First Look: Michel Gondry's Brand New Cannes Documentary
by Alex Billington
May 7, 2009
One of the biggest surprises of the Cannes Film Festival line-up this year was the inclusion of a previously unknown documentary made by French filmmaker Michel Gondry. We all know and love Gondry (at least I do), but I was under the impression that he hadn't done anything new since Be Kind Rewind and Tokyo! and was already starting work on The Green Hornet with Seth Rogen. But a documentary called L'epine Dans le Coeur, or The Thorn in the Heart in English, somehow appeared on the Cannes line-up in the Special Screenings section. The basic premise is that it's just a documentary about Gondry's aunt.
So why would anyone want to watch a documentary about his Aunt? Well, before we get into the photos, let's take a quick look at the official synopsis from Cannes, as that'll maybe answer that question easily.
"Suzette, Michel Gondry's aunt, was a school teacher from 1952 to 1986 and she tells Michel how it was to be a teacher in a rural and isolated part of France. But little by little, Michel discovers some family stories he was totally unaware of and uses his camera to explore it in a subtle but very emotional way."
That's all we know for now and I honestly wasn't expecting to hear anything about this until I had the chance to catch in France in a few weeks, but alas, some new photos have popped up via both The Playlist and Quiet Earth. As is obvious from the photos above, it looks like this was just a documentary Gondry shot with his own consumer cameras and something he did on his own time with his family. It looks like a very personal and potentially very emotional documentary and I'm certainly interested in checking it out. I'm not sure what the miniature trains have to do with the story, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
This documentary is on my list of films to watch while I'm at Cannes, and I'll be sure to let you know what I think once I get to see it. I'm a big fan of Michel Gondry and excited to see some more new work from him!