What is Gondry’s Home Movie Factory? It sounds incredible, and this January, it seems as though the Frenchman will be bringing Rotterdam a great opportunity. His absurd vision, his dreams and his unique wisdom will be available to all as he takes his favourite place in the director’s chair, and while participants from all over have the chance to join him in his new installation. It seems as though this factory is something to be rather excited about, set to open along with the world-renowned film festival which everybody’s talking so much about. This event becomes a chance for everybody to let out their creative brilliance – regardless of experience or knowledge – which is what it’s all about really, and what makes what the surreal director is putting together even more respectable.
It seems that Michel Gondry (Be Kind, Rewind and Science of Sleep) put the factory together as a way of sharing and cultivating the artistic opportunities that so many people never get to be a part of, and on the 26th of January, it will open up to all in Rotterdam, after proving to be more than successful in New York, Sao Paolo, Rio and Paris. The difference this year is that the factory will actually be an official part of the festival for the first time since Gondry got it all going. The whole thing involves a range of different sets and equipment to make use of, as individual groups get together and share their ideas in putting together a film each – also with control of every single aspect of the film, including the writing, acting and filming. All of this, combined with the fact that the inspired Frenchman will be supervising and guiding everything ensures that this is definitely something to keep an eye out for.
After this, groups are given the chance to sit through a screening of their own creation, while receiving a copy on DVD. While most other factories guide their participants towards a ‘great’ film, it feels as though Rotterdam’s Home Movie Factory is more about creating an atmosphere in which the participants can feel open and free to be as mad and idealistic as they wish, without any constraints. Instead of providing a formula which needs to be followed, something like a ‘protagonist, antagonist, conflict and resolution’ kind of thing, it’ll be a ‘take these materials, and try to create how you feel’ – something that, I believe, Michel Gondry very much believes in.
The factory will open on the 26th January, and close on the 5th March. Entry is completely free for all participants – pretty much anybody who feels like joining – and it will be directly associated with the Rotterdam Film Festival, a festival which is increasingly involved in trying to interact with its audiences as opposed to simply showcasing great films. It was more than refreshing to spot the news of this opportunity on the Rotterdam Festival homepage, because to me it was a way in which more than the ‘privileged few’ get the rare chance to involve themselves in the beauty of creation, regardless of expertise, class, age or experience – an importance that art and film often forgets, and tends to make so difficult.
Home Movie Factory at International Film Festival Rotterdam
Michel Gondry, head honcho of the Amateur Film factory! at MyFrenchFilms.com
Michel Gondry, Reluctant Cannes Judge at the New York Times
IFFR brings Gondry’s Home Movie Factory to Rotterdam at Fest21.com
Michel Gondry at www.michelgondry.com