Watch: Michel and Oliver Gondry’s Music Video for “Model Village,” by IDLES
Director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and brother Olivier, who previously worked together on music videos like the Chemical Brothers’s “Star Guitar,” have just released a new quarantine-made clip for the Bristol band IDLES. Using a blend of lo-fi animation (Michel’s cardboard cutouts shot by a suspended-overhead iPhone) and CGI (Olivier’s desktop wizardry), the clip, which suggests a Richard Scarry adaptation of Animal Farm, moves from a racist village to the moon. From an article on the video at WePresent:
The song is really about the dangerous small-mindedness born out of villages which can sometimes act as breeding grounds for far right politics. The lyrics paint a very strong visual picture of the kinds of characters you’d find in this kind of village. Michel latched on to one line: “There’s a lot of pink skin in the village” and decided to run with it, making all the villagers into pigs. “Basically in the first part,” Michel explains, “we try to illustrate the lyrics as close as possible, to create the world, and then in the second half…they go to the moon.” The collages made by Michel on a flat surface were then transformed by Olivier into a moving, 3D village using an effect which makes us feel like we’re hovering over the town in a helicopter. Michel says this effect feels like looking through a snorkelling mask underwater: some parts of your vision blurred, and some in a heightened state of clarity. Olivier finds it funny that Michel sees this complicated CGI technique as “underwater” – he understands what he means, and also that few others would have made that comparison. “That’s his way to express it,” he says, smiling.
There are plenty of behind the scenes shots over at the link above, depicting Michel in LA and Olivier in Paris as they envision and make the clip.