Greg Veis, YouTube Hunter: Michel Gondry-stravaganza!

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This Friday, in the big, coastal cities that are privy to such things, a new film called The Science of Sleep will be released. It's directed by Michel Gondry, whose previous credits include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and a boatload of music videos and advertisements. YouTube Hunter doesn't throw this term around lightly, but the man is a genius. Many nights in Hunter HQs have ended, ceremoniously, with a viewing of his Director's Label DVD. And let it be known that aside from lying next to a model, or a thumbed through copy of mental_floss, there's nary a better way to shut down an evening. The video for the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" -- with the giant hands and Taylor Hawkins' shedding a dress before getting all primal on the drums -- is that good, to say nothing of Bjork's "Hyberballad."

We could now engage in a several page long analytical spaz-fest about Gondry's dreamlike aesthetic and his large-hearted sense of playfulness and how, better than anyone right now, he's able to show what the jangly nerves of a broken heart look like... but it's best to get right to the footage. So, in the first of what will be an occasional series celebrating filmmakers who are doing truly outstanding work, an appreciation...

Here's a Levi's ad that has won more awards than any commercial ever.

And this is a very new one that he just did for the the namesake airline of his homeland:

The Nike ad below plays off the previous one in that it follows a single idea across quickly changing landscapes. It's a favorite trick of his, and it's effective:

The Fox Sports ad is an example of another recurrent theme of his -- the invasion of dreaminess into everyday life:

As mentioned earlier, Gondry has also taken on a number of music videos. The Rolling Stones, Beck, Kylie Minogue (which one of these doesn't sound like the others?) -- they've all enlisted his talents. But YouTube Hunter has the most affection for the work he's done with the White Stripes. Included here are two videos. There's "Fell in Love with a Girl," which deservedly raked in a plethora (a plethora?) of awards for its stop-motion animation with Legos. And there's also the video for "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," which, in its narrative and simultaneous presentation of both past and present, seems to serve as something of a precursor to Eternal Sunshine. What do you think?

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September 19, 2006 - 9:06am
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