Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
Interstellar Review
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
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 (440)

Under The Radar (323)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
By James White

DreamWorks Touts New 'Toon Footage
By James White

Golden Globes 2012
By James White

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
By James White

The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?
By Helen O'Hara

The Sorcerer's Apprentice Edit Bay Visit
By James White

Shutter Island: A Thriller Out Of Time?
By Damon Wise

What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman
By James White

The Oscar Back-And-Forth
By Helen O'Hara

The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?
By Damon Wise


RECENT COMMENTS

Little Favour, Big Impact
"A really good short film. Gripping from the outset, a noir-ish action thriller with an interesting s"  Jaks
Read comment

i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
"I received this yesterday with high expectations Now I am an advocate for 3D and a massive "  BigNickUK
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Someone at E! needs to get fired! Their coverage was shocking! Thanks god for Empire showing me the "  guysalisbury
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
""Harvey Weinstein’s nickname apparently being The Punisher. Write your own Thomas Jane jo"  loafroaster
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Have to agree with the previous comments about the coverage by E! Truly inept. Other than that, high"  wgfuzzydunlop1
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Sadly boredbluekoala is spot on with the description of E!'s shockingly incompetent handling of the "  spacemonkey95
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Great, so let's get the Oscars back on the BBC then."  Cameron1975Williams
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"I don't know which broadcast everyone else was watching, but the one shown by 'E' in the UK was shoc"  boredbluekoala
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Either Gervais was told to tone it down this year or he just couldn't come up with anything funny (m"  BenTramer
Read comment

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
"As a younger generation movie lover, i am thrilled by the fact that Titanic is coming back to the bi"  AusteV
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

You Wouldn't Steal A Car...
140 comments

Should Spider-Man Have Gone 3D?
27 comments

Spielberg's Harvey: Why It's A Good Idea
26 comments

What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman
21 comments

The Oscar Back-And-Forth
18 comments

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
16 comments

The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?
11 comments

Golden Globes 2012
7 comments

The Sorcerer's Apprentice Edit Bay Visit
3 comments

The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?
2 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (20)
Owen Williams (15)
Simon Braund (6)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets Mike Leigh
On Mr. Turner, 007 and liver in lager

World War II Movies That Win At History
Seen Fury? Here’s what to watch next...

The 25 Shatneriest William Shatner Moments Of All Time
Prepare. For. Many. One. Word. Sentences.

Marvel Announces Phase Three Film Slate Up To 2019
Photos from the event and have a look at all the new movie logos

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Scares
Monsters, ghosts, horrible old ladies: the scenes that have kept us hiding behind the sofa for the last 25 years. Warning: contains spoilers.

Empire's Interstellar Review
Read our official verdict on Christopher Nolan's science-fiction epic

The 40 Most Fearsome One-Man Armies In Cinema
When you absolutely, positively have to kill every last mutha in the room...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! 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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)