Michel Gondry, for those of you who are not aware of his work, is an Oscar-winning filmmaker, whose work include directing commercials and music videos, as well as being a screenwriter. He made his name creating dreamlike music videos for the likes of Björk (a collaboration proved long-lasting,he directed seven music videos for her) as well as artists as diverse as Daft Punk, The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers, The Vines, Massive Attack, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, and Beck. As well as directing several TV commercials, he also helped pioneer the "bullet time" technique in a 1998 advert for Smirnoff vodka, later adapted in The Matrix. He then moved into films, with works such as Be Kind Rewind and The Science of Sleep. He is reknowned for using mise en scène, a way of telling a story using visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design. Props made from scratch with childlike gusto are common in his films, and these back-to-front cars are a classic example of his directorial mindset. the cars you see in the pictures are not a product of CG; these cars really do exist.
They're from Gondry's next film due out in 2013, an adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1947 novel Froth on the Daydream, which was recently fimed in Paris.
The great thing about these creations is that it’s not necessarily parts of the same car that help make the transition from one to another. The parts seem to have come from absolutely anything; it's great fun to scroll through the gallery and spot parts from various otherwise unrelated cars. Opel Ascona parts on a 405, a 605 front on an Espace’s rear end, a Renault 4 merged with a Renault 6 - absolutely bonkers and totally inspired. Mechanically they appear unchanged, but it’s sometimes difficult to tell which end is the front end, if you see waht we mean; some are back to back, on others the back becomes the front. Inside, a steering wheel and pedals have been installed in the boot, mechanically connected to the original items still where the cars designers left them. They're not easy to drive, according to stories from the film's special effects guys; I bet they got in the wrong end on more than a few occasions. Poor Amazo-san has gone cross-eyed just looking at his screen.
More pics here; we'll leave you to peruse the pics and wonder what came from what...
|So this is the front, then...|
|No, wait, this is the front. Er...|
|Are we the only ones that think this look almost works?|
|This one looks almost normal...|
|No, they haven't cut n' shut the street; just a clever choice of location. If you know your French road signs, you'll no doubt be doing a double-take at these ones...|