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Presented last month at the Cannes Film Festival’s Quinzaine des Cinéastes, The Book of Solutions is Michel Gondry’s first film since Microbe et Gasoil, released in 2015. Eight years during which the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stayed away from the big screen, but not from cinema. 

michel gondry clip de la chanson de prevert de gainsbourg

In 2014, on the advice of Audrey Tautou, who had just starred in his adaptation of L’Ecume des Jours, Michel Gondry embarked on one of his most personal projects: the evocation of a childhood memory, that of a friendship he shared as a teenager with a young boy who was a bit of a handyman. Since the 2015 release of Microbe et Gasoil, his eleventh feature film, the filmmaker has multiplied projects beyond the big screen. 

Série Kidding Michel Gondry showtime

A visual artist first and foremost, Michel Gondry returned to his first love, music videos and commercials. In 2017, Michel Gondry directed an incredible spot for the American music platform Pandora: in just over a minute, he recreated and brought to life on stage a dozen legendary rock and rap album covers, from the Doors’ Morrison Hotel to David Bowie’s Blackstar, via Drake’s Nothing was the Same, The Weeknd’s Starboy, and of course Nirvana’s Nevermind. 

image de la pub sounds like you pour Pandora par Michel Gondry

A visual and musical talent

The crazy creativity of this video brings together Michel Gondry’s two great passions: the art of patchwork and visual bricolage – which makes cinema something plastic – and music. It is part of the DNA of Gondry, a musician himself and author of many legendary music videos (Around the World by Daft Punk, Come into my world by Kylie Minogue…).

Since 2015, the filmmaker has created five new clips, including the video for Go for the British electro group The Chemical Brothers, shot on the slab of Beaugrenelle in Paris. But above all, Michel Gondry has collaborated on a collection of clips shot in 2021 on Serge Gainsbourg songs. He also directed a short film for La Chanson de Prévert, returning for the occasion to his passion for frame-by-frame animation based on cardboard cutouts. 

image de la pub sounds like you pour Pandora par Michel Gondry

A return to cinema

Over the past eight years, Gondry has also directed Détour, a ten-minute musical road movie shot entirely on the iPhone 7 for Apple. Earlier this year, he designed the set for the Louis Vuitton men’s fall-winter 2023-2024 fashion show, which recalled a little boy’s bedroom. He also directed most of the episodes of the gondryesque series Kidding, created by Dave Holstein (available in France on MyCanal), which marks his reunion with his friend Jim Carey, the hero of Eternal Sunshine. 

Nevertheless, many fans of the director, who just celebrated his 60th birthday, were waiting for his return to feature films. Especially since The Book of Solutions is both as ambitious as its cast – Pierre Niney, Françoise Lebrun, and Blanche Gardin, among others – while promising a very personal story. Indeed, his twelfth feature follows the adventures of Marc, a film director who finds his creativity boosted by a shoot in a family home. He is so full of ideas that he decides to turn them into a book, The Book of Solutions. An intriguing comedy to be discovered soon in theaters. 

detour michel gondry apple

The Book of Solutions

Michel Gondry 

Presented at the Quinzaine des Cinéastes at the Cannes Film Festival 2023

Pierre Charpilloz