Task 3: Michel Gondry

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Bjork – Human behaviour (BjorkTv 2010)

The short contemporary music video clip from Bjork – Human behaviour (BjorkTv 2010) directed by Michel Gondry is a unique flare of creativity, a film clip which includes a narrative along with staging tricks and in-camera effects. Gondry is well known to be inspired by the old-fasioned magic tricks and cinematic effects of George Méliès, and quite a few of these tricks and effects are evident within this music video clip collaboration.

Much like Méliès, Gondry makes use of a narrative, he tells a story through images, sequences and connects events to tell a story, the story is of a girl who finds herself running from humans while at the same time showing animals doing the same, it shows her thoughts and transitions this to it happening in real time. In a chapter from Elizabeth Ezra’s book, Méliès does tricks (2000) the author explains that Méliès was known for his magic tricks and “he also performed magic in the editing room, which enabled him to create effects that were both spectacular and narratively motivated”. (Ezra, 2000, p. 26)

Gondry tells this narrative through many tricks and in-camera effects, he creates a set which can be manipulated pre-production and on set during filming, which is very similar to Méliès approach stated by Ezra when explaining that Méliès creates movement in shots, “including using movable sets, pulleys and cranes, and trap doors.” (Ezra, 2000, p. 26). This is evident notably at the 2:51 mark during the 4minute 26second music video clip where the table is pulled away from Bjork as she is seemingly dragged out the window.

A more technical in-camera effect which Méliès was known for was “”substitution splicing” [which] created the sudden appearance or disappearance of a person or object, or the sudden replacement of one thing by another. (Ezra, 2000, p. 28). Gondry also uses this effect for the music video clip which is found at 1:11, and 3:22, in both sections of the film a portion of the image has been replaced with an overlap of another, Bjork appears to be imagining or seeing the bear in her mind as the image floats over her head, and in the second instance the image of the bear is directly on her forehead – directly on her mind.  

Ezra, E. (2000). Méliès does tricks. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 

BjorkTv 2010, Bjork – Human behaviour. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDbPYoaAiyc


One thought on “Task 3: Michel Gondry

  1. Hi, Dita. You have made some connections between the work of the two directors, drawing on your analyses and the set texct for support – well done. Yor APA formatting is getting there. I would avoid being so specific when referring to sources – a simple mention of the authors name in running text or in your citation only is all that is required (this was achieved well in your final paragraph). The inclusion of a concluding paragraph that rounded of your argument would have been a suitable inclusion. Well done on correctly identifying the author of your selected YouTube clip. Regards, Jonathan.
    Grade: Distinction


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