Director's Cut: Michel Gondry

French auteur Michel Gondry has crafted stunning music videos for superstars like Bjork, Kylie Minogue, and the White Stripes. But that didn't stop New Zealand rock-rap upstarts Steriogram from sending him a tape of their single ''Walkie Talkie Man.'' Surprise -- he bit. ''It was the kind of stubborn energy that I like,'' says Gondry. ''The punk style made me think of [a famous photo of] the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten and how he had a sweater knitted by his mother -- the contrast of this childlike look with this very violent music. From there, I decided to do everything with yarn,'' he says of the clip, which has yet to debut on MTV (see it now at capitol With the help of knitter/designer Lauri Faggioni, Gondry spun the band's whole world -- from the instruments to the studio to the Capitol Records skyscraper -- into a frenetic fabric fantasy. Like most of his undertakings, it was a painstaking process. ''I deliver what I say I will do,'' he asserts. ''But a lot of times, people don't really believe it's going to work out.'' Stubborn energy, indeed.

Originally posted Feb 13, 2004 Published in issue #751 Feb 13, 2004 Order article reprints

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