Be Kind RewindFebruary 24, 2008
Only one film on Friday but managed to fit it in before I went to a friends 30th birthday…she was an extra in PS I Love You so you can just imagine the theme there!
Great casting as this is the type of role Jack Black is best at- offbeat and hyper and Mos Def is very good playing the dedicated assistant to Danny Glover. Melonie Diaz was quite good as well and god bless Imdb since I knew she looked familiar but wouldn’t have remembered her from Raising Victor Vargus.
Sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to Gondry and his imagery as it did with some of his previous work. The last thing I had seen was the rather uninspiring video for Bjorks Declare Independence last year which had a great premise but just didn’t work in the end. It does take a while to get into this film but there are some brilliant ideas and he is innovative and surreal as usual with many exaggerated set pieces. Gondry has also created a new verb ‘swede’- said by Blacks character to intimate that the films are from Sweden to explain their uniqueness.
Some of the smaller things that stick out- when the camera is set to negative and photocopies of their own head’s strapped to them so that their faces could be seen, the pizza’s behind the actors heads for pools of blood, cardboard cutouts of the cars, and the fan and strings to make the jazz film look old. One of the best parts of the film is when he shows all the sweded films being made in the ‘one-take’ method and Melonies character is moving from film to film.
One of the main subtexts of the film is modernisation and the negative connotations involved and I liked how he uses the idea of community to show how things can still be done. The customers of the store being in the films themselves is a great way to bring them into the process- this is brought home when they are making an original film and they bring the whole community together to conncoct the history of a jazz star. I even had a bit of a teary moment at the very end when they are watching the finished film and they go out and the whole neighborhood was watching- I know I was being setup for it but yeah I sometimes fall for the schmuck stuff as well.
At the end of the film it gives this website. There is a sweded copy of Google and when you click on Trailers it will bring you to a sweded copy of YouTube where you can see the cinema trailer and a quirky sweded version of the actual film trailer by Gondry himself who plays every character.
Most of the other sweded films listed are just other short trailers for the film and don’t show as much as they did in the actual film which was a bit disappointing. There is also a long non-Gondry sweded version of Lord of the Rings and one for Gondry’s short film La Lettre. Unfortunately you just know that there is now going to be a plethora of sweded films on YouTube and while the idea is great the quality is just not going to be there.