Thursday, February 28, 2008
Electroma played last night at The Brattle Theater for one night only and from what I could tell, the place was sold out. Which is understandable. Everybody loves Daft Punk and their movie, Electroma, hardly had a proper release. It's doing more of a tour than anything else, similar to the way Sigur Ros' Heima was put out. If a movie theater wanted to show the movie, they would have to contact the proper people in order to get it. So Electroma has been a difficult movie to see, even though it's debut was a year and a half ago at Cannes in 2006. When you have a popular band making an obscure movie, you get hordes of people dying to see it.
There's really not too much I can say about the movie without ruining anything. It's almost 80 minutes long and is about 2 robots on a quest to become human. It takes place mostly in the desert. Everything about the movie is slow and subtle. This is not a Daft Punk music video and if you were expecting to hear their music, you went to see the wrong movie. This is the soft, quiet side of Daft Punk. I feel like this is Daft Punk's version of 2001. Sound (or the lack thereof) is a major part of the movie and there are long shots that could bore many people. Even some of the themes are the same, in 2001 there's artificial intelligence and evolution and in Electroma there's robots. More parallels will be drawn between these movies in the future, I'm sure.
There are only about 9 or 10 actual scenes in the movie and each scene is stretched out to it's maximum length. They're long enough already, and I'm sure many people might have trouble sitting through them, but if they were any longer, there would be the risk of people getting up to leave. Some of the shots themselves last for 5 minutes straight, consisting of the two robots walking in the desert. I'm sure this could turn a lot of people off, especially fans of Daft Punk who want to see the visuals usually found in their music videos. However, I loved this movie and found it beautiful and beautifully shot. It's aesthetic is definitely one I appreciate. There was one part of the movie, though, that felt too long for me, and that was the desert scene. If you've seen the movie, you know what part I'm talking about. The song in that scene was pretty bad, I just couldn't get into it. There was something at the end that made it worth the wait, though. It was only one shot but it was priceless.
While the plot to Electroma can be boiled down to a simple sentence, there's much more to it than you would initially think. It's actually kind of a depressing movie but it's the kind of depressing that you laugh at. Some of the scenes are just so sad but the imagery is hilarious (I speak mainly of the chase and the bathroom scenes). And while these two robots are trying to become human, you feel for them somehow, even though you can't connect on the literal level. At the risk of sounding cliche, this is a really deep, sincere movie. Highly recommended for those without ADD. You definitely don't need to be a fan of Daft Punk in order to enjoy this movie. You just need to have a heart and maybe a place in there for robots.