Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register now to see X-Men: First Class!
Empire Blogs
Words From The Wise

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2013: Mood Indigo

Posted on Monday July 8, 2013, 13:36 by Damon Wise in Words From The Wise
Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2013: Mood Indigo

That the 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival began with the international premiere of Michel Gondry's surreal Mood Indigo and ended with a Jury Prize for Ben Wheatley's psychedelic A Field In England should give you an idea of how this year's event turned out. Though it didn't want for Hollywood names – Oliver Stone and John Travolta flew in to accept the annual Crystal Globe For Outstanding Contribution To World Cinema – KV proved once again to be a festival of discovery and a good place to root out international movies that can no longer find a berth at Cannes.

Mood Indigo was widely believed to be headed to the Riviera this year, until it was announced that it would be premiering in France almost a month before the festival started. The film was not a great success there, and it's not hard to see why its producers chose to keep it away from the Croisette – although it is frequently quite jaw-droppingly brilliant, Gondry's latest is somewhat relentless in its invention, and those not open to his DIY aesthetic may not be so partial to its brow-beating whimsy. I liked it, with some reservations, and I'm quite heartened to hear that the director may possibly be trimming some of its hefty 125-minute running time for the upcoming UK release.

It helps, even if you haven't read it, to know that Mood Indigo is based on Boris Vian's untranslatable 1947 novel L'Ecume Des Jours (literally The Foam Of The Day), a novel about a rich playboy called Colin (Romain Duris) who falls in love with the beautiful Chloe (Audrey Tautou), only to have his idyllic lifestyle shattered when she falls ill with a strange malady. This really all there is to it, since Gondry puts all his energies not into the narrative but into the weird and wonderful images that approximate Vian's wordplay. Colin lives in a berserk apartment which he shares with his manservant Nicolas (Omar Sy) and a mouse (which lives in a perfect small-scale replica of Colin's home), and the entire place is a W Heath Robinson illustration brought madly to life. And unusually for a film mired in surrealism, the visuals actually do live up to the intent; some memorable scenes include Colin and his friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) enjoying a philosophy book in liquid form, and dancing “le biglemoi” – a slow, smoochy dance in which ones legs get longer and longer.

The film hits its high watermark at about an hour in, and never really comes down again. Which ought to sound like a compliment, but some decompression is needed, even just a breather. Instead, Mood Indigo just carries on and carries on, getting bleaker and bleaker and bleaker... Personally, I liked its ambition but this increasingly morbid second half will not appease anyone lured into the cinema by the presence of Tautou and a wacky premise that suggests a sequel of sorts to Amelie. Nevertheless, it will have its admirers, principally readers of cult French literature and hardcore Gondry fans with a stomach for something a little stronger than his usual.
 

Login or register to comment.

Currently No Comments

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (432)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (56)

Words From The Wise (34)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

Final report: The Kid With A Bike, Le Havre, Michael, Walk Away Renee, The Murder, Oslo 31 August
By Damon Wise

This Must Be The Place
By Damon Wise

The Artist
By Damon Wise

Drive
By Damon Wise

Cannes Videblogisode #9
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #8
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #7
By Amar Vijay

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 6
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #6
By Amar Vijay

The Skin I Live In
By Damon Wise


RECENT COMMENTS

Drive
"So it's more of an 80s homage? Judging by the title, as well as the theme, I thought this would be a"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #6
"Good 'un!"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #8
"I live my life like I'm in a Carry On film, Megan."  Chris Hewitt
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #8
"My bra just fell off LOL amazing Carry On film vibe there. Have to say though, Chris is scarier when"  megank13
Read comment

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 6
"★good★ look love--- w w w - jordansforking - c o m   qeedsss
Read comment

Melancholia
"More on this will follow in the magazine later; I met Lars after the banning and heard his views on "  Damon_Wise
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #6
"Heh hee hee hee. So, Chris, twitter profile pic now, right?"  Ethanial
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #4
"Is that the young Mike Cimino playing "Neil LaBute?"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 4
"Fair point usually but in that dress I think we should make an exception for Cheryl"  ErnestWilde
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #4
"Aha. Sam informs me that he had to cross the line as his original shooting angle would have ended up"  Chris Hewitt
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Cannes 2011: Tree Of Life: First Reaction
13 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #2
8 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #5
7 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #4
5 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #6
3 comments

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 4
3 comments

Cannes 2011: The Tree Of Life
2 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #1
2 comments

Melancholia
2 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #8
2 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (296)
Helen O'Hara (166)
James Dyer (85)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (54)
James White (28)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
David Parkinson (1)


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Best Barry Norman Anecdotes From His Empire Podcast Interview
From nearly punching Robert De Niro to the real story about ‘And why not?’

Empire 300th Issue: The Directors' Cut Cover
Spielberg, Whedon, Fincher, Abrams Mann and more take over

Fired! Losing Your Job In The Movies
The lowdown on getting dismissed on film

20 Not So Super '-Men' That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)