Thursday, August 7, 2008

Daft Punk's Movie...Weird but Almost Wonderful.

So, what did I do for the past couple of days? Well, amongst editing videos and
other things (look below if you don't believe me) I watched Daft Punk's Electroma
a movie starring, written by, shot by, and about the two members of French electro
geniuses Daft Punk.

So what did I think of the film? Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of French electronic
music, including Daft Punk,Justice, Danger,etc. I like almost everything
that Ed Banger does. I really do. So what was my reaction?
I love movies. I love epic, fantastic movies. This movie shows the American west in a way that most
movies don't. It's absolutely beautiful.
According to imdb, band member/director/cinematographer Thomas Bangalter
purchased 200 back issues of American Cinematographer in order to study up
on technique, and it really shows.

The problem with this movie's really slow...and maybe that's the point. But it's slow with no real tension
or drama. The plot is...two robots come out of nowhere, hop in a 1998 Ferrari, drive to a town filled with robots and
proceed to get really odd plastic surgery in order to be "human like." The town of robots freaks out and kicks
them out. The two then head out to the desert and continue to degenerate...and that's all I'm going to say.
I'm a big fan of the British band Pet Shop Boys and they made a movie 20
years ago called It Couldn't Happen Here. Like this movie, it features the two main characters (also band mates,
like this film, natch) aimlessly wandering the country looking for...nothing. The plot is really only there to glue
the songs together, so in its own way, it's enjoyable, but only for fans.

The trick with the Daft Punk movie though is, this movie should be made for its fans, of which there are many.
They are one of the most talked-about and influential electronic bands of the last decade. I even love their synthetic
voices, etc. The only rub is, you would think that, like the Pet shop Boys movie, this would feature a full soundtrack
of tunes by the band, only there's not. There's hardly ANY music in the movie, and what music there is is Bryan Eno and some
classical stuff. Although, I'm told that if you play the Human After All album, it will sync up with this movie. As
I don't own this album, I was unable to test that hypothesis for myself, but the point is moot. The whole time I was watching this movie,
I was thinking about how millions were spent. This was a real movie, after all, and not a music video. It wasn't made, obviously, for
mass audiences, and since there is no music from the band, it wasn't made for the fans, either. I admit, I have, at times made movies
only for myself, but they tend to be in the $40 range, not the $1-2 Million range. Don't get me wrong, though. The flick is beautiful. Here's the closing
shot below...the costumes look fantastic and they're shot well. And let's be honest...a movie that's dialogue free will transcend most
cultural barriers, but this movie doesn't quite break...the human barrier. Watch and comment as you wish.

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