Rewind, Passaic

Jack Black as Robocop in Be Kind, Rewind

from Worst Preview’s Be Kind, Rewind image gallery

Michel Gondry is fast at work on editing his next rêverie-opus, Be Kind, Rewind. The principal filming is done & the trailer is out, and I am currently eager:with reservations for this one. Eternal Sunshine absolutely captivated me, perhaps the only mainstream film worthy of multiple trips to the big screen in the past four years. (Bong Joon-ho’s indie enviro-monster movie Gwoemul, or The Host, also got me out of the house more than once) I for one felt sucker-punched by the hypnagogic portal into Joel and Clementine’s relationship, buffeted roughly by the raw emotion and kernels of truth in Joel’s awakening. That film (and Gondry’s Director Series DVD) earned him a few trips to the theater on faith alone.

Be Kind, Rewind has something to do with recreating scenes from successful films of the past (In the trailer you see Robocop, Back to the Future, Driving Miss Daisy and Ghostbusters & others) after a freak accident erases a rental store’s VHS tapes. Could be purely indulgent, like listening to Huey Lewis’ Sports album on vinyl; or perhaps indulgent (as the trailer suggests) as piss-take on copyright and bloated budgets; or, due to an extra-national pandemic delusion, it could inspire cultural catharsis, jump-starting our unchecked descent into knee-jerk retro-fetishism of the third kind. We could certainly use a social catalyst, but more than likely, with Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover on board it’ll probably be enchanting & frustrating on mindless, sub-Science of Sleep level.

The kicker for me is that he filmed it in Passaic, New Jersey, hardly a stone’s throw from my home town! Is it possible that Gondry married the poetic documentary moments of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party with his dream fiction? I heard about it after my last visit to Jersey, and by the time I made it back the set had closed shop. Damn, I want to meet Gondry. I am certain that my visual sense and playful, unhinged nature would thoroughly complement whatever task he needed help with… I keep meaning to send him a print of one of my collages but my daily bubble of habits always get in the way. Or perhaps our kinship is a classical gnostic syzygy, potentially doomed by a non-synchronous flux over aeons.

Syzygy No. 32

Somebody already did all the work for me and compiled a fairly large collection of interviews with Michel Gondry. Thank you SiouxWIRE! After reading four interview for possible inclusion in this post, trying to choose one seemed utterly daft. Gondry always appears to summon a modicum of verbal anarchy wherever he goes, which if you’ve seen his music videos or especially the autobiographical I’ve Been 12 Forever film, you know what I mean. If you have a choice, audio/video is the way to go.

If Be Kind, Rewind is a bit daft, at least there are numerous other upcoming films to get excited about. the art of memory’s 26 July 2007 blog post about No Country For Old Men lists more than a few that I agree with. But for pure popcorn and Internet-savvy, the trailer and viral marketing for 1-18-08 has certainly piqued my interest. I’ve never even seen an episode of Lost or MI:III or other Abrams project, but at least until more of substance is released I’ll be paying attention. If you missed the trailer, here it is:

p.s. Only three more days until Summer session 2 is over!

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One Response to Rewind, Passaic

  1. Sara says:

    So have you seen this yet? What did you think? The reviews were terrible.

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