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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival


ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

 
The 16th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place on 9th-11th April 2021. Now open for submissions!

 

 

 

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Michel Gondry – Our Top 6 Music Videos

by Marc Rickenbach

In recent months French filmmaker and arts and crafts enthusiast Michel Gondry has been popping his head up all over the place on both sides of the Atlantic. The director, most well known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep (not to mention numerous music videos, which we’ll get to in a bit), released the big screen version of old time radio and comic book hero The Green Hornet in January. To promote the new film, he guest directed an episode of American late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, and last month he opened a retrospective of his own work at the Centre Pompidou here in Paris. Then, just last week, I noticed a new Gondry directed music video for Los Angeles based band Living Sisters.

He’s a busy man that seems to come in giant waves. 

The new video for the track “How Are You Doing?”, which you can watch here , follows the three band members as they go through their day. There are car accidents, earthquakes, home fires, going into labor, and a plane crashing into a building. All the while the three stay on the phone asking each other “how are you doing?” and keeping a lackadaisical optimism about the whole thing until they meet up in the hospital where their friend has just given birth. It’s fairly different from other Gondry works in that the music is a bit more light hearted than most of the bands with which he worked, but the images and diorama-like sets are still typical of his style.

It’s always a pleasure to see new work by one of our favorite French artists, and it’s even more a pleasure to go back and reminisce, so we decided to recap our top six Gondry videos here:

6. “Too Many Dicks” – Flight of the Conchords (2009) To be honest I didn’t even remember that Gondry was responsible for this one, but luckily ÉCU blog editor Jen Wallace reminded me of it. The show was an insta-classic and if you ever watched it you’ll know this was one of the more memorable musical moments that Bret and Jemaine graced us with. It doesn’t have Gondry written all over it like some of the other videos, but it’s still a bit of a call back to Daft Punk’s disco-influenced Around the World video. In any case, it’s a laugh.

5. “Human Behavior” – Björk (1993) Björk and Gondry have a long history together. They’ve made at least seven videos together over the past two decades, all of which have been works of art, really. This fairytale gone wrong was their first, and, in my opinion, their best.

4. “Fell in Love with a Girl” – The White Stripes (2002) This Lego video was a hit the moment it aired almost ten years ago. It was filmed using both stop motion as well as pixelated live action video to get the fast paced and fluid effect of animated Lego. Not sure what else to say, other than that this has to appeal to anyone who has ever fiddled around with Lego as a kid.

3. “Let Forever Be” – The Chemical Brothers (1999) Whether it’s to listen to some Chemical Brothers or simply to admire Gondry’s courage to even try something like this, this clip is one that I’ve gone back to time and again. It was filmed both on video and film, and all the effects you see here were done using camera and editing techniques (no CGI), not to mention the actual building of sets and props to achieve the end effect. The obsession Gondry has had with dreams and disproportioned objects and body parts is definitely present here.

2. “Around the World” – Daft Punk (1997) This one is a super classic. Like a nightmarish pop-burlesque show set somewhere between the past and future, this video was Gondry’s first venture into choreography. He split up the tracks and had dancers interpret each instrument, then recomposed them all on a stage resulting in this well oiled machine. In an interview regarding the video, Daft Punk themselves described Gondy as having a sort of naïve complexity to his work. A perfect description of his entire body, don’t you think?

1. “Knives Out” – Radiohead (2001) This video is at number one on my list for a few reasons. First, it’s Radiohead. Now I know this article is about the director, but without great music I don’t care how good the video is. Second, it has nostalgic qualities for which I won’t go into. But third, and most important, the work put into this video is impressive. It was shot in one take which is pretty amazing considering the amount of elements that come and go throughout the clip. Watch it a few times and try to imagine the logistics of making sure everyone does their part, in perfect time, without knocking over the whole set. On top of that, there are at least two videos being played on the television, all of which must sync up perfectly. It’s all around great.

Honorable Mentions:

Dance Tonight” – Paul McCartney (2007) Natalie Portman and a Beatle playing the mandolin.

Walkie Talkie Man ”- Steriogram (2004) There’s some serious arts and crafts in this one.

-----------------------------------------------------------

par Marc Rickenbach

Michel Gondry, cinéaste et enthousiaste des arts français, a récemment participé à beaucoup d’événements sur les deux côtés de l’Atlantique. Le réalisateur qui est le mieux connu pour Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind et Science of Sleep (sans parler de ses clips nombreux auxquels on passera bientôt), a sorti son long-métrage The Green Hornet (Le Frelon vert) sur le personnage des émissions radio et de la bande dessinée au mois de janvier. Pour faire de la publicité pour le nouveau film, il a réalisé un épisode de talk show américain nocturne Jimmy Kimmel Live, et le mois dernier il a ouvert une rétrospective de son œuvre au Centre Pompidou ici à Paris. Et puis, juste la semaine dernière j’ai trouvé un nouveau clip par Gondry pour Living Sisters, un groupe de Los Angeles.

Il est un homme très actif qui a l’air de s’occuper de grands projets.

Le nouveau clip pour la chanson « How Are You Doing ? » que vous pouvez voir ici, suit les trois membres du groupe au cours de leur journée. Il y a des accidents, des tremblements de terre, des incendies, un accouchement et un avion qui rentre dans un immeuble. Pendant que ça se passe elles continuent de se parler au téléphone en se demandant « comment ca va ? » toujours avec un optimisme nonchalant envers tout ça jusqu’à ce qu’elles se réunissent à l’hôpital où leur amie vient d’accoucher. C’est assez différent d’autres œuvres de Gondry parce que la musique est plus gaie que la plupart des groupes avec qui il a travaillé, mais les images et les cadres en diorama sont typiques pour son style.

C’est toujours un plaisir de voir une œuvre par un de nos artistes français préférés et c’est même un plus grand plaisir de faire une rétrospective, alors on a décidé de résumer nos six clips préférés de Gondry ici :

6. “Too Many Dicks” – Flight of the Conchords (2009)
A vrai dire, je ne me souvenais pas que Gondry était l’auteur de ce clip, mais heureusement l’éditeur du blog de l’ÉCU Jen Wallace me l’a rappelé. Ce show fait partie des classiques et si vous l’avez vu au moins une fois vous savez que c’était un des moments musicaux les plus mémorables que Bret et Jemaine nous ont offert. Ce n’est pas du Gondry tout craché comme les autres vidéos, mais ça rappelle néanmoins le clip Around the World par Daft Punk inspiré du style disco. En tout cas, c’est drôle.

5. “Human Behavior” – Björk (1993)

Björk et Gondry ont une longue histoire commune. Ils ont fait au moins sept vidéos en cours de vingt dernières années, et toutes étaient des vraies oeuvres d’art. Ce conte mal tourné était leur premier et, à mon avis, leur meilleur clip.

4. “Fell in Love with a Girl” – The White Stripes (2002)
Cette vidéo Lego avait un succès énorme quand elle est sortie il y a presque dix ans. Elle a été filmé en utilisant la technique d’animation image par image ainsi que des vidéos d’action pixellisées pour obtenir l’effet fluide et rapide de Lego animé. Je ne sais pas trop quoi en dire encore, sauf que cela doit plaire à tous ceux qui ont joué au Lego quand ils étaient petits.

3. “Let Forever Be” – The Chemical Brothers (1999)
Pour écouter les Chemical Brothers ou tout simplement pour admirer le courage de Gondry qui a osé essayer quelque chose comme ça, je reviens souvent à ce clip. Il a été filmé en vidéo et sur de la pellicule, et tout les effets que vous pouvez voir ici ont été réalisés en utilisant la caméra et des techniques de montage (pas d’images de synthèse), sans parler de la création des décors et accessoires pour obtenir l’effet recherché. L’obsession des rêves et des objets et des membres du corps disproportionnés propre à Gondry est évidemment présent ici.

2. “Around the World” – Daft Punk (1997)

Celui-là, c’est un super-classique. Une sorte de show burlesque-cauchemar entre le passé et le futur, cette vidéo était la première tentative de Gondrydans le domaine de la chorégraphie. Il a divisé la piste et les danseurs interprétaient chaque instrument à part, et puis il les a tous rassemblés sur une scène, ce qui a donné cette machine bien huilée. Dans un interview sur la vidéo, Daft Punk ont dit que Gondry avait une espèce de complexité naïve dans son travail. Une description parfaite de son corps entier, vous ne le trouvez pas?

1. “Knives Out” – Radiohead (2001)

Cette vidéo est la première sur ma liste pour plusieurs raisons. Premièrement, c’est Radiohead. Oui, je sais que cet article est sur le réalisateur, mais sans de la musique géniale je m’en fous si la vidéo est super. Deuxièmement, elle possède des qualités nostalgiques dont je ne vais pas parler. Mais troisièmement, et le plus important, c’est le volume de travail investi dans la vidéo qui est impressionnant. Elle a été filmé en une prise ce qui est vraiment incroyable vu la quantité d’éléments qui vont et viennent dans le clip. Regardez-le plusieurs fois et essayez d’imaginer la logistique qu’il faut faire pour être sûr que chacun fait sa part, au juste temps et sans renverser tout le décor. En plus, il y a au moins deux vidéos jouées à la télé, et elles sont parfaitement synchronisées. C’est génial.

Mentions honorables:

Dance Tonight” – Paul McCartney (2007)
Natalie Portman et un Beatle qui jouent de la mandoline.

Walkie Talkie Man” – Steriogram(2004)
Il y a de vrai l’artisanat d’art dans celui-la.

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
 
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
 
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 
 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

 
Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 
 

 


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