The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

14
Two robots who may or may not be messieurs Bangalter and de Homem-Christo of Daft PunkIf you managed to catch Daft Punk’s show at Oxegen in July then you’ll have seen the trailer for their new movie. ‘Daft Punk’s Electroma’ is currently showing at the IFI in Temple Bar in Dublin.
           
It’s not a film for everyone – ‘Electroma’ is closer in execution and spirit to an art installation than a traditional cinema release. There’s no dialogue, yet it tells the story of two robots who try to become human but are banished to the desert by their robot community. ‘Transformers’ it ain’t.
 
(Incidentally, Daft Punk conspiracy theorists will be interested to learn that the two robots are not played by Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo themselves)
 
As you can imagine for a film without dialogue or human faces, the film depends greatly on the visual power of its photography and sequences. In this it succeeds – ‘Electroma’ is gorgeous to look at.
 
A rare helmetless photo of two men who definitely are messieurs Bangalter and de Homem-Christo of Daft PunkThe soundtrack also plays an essential part in shaping this faceless, speechless story. Daft Punk fans may be disappointed to learn that the film doesn’t feature any music old or new from the helmet-wearing pair. Instead, the choice of tracks ranges from classical pieces by Chopin and Haydn to more modern sounds from Brian Eno, Curtis Mayfield and Todd Rundgren – all scrupulously selected to serve the narrative.
 
There’s no news at present of any new music from Daft Punk. Their last album, 2005’s ‘Human After All’, was received with relatively muted critical reaction and disappointing sales (it scraped into the French top ten). 2007 is the tenth anniversary of the release of their revolutionary debut album, ‘Homework’, a record whose punk attitude and rock/electro soundclashes continue to exercise a huge influence on acts like Justice and LCD Soundsystem.

You can watch some scenes from ‘Daft Punk’s Electroma’ on YouTube – the Burning Man sequence, the film’s climax, is especially powerful. As for the duo’s music, here’s Michel Gondry’s video for ‘Around The World’:


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Nuggets from our archive

2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).