Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we act black, reveal the deepest secrets  of our lives to complete strangers, get our minds blown up by Gondry and Chomsky, stare collectively at the male schlong, and wonder what’s in the water in Finland.
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Mood Indigo

Michel Gondry‘s Mood Indigo has hit a few locations around the globe already, including its native France and the New Zealand and Karlovy Vary film festivals. But it’s undergoing some major changes before making its way to our shores.

Australian distributor Vendetta Films has sent out a memo notifying press that Mood Indigo has been trimmed by over half an hour, and that from now on only the new, shorter version of the movie will play outside of France. Hit the jump to get more details on the shorter Mood Indigo.

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After branching out with a superhero comedy and an experimental urban drama, Michel Gondry is back to his usual whimsical tricks in Mood Indigo. And what great tricks they are.

A musical-olfactory pianocktail device, a kitchen assistant no bigger than a table spoon, a lung pierced with a water lily, and an underwater church wedding are just a few of the dreamlike images you’ll see in the new trailer. The story, based on the novel L’écume des jours by Boris Vian, centers on a newlywed couple (Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou) whose life together is threatened when the wife falls ill. Watch the video after the jump.

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Michel Gondry‘s varied resume includes several documenatires, a superhero flick, and a scrappy urban drama, but he’s still best known for his most whimsical, even dreamlike creations. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is rightly hailed as a classic, and while Be Kind Rewind and The Science of Sleep aren’t at that level, they had a sweet, oddball charm that felt uniquely Gondrian.

His newest feature, Mood Indigo, puts him squarely back into that same quirky territory. The romance follows a blissed-out young couple (Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou) whose marriage becomes complicated by her illness. If that doesn’t sound so weird, wait til you hear the details: He’s the wealthy young inventor of an olfactory-musical device called the pianocktail, her sickness is caused by a water lily in her lung, and the only treatment is to surround her constantly with fresh flowers. Mood Indigo is actually an adaptation of Boris Vian‘s 1947 novel L’Écume des Jours, but Gondry could hardly have found a more suitable premise for his sensibility if he’d come up with it himself. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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In the past few years, Michel Gondry seems to have fallen away somewhat from the playful dreaminess that characterized his earlier work like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, and Be Kind Rewind. Last year’s The Green Hornet looked more or less like the studio superhero flick that it was, and his upcoming drama The We and the I seems to have an almost documentary-ish feel to it.

But for his next feature after that, the fantasy drama Mood Indigo, Gondry’s returning to his uniquely surreal aesthetic in full force. If you thought those bizarro cars were sight to behold, wait til you get a load of Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris‘ cloud-bubble ride, or Aïssa Maïga and Gad Elmaleh racing some kind of mini-Popemobile through what appears to be a hotel.

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Having tackled a big-budget superhero flick in his last outing, The Green Hornet, Michel Gondry headed in the exact opposite direction with his follow-up film, The We and the I. The small-scale project has an almost documentary-like feel to it — more Dave Chappelle’s Block Party than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – and follows the shifting relationships among a group of Bronx teenagers riding home on the bus after the last day of school. The vibrant first trailer has dropped in advance of the film’s Cannes premiere, and you can watch it after the jump.

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Michel Gondry‘s Be Kind, Rewind was far from a box office smash when it was released in 2008, and drew decent but not spectacular critical reviews. It might have been forgotten by now if it weren’t for its introduction of “sweding,” or the practice of shooting no-budget remakes of big-budget projects. The trend has waned a bit over the years but it’s far from dead, as evidenced by two videos making the rounds that are as charmingly low-fi as any we’ve seen so far.

The first comes from Gondry, the master of sweding himself, who shot a three-minute version of the classic Taxi Driver starring himself in the Robert De Niro role, while the other is Roque Rodriguez and Bryan Harley‘s adorable, cardboard-heavy recreation of the recently released The Dark Knight Rises trailer. Watch both videos after the jump.

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Last year, as Alexander Payne was getting going on The Descendants, we got word that he was also planning an adaptation of the graphic novel Wilson, by Ghost World and Art School Confidential creator Daniel Clowes. We haven’t heard much about that project in a bit, but now Clowes says that the film is still in the works, and will be Payne’s next film after the black and white father/son roadtrip movie Nebraska. While I wouldn’t take the “next movie after Nebraska” idea as gospel, it is good to know the project isn’t dead. Sadly, some other Clowes film projects are dead; we’ll run down all the current status reports after the break. Read More »

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