"Exploring the Mind of Michel Gondry," a conversation between film and video director Michel Gondry and Professor FrÌ©do Durand of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will take place on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 10-250.
A pioneering director and winner of a 2005 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), Gondry is known for innovative camera techniques that have become industry standards. Gondry creates visually astonishing, sweeping effects by placing numerous cameras around a subject and the combining the images. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," which starred Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, is an unconventional romance about a couple that undergoes a procedure to erase each other from their memories.
A native of Versailles, France, Gondry was raised in a freethinking family that included a number of inventors and technological innovators. Gondry's grandfather, Constant Martin, is often credited with creating one of the earliest synthesizers--the clavioline.
While in art school in Paris, Gondry formed the band Oui Oui, for which he played drums. His videos for Oui Oui, which mixed animation with live action to create a series of wildly surreal worlds, piqued the interest of singer BjÌ¦rk and the two collaborated on the video for her song "Human Behavior." A visually extravagant study in the quirks of humans as expressed through various species of the animal kingdom, the groundbreaking video, first aired in 1993, marked the beginning of an enduring collaboration between the two artists.
Gondry's Levi's ad "Drugstore" (1994) is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most award-winning commercial of all time.
Professor Durand teaches in the Computer Graphics Group in CSAIL. His research interests include computational photography, real-time and realistic rendering, and pictorial style for non-photorealistic rendering. A member of the Rubin Award selection committee, Durand nominated Gondry based on student interest in Gondry's innovative music videos.
At a future date, Gondry will return to MIT as an artist-in-residence to visit classes and labs, investigate research on sleep and memory, give workshops and share meals with faculty, staff and students.
Gondry's MIT visit is supported by the Ida Ely Rubin Artists-in-Residence Fund and is sponsored by the Department of Architecture and the Office of the Arts
The event is free and open to the public, though preference will be given to MIT students. Seating is limited; no tickets or reservations are necessary. For more information, call (617) 253-2341.