Michel Gondry and Boris Vian: a match made in heaven

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.

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This film is like a dream :) Thanks Dom

Justin Cone

I had no idea this film existed, and now I can’t wait to see it. Thank you, Dom!


How come everyone is mad at Ang lee and not the vfx supervisors who won the oscars?? The first word coming out their mouth should’ve been the issue in vfx industry instead they thanked every one and their dogs first… knowing they have a really short time window?? so yeah don’t blame Ang lee for not mentioning the artists when the vfx supervisors doesn’t acknowledge the very artists that put them on that oscar stage.


great point. the vfx sup didn’t even care to mention the vfx artist as the first people to thank….


Isn’t Gondry known for his in-camera effects? I mean, aside from Green Hornet, which he obviously did to finance his other projects.

Dominique Elliott

Great point Gunn. And so was George Méliès. Thank you for the reminder.:)


Gunn are in-camera effects not considered visual effects?


To my humble knowledge, special effects are done on set, and visual effects are done in post.


I think the point gunn is trying to make is that while Gondry’s films (and in-camera effects) are beautiful, well-crafted, and deserved to be recognized – the current discussion about the VFX industry is about trying to gain recognition for the work done primarily *away* from on-set production. Its about bringing attention to the equally important work done in VFX studios that has been failing to get the same respect and recognition the “on-set” artists receive. The fact that hundreds of artists in their digital production studio “caves” are not being recognized as equally as their on-set brethren.

That being said, I’m sure there is a good amount of VFX work in Gondry’s films by talented computer artists working to make it look like it was all “in-camera”.

Tosh Berman

For those who are interested, I am the English language publisher of Boris Vian’s “L’écume des jours” (Foam of the Daze) TamTam Books. One can get a copy at your local bookstore or online shops.



Greg Herman

Great post Dom! Thank you.

mclovin media

Gondry is the man, no doubt. He does things in camera sometimes and not in others.

He’s really not just an incamera guy. I know for a fact. ;)

His in-camera works need to be fixed in post. For example wire removals and pasting over top of flaws. So it’s not all done in camera. It’s been photoshopped. ;)

It’s still admirable what he does. I think the definition of in-camera has changed. Mostly in-camera, but not all-in-camera.

ktx (@ktxed)

always will love gondry’s dreamlike movies :)

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