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Mood Indigo (2013)


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More pictures and story here. Also here.

Mood Indigo is an adaptation of a 1947 novel by Boris Vian, the title of which translates as either Froth on the Daydream or Foam on the Daze.

 

Vian’s surreal tale revolves around a wealthy young man named Colin, inventor of an “olfactory-musical invention” called the pianocktail. He meets and falls in love with a woman named Chloe, only for her to become ill when she gets a water lily in her lung. The only way for Colin to treat her sickness is by constantly surrounding her with flowers, which eventually drains his funds.

Meanwhile, Colin’s married friends Chick and Alise suffer problems of their own when Chick becomes so obsessed with the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre that he begins devoting all of his time, money, and attention to collecting Partre’s books.

 


"Mood Indigo" is also a Duke Ellington song. Not sure if that's relevant here, though.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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  • 7 months later...

Extremely French trailer. (Well, except for the Lumineers song.)

That Lumineers song really kills the mood, doesn't it?

I mean, I love the song, but its use here is rather bizarre.

@Timzila

"It is the business of fiction to embody mystery through manners, and mystery is a great embarrassment to the modern mind." (Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners).

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Links to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Science of Sleep (2006), Be Kind, Rewind (2008), Tokyo! (2008), The Green Hornet (2011), The We & The I (2012)...

There's also The new, great Michel Gondry video, Michel Gondry + White Stripes = GENIUS, and Questions for Charlie Kaufman and/or Michel Gondry (Jeffrey's interview).

I have a lot of catching up to do, apparently.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 2 months later...

Now with subtitles:

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 months later...

The version being released outside France is 36 minutes shorter.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Surreal love story cut for a briefer encounter

You've heard of the director's cut. Now comes the director's re-cut.

Apparently dissatisfied with the reaction to his latest film in France and other countries, visionary Gallic filmmaker Michel Gondry has chopped 36 minutes from Mood Indigo for the rest of the world, starting with Australia next month.

The surreal romance, based on Boris Vian's cult French novel Froth on the Daydream, has gone from a substantial 130 minutes to a trim 94 minutes.

''It's now a very different film experience,'' a spokesman for distributor Vendetta Films has warned Australian critics, many of whom are now having to watch - and review - another version.

What could be called ''Change of Mood Indigo'' is said to be a more accessible version for viewers who know nothing of the novel, with cuts largely from the darker last third of the film. . . .

While producers are known to re-edit films without a director's involvement, Gondry is said to have re-edited Mood Indigo with Tariq Anwar, editor of The King's Speech and American Beauty, who took over from original editor Marie-Charlotte Moreau. . . .

Brisbane Times, August 21

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 6 months later...

Finally, Mood Indigo has been picked up by Drafthouse Films for U.S. Distribution.  Apparently this film showed up for just one brief moment at a festival over in Austin, Texas, back in September of 2013, but that seems to have been it so far.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

my review

 

I've been on and off with Gondry, but this one is a keeper. The visuals are so dominant you really don't mind that you miss some of the story/dialogue because you're trying to take in everything on the screen.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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my review

 

I've been on and off with Gondry, but this one is a keeper. The visuals are so dominant you really don't mind that you miss some of the story/dialogue because you're trying to take in everything on the screen.

It is a film that is certainly full of visual enchantment. I just ordered the book based on seeing the film. There's so many different directions the film goes, and so many choices or events that the film seems to only hint at and then leaves unresolved, that I don't feel like I could judge the film properly without reading the book.

 

The effects are not so much sophisticated as imaginative. In fact, many are reminiscent of Georges Méliès in the early days of film (A Trip to the Moon [1902]). Yet it is all visually pleasing. Gondry also uses visuals to set the mood of the film. When Chloé first becomes ill, we see the first evidence of a coating that begins first on a window then spreading until it covers nearly everything.

I don't think I've seen such a large and diverse combination of different visual arts, claymation, CGI, animation, trick photography, etc., all together like this before.  Gondry makes Tim Burton seem tame by comparison.  This isn't just surrealism, this is surrealism gone absolutely mad, mixing fairy tale, tragedy, dystopia, comedy, slapstick, Keystone cops, existential philosophy and romanticism all into one crazy film.

 

While the inventiveness of the visuals and of the story may be reason enough to enjoy the film, it is also a film about love and loss. It is a film about mortality. The allusion to Jean-Paul Sartre, for all its playfulness, points to the film having deeper meanings ... The very threat of losing someone we love as dearly as Colin loves Chloé changes the way we see the world (just as Gondry changes the way we see the world in the film).

It's the last half hour or so of the film that I'm not sure what to do with.  It's not that I was expecting any sort of satisfactory resolution, but it literally feels (most likely intentionally) that things just fell part in the editing room, and that a number of nonsensical and random clips were being spliced together until Gondry was interrupted in the middle of doing that, and then he just never got around to finishing it and the film was released.  (But I need to read the book.)

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It is a film that is certainly full of visual enchantment. I just ordered the book based on seeing the film. There's so many different directions the film goes, and so many choices or events that the film seems to only hint at and then leaves unresolved, that I don't feel like I could judge the film properly without reading the book.

 

 

They gave us copies of the book at the screening, and I skimmed a few chapters before writing my review.  It think it does well at capturing the playfulness of the parts I read.  Some thinkgs change a bit. The pianocktail was a clavicoctain. Jean-Sol Partre was Jean-Pulse Heartre in the book.  (The word play wouldn't have worked in the film.) The book did help me understand the scene of them flying around in a cloud. So yeah, I think the book before the film would be helpful, but the film is just so much fun to watch that I didn't care.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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