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Michel Gondry and Emilie Simon: whimsical awakened dreams

Movies and music, but also design and art; for each I have my preferences I share with you on this blog. This time it is about two French artists with strong personalities and their one-of-a-kind creative world. If I tell you Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep and more recently Be Kind Rewind? I hope you think Michel Gondry right away! He was first a music video director (Björk, Daft Punk, and also Dave Chappelle’s Block Party…) and his inimitable and inventive visual style featured in his movies bring an off-beat imagery I really enjoy to immerse myself in.

It is so rare nowadays to enjoy simple things, to allow your mind to wander and see the world how it is not, or fantasize how it could be… I am not known to be a dreamer in the strictest sense of the word, but some people say I am kind of off-beat (but not too off-beat to be considered weird, I hope!). So Gondry’s world is not unfamiliar to me. I like his unhindered ramblings, his faux-naive movies and his singular vision of our world and peculiar personality. No need for a thousand words, just watch his movies, video clips… And also see how Jack Black beats Michel Gondry with his Rubik’s Cubes.

The other french artist I wanted to talk about is Emilie Simon. She is a great singer, with a beautiful voice and an amazing imagery too. Maybe you know her from her critically acclaimed motion picture soundtrack for the original release of La Marche de l’Empereur (soundtrack you couldn’t hear in the American version March of the Penguins). Emilie’s music is both sensual and dark, with a great instrumentation punctuated by an unexpected combination of sounds and elaborated background noises. Listening to her music (Vegetal, The Flower Book, Emilie Simon…) and watching her Tim Burton-inspired video clips is really inspiring when I work.

She is not a common artist, she explores and combines sounds, adds enthralling lyrics and sings beautifully. There is actually a handful of uncommon French artists I appreciate (like Claire Diterzi, Moriarty, Brigitte Fontaine) but Emilie’s dreamlike charm is on top, definitely. It is hard to define her or her work, but like for Michel Gondry, take the time to discover the artist without any kind of pre-conceived ideas or prejudices. Simply enjoy, listen, watch and appreciate these unique moments. Start with Desert video clip…

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