An attraction inspired by director Michel Gondry’s film Be Kind Rewind started at Paris’ Centre Pompidou yesterday, and Gondry himself was on the scene to help kick things off. The attraction is a filmmaking workshop called L’Usine de film amateurs that allows groups of people to sign up and create their own amateur movies from scratch, just like the Jack Black and Mos Def characters from the film. The process, from conception to wrapping, takes three hours, you leave with a DVD copy of your film, and it’s all free. If I were in Paris I would go do this for sure, and if you’re going to be there any time between now and March 13th you could do just that.
The coolness of the workshop wasn’t the big news that came out of Gondry’s appearance, however. While there he announced that he is to begin work on a film adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick novel “Ubik.” Anybody who has done any studying of Science Fiction literature knows something about Dick, but for those unfamiliar with this particular book, here is the synopsis from phillipkdick.com:
“Glen Runciter is dead. Or is everybody else? Someone died in an explosion orchestrated by Runciter’s business competitors. And, indeed, it’s the kingly Runciter whose funeral is scheduled in Des Moines. But in the meantime, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering – and sometimes scatological – messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping in ways that suggest that their own time is running out. Or already has.
Philip K. Dick’s searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation (the latter available in a convenient aerosol spray) is tour de force of paranoiac menace and unfettered slapstick, in which the departed give business advice, shop for their next incarnation, and run the continual risk of dying yet again.”
This sounds like a perfect fit for Gondry’s patented handcrafted, psychedelic visuals. And it seems like it could work as a good companion peace to his more reality bending films like The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Whichever way it goes, it is sure to be a bit of a left turn from the surprisingly mainstream direction his career has taken with his last two movies. I know a lot of Gondry fans that are going to squeal in delight like little girls at this news. Tough nut that I am, I’m going to call myself cautiously interested. The ball is in your court Gondry.