live in Hawaii.)

Posted by Katharine Osborne | June 3, 2007 6:02 AM

Yes, we will have a longer version later in the month, closer to Gondry's visit to Minnesota. It will probably be a package for the air, plus more on the interview on-line (along with the package.)

The package will just air here, but as long as you don't mind the crackles of the internet you'll be able to get everything on the MPR site.

Posted by Euan | June 4, 2007 12:55 PM

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