There has been much talk this week about the woes of the visual effects industry. Snubs at the Oscars did not go unnoticed, including that of Ang Lee’s acceptance speech that failed to acknowledge the artists who helped him develop the look and visual flair of Life of Pi. Some think of visual effects as a tool to make the world appear believable and realistic, but it is far more than that, both in Lee’s film and in Gondry’s.
Appropriately, here is a reminder from Michel Gondry that visual effects are integral to the plot; they move the story forward, capture the viewer’s imagination and convey the author’s magical play with words. Michel Gondry’s “L’écume des Jours” is based on a classic French novel by Boris Vian, published in 1947. It is considered by many to be one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. A love story above all else, the story evolves in a world full of poetic and dream-like imagery, a world in which surrealist references abound; a flower grows in the main character’s lungs, threatening the couple’s happiness and their house shrinks around them.