DAFT PUNK’S ELECTROMA
Rating: Not Rated
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo
Writer: Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, Paul Hahn, and Cedric Hervert
Starring: Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo), Ritchie Lago Bautista, Daniel Doble, Bradley Schneider, Athena Stamos
It’s a Daft Punk movie. That much is certain. They play themselves as only we get to see them- dressed as robots, black jackets with their logo on the back. There’s no dialogue and there’s also, quite oddly, none of their music either. Yet if you’re a fan of the group, as I am, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. Back before music was a click away on the internet, my cousin Curtis and I discovered Daft Punk on MTV’s “Amp”. First with their awesome “Around the World” video and then with their Spike Jonze helmed “Da Funk”. For everyone that questioned whether electronica had a “soul” or not, you couldn’t deny that Daft Punk had brains. And so, as groundbreaking as their debut album, “Homework”, was- so where the videos that accompanied it. Their debut feature length movie, “Electroma”, is a visual exercise. If you’re expecting an hour plus music video, you’re going to be disappointed. Actually, odds are that if you aren’t in to experimental filmmaking you’re going to hate it. This is the first movie I’ve reviewed where the side bar of the blog here must be noted- “just because I loved it, doesn’t mean you will”. Love is a strong word here- I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it. It’s a science-fiction film at it’s core and while I wrote about the accessibility of “Sunshine” a few days ago- the opposite can be said of “Electroma”- as with any film with no dialogue would be. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem Christo drive through what appears to be the Midwest in a 1987 Ferrari 412. Their license plate reads “Human”. They enter a town full of similar looking robots (the preacher, the waitress- everyone looks like they’re in the group). They stop at some sort of laboratory and are given some kind of human makeover with latex masks and prosthetics (the results are pretty creepy). Then things go all Gus Van Sant and they end up stranded in the desert. One thing leads to another and all kinds of arty hell breaks loose (face meltings, robots on fire- you know, the usual stranded in the desert stuff). I’m sure none of that makes sense, but if you see the movie you’ll see why I had such a hard time explaining it. Which brings up the question- why should you see it? I don’t know. You probably shouldn’t. I’m not trying to be an indie snob or anything. I think even if you love Daft Punk you might have issues with this movie. I was kind of transfixed by it. Most of the reviews I’ve read have compared it’s style to “2001”. High praise indeed and while I wouldn’t quite put it up in those ranks, it isn’t too far off base.
Buy the DVD here