Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Michel Gondry's THORN IN THE HEART explores the filmaker's extended family
FSLC's Rendez-vous With French Cinema presen-
tations to have a US theatrical release -- Michel Gondry's THE THORN IN THE HEART -- opens this week via Oscilloscope Laboratories, and a welcome release it is. While we've come to expect the unusual from M. Gondry, you may not be prepared for this filmmaker in a documentary mode. What he does with the form is both expected and not. He looks at his family, particularly at his aunt Suzette and her odd and troubled son Jean-Yves, and the gaze seems loving but distanced.
French-Algerian War: boys only, as the girls -- a shame on this culture -- don't go to school); that the family owned and worked a saw mill in the area; and that Aunt Suzette likes to laugh a lot, so much so that we begin to wonder if she feels that laughter might somehow absolve her of all that has come before. We learn, too, that her son, Jean-Yves is gay and how this affects the family.
But of course it does, for this is Gondry -- who has give us bizarre and inventive creations like Be Kind Rewind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Science of Sleep.
Village East Cinema, with other cities to follow: at this point Madison, WI (as part of the Wisconsin International film festival, on April 15; and in Los Angeles on May 14 at Laemmle's Sunset Five Cinema. A DVD release, the distributor assures us, is also in the offing. Click here for further information.