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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dan Romascanu - La Science des Rêves (2006)




Director Michel Gondry continues his exploration of the world of dreams, this time without the master writing of Charlie Kaufman who authored the script of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Taking upon himself the writing of the story and setting it in an every day Parisian setting Gondry succeeds quite well to continue on the same line of dreams taking over the real world. Here he brings to screen a very direct and simple love story between two young people living half in reality, half in the world of dreams of the principal character. Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) is a Mexican young fellow visiting his mother and trying to accommodate with a boring job. He is less living in the real world and more in a world of fantasy where he is trying to find place for his neighbor Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) he falls for.

The very simple and direct story has an overall air of freshness, resulting from acting, but especially from the very warm and almost childish approach to the world of dreams put together by Gondry. His surrealistic space has nothing threatening, no shades or sharp lines as in Dali or De Chirico's paintings no hidden threats as in Hitchcock or social pressure as in Bunuel's movies. It is rather the world of childish cartoons, a low-tech and benevolent space of a prolonged childhood. If we are to trace the roots I would rather go back to the innocence of the characters in Boris Vian's L'Écume des Jours.

I do not know if Gondry will continue his exploration of the world of dreams in future films, but with the two movies in this thematic space he already left a print of his own in a different type of cinema I would call cinema of dreams. From several points of view, because of the sincerity and freshness of the narration I liked more La Science des Rêves than the stars-stricken Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.



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