may_8.jpgTo most people, Michel Gondry, born on this day in 1963, is most recognizable as the director of 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But his surrealistic work began long before that Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet vehicle played to mass audiences. And it continues today with smaller, more personal films like The Science of Sleep, which he explained to MM in Fall 2006, was a “very personal” journey for him. Born in Versailles, France, Gondry learned early on to appreciate the narrative nature of music. It was within this medium that the artist first made an impact, directing music videos for The White Stripes, Beck and others. His first feature, Human Nature, written by Charlie Kaufman, was a minor success, gearing the pair up for their Academy Award-winning, mind-bending Eternal Sunshine. Next up for the French moviemaker is 2008’s Be Kind Rewind, about a man who must recreate all manner of favored films when he accidentally destroys his friend’s video store stock.

Quotable: “When you have a mixture of things going on in your life and all around you, that gets filtered through your imagination (to me, that’s what a dream does) it generates a lot of original imagery. So when I’m working on a music video or a film, I try to recycle what I see in my mind as much as possible. I like the way that something you’ve seen on the street on the way to work will suddenly show up 10 times larger or 10 times smaller or in a totally different color.” —Michel Gondry, “Requiem for a Dreamer” by David Fear, MovieMaker Volume 13, Issue 64.