Davis Silis - 6th May 2015

Gondry is like the stranger who comes back to town. He walks into the dive bar of some small Pennsylvania mining settlement. All of us there, huddled around our drinks. Soot on our faces. 

He used to be a regular. But now he’s a stranger. A few of the old miners glance up when he walks in. They nod their heads. Surprised to see him back in these parts. He’s gotten older. Wrinkles on his face.

The younger ones hardly take notice. We’ve spent so long looking at the portrait of him behind the bar. From his younger days. We don’t recognise him now. He looks so different. Back then, he had that spark in his eye. When he used to go down into the mine and come back with the most incredible finds. Unimaginable minerals. Impossible rock formations. Like no one had ever seen. So many others went down with him, only to come up empty handed.

But that was then. Now, he seldom comes back. The last time he strolled in, our ears barely perked up. 

Once, he even came back with an old friend. We heard all the stories, of course. The stories of their adventures. We’d watch old VHS tapes of the beautiful things they brought up from the mine. VHS tapes the bartender kept in a dusty box behind the bar. We still watch them today. The images now fuzzy. Marred with static after years of wear.

"Like ever, Gondry reminds us. There’s still gold in them hills."

The last time, only a few paid attention. The rest of us turned our heads. We sank into our drinks. Muttering to each other about the damn Mining Company. How they’re screwing us all. Talking about the good old days we never even experienced. When the Mining Company let the miners explore. When they used to send them down with all the equipment they needed. When the pickaxes were new. When boots were strong and flashlights were bright.

So these days, we keep to ourselves. But Gondry has strolled back in. And he’s found something. Something peculiar. Like he used to. We huddle around. We look in awe. After all this time, how does he still do it? Goddamn if he still can’t wow us. Goddamn if he doesn’t remind us why so many of us wanted to go down into the mine in the first place.

We don’t know how long he’ll stick around. How many bizarre minerals he may still find. How many he’s kept hidden away for himself. But that’s not what matters.

Tomorrow we go back to work. Back into the darkness. Into the deep. Mining Company be damned. They’ve taken our tools. They send us in with with bare hands. Our knuckles bloodied. Our lungs filled with ash. But like ever, Gondry reminds us. There’s still gold in them hills.

Credits

Production designerStéphane Rozenbaum
DirectorMichel Gondry
Executive ProducerClaire Stubbs
Executive ProducerStan Bertin
ProducerAnne-Laure Godinho
Production ManagerPierre-Marie Dufour
1st ADJacques Eberhard
Director of PhotographyLaurent Brunet
Production CompanyPartizan
StylistFlorence Fontaine
Hair & Make-upMaya Benamer
ChoreographyShirley Henault
Post Production ManagerLisa Barbier
EditorMarie Charlotte Moreau
ColouristJulien Hery
CommissionerAilsa Robertson
LabelVirgin EMI

Davis Silis - 6th May 2015

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