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The Thorn in the Heart

L'épine dans le coeur
International title The Thorn in the Heart
Section 47 edición - Llendes (No ficción y documental)
Country Francia
Year 2009
Running time 86
Director Michel Gondry
Screenplay Michel Gondry
Film Editing Marie-Charlotte Moreau
Photography Jean-Louis Bompoint
Production Georges Bermann
Cast Suzette Gondry, Jean-Yves Gondry
Producer

Partizan Films

Synopsis

Travelling through the enclaves of rural France, Michel Gondry paints a portrait of the family matriarch, his aunt Suzette, who was a school teacher from 1952 to 1986. This tour of the places where she taught in this period brings to light the complex relationship between the dominant Suzette and her dependant, unsociable son, Jean-Yves, who she calls the “thorn in her heart”. Gondry uses home movies filmed in Super 8 by Jean-Yves, reproductions and sketches which he has no qualms in presenting in their entirety, and the addition of the odd visual trick from his imaginative personal repertoire

Director bio

Gondry was born in Versalles, France in 1963. He began his film work as a director of music videos, working for artists such as Björk, The White Stripes, Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers and Kylie Minogue. At the same time he directed television commercials. He made his first short film in 1989, and in 2001 he released his first feature length film, Human Nature. In 2004 he won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He went on to direct The Science of Sleep, and Be Kind Rewind in 2007 and 2008 respectively. L’Epine dans le Coeur is one of his few documentaries.