Monday, January 14, 2008

What in the world ever happened to Daniel Clowes?

I may indeed be the only person in the world who wonders about such things, but I fairly often do.

Now, the last time Daniel Clowes stuck his head out was as the writer of one of the worst movies of the last five years or so. Taken back-to-back-to-back with "Poseidon" and "X-Men", "Art School Confidential" just completed a craptastic start to the summer of 2006. However, when you've also penned easily one of my favorite movies in "Ghost World," I'm willing to be a forgiving soul.

Hollywood, however, doesn't seem to be so understanding. Or maybe it's just that Mr. Clowes doesn't work quickly (or, of course, just likes to work on his graphic novels instead.) Either way, he hasn't seemed to have been able to finish anything for the movies since.

Which is a real shame, if you look at what's on his plate. First up, which the IMDB reports he was "still tinkering with" in December, is a movie about those cool kids who made the shot-for-shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in their back yard (I saw the movie earlier this year in Athens, and it is a real accomplishment.) That, if he ever does indeed finish it, would be tons of fun, as would this project I just found him attached to today with Michel Gondry and his son, Paul.

The elder Gondry and Mr. Clowes had been, and probably still are, considering taking on Rudy Rucker's "Master of Space and Time," but I would have to assume this family project puts that on the back burner.

Here's what Michel Gondry had to say about the new flick to the great /film site:

“It’s based on [Gondry’s son Paul’s] universe. He’s a sixteen year old. He’s very unique, very funny and very violent in his drawing and his art, showing everything that you could think of that I should have stopped him from coming in contact with, but I failed. He grew up watching Tom & Jerry and Ren and Stimpy, Sponge Bob. If you take all that and mix it with Gangster movies with blood, you get his universe. We’re translating our relationship into a futuristic story with a dictator and a rebel. He’s the dictator in the story and it will be based on his art.”

The movie will apparently be called "Migel Munya," and here's a little more of the craziness that Mr. Clowes will get to work with, again courtesy of /film.

“[The movie is] about a dictator who runs a crazy world where hair is the source of energy. The people there are forced to create art, and if the art is too good they are executed. So the dictator there doesn’t want anyone to be better than him so he kills the inmates who make good art. They try to make rubbish art but sometimes the worse it is for them, the better it is for the dictator.”

This just sounds cool to me, and it will indeed be even better news if we just get to see anything from Daniel Clowes on the big screen in the near future. The younger Mr. Gondry, along with being a budding cartoonist, also directed a video for the California band The Willowz, but I couldn't find a terribly high quality version of that. Instead, I hope this Lego video for the White Stripes' "Fell In Love With a Girl," directed by Michel and featuring young Paul playing with Legos at the beginning, puts a proper jolt in your Monday morning. Peace out.

5 comments:

Splotchy said...

It's like this post was tailor-made for me!

I caught the tail end of Art School Confidential on the TV a couple nights ago, but fell asleep (I was tired, admittedly). I wasn't particularly fond of Ghost World either, but I couldn't really tell you exactly why -- maybe the melancholy of Clowes' comics didn't translate for me to the film, I dunno.

I tried to see Michel Gondry speak at the Apple Store in Chicago on Michigan Avenue last week, but there were hundreds of other people waiting in line when I got there, so's I gave up.

Hadn't seen the White Stripes video, thanks for including it.

That about covers it. Thanks for the post.

Bob said...

I still stand by "Art School Confidential." I went to college with all of those people so I loved seeing pretentious a**holes I went to school with get ripped (especially Eno, the guy who "gets" everything). I've watched it a few times and I think the movie's hilarious. I don't share his bleak world view, but Clowes is incredibly funny.

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Reel Fanatic said...

Perhaps it would have helped me get into that flick more if I could identify with the characters better, Bob, but I actually watched it twiced and liked it less the second time ... I just thought the murder plot was more than a little stupid, and I got the feeling that Clowes disliked all those characters even more than I did

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