5. Michel Gondry
Best Music Videos: “Human Behaviour”, Bjork (1993); “Around The World”, Daft Punk (1997); “Heard 'Em Say”, Kanye West feat. Adam Levine (2005)
Best Movies: Human Nature (2001), Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004), The Science Of Sleep (2006)
Michel Gondry’s style lends itself to audience mind-fucking, but not in Gaspar Noé-like, psychologically damaging ways—the ways in which he scrambles brains are like sex by way of Walt Disney on LSD. The French visionary’s knack for harmlessly bizarre direction traces back to his earlier music videos, such as Bjork’s oddball “Human Behaviour,” which offsets its dark nature through cuddly, man-sized teddy bears with Coraline-esque, sewed-on eyeballs. That same quirkiness pervades Gondry’s other clips, namely Daft Punk’s demented circus in “Around The World.”
Staying true to his sensibilities, Gondry’s best feature films share this whimsically unsettling vibe; his cinematic magnum opus, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, for example, is a love story with Freudian sentiments and dreamlike imagery. Even his lesser movies, like this year’s uneven The Green Hornet, don’t lack in visual creativeness; in a Michel Gondry production, whether good or bad, the viewer’s psyche is bound to get freaked. No complaints here.