For the most part, Michel Gondry‘s “The We And The I” has been working under a bit of secrecy, intentionally or not. Borne out of meetings with the publishers of the “You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It: The Be Kind Rewind Protocol” book which is about community filmmaking, the project is one that Gondry has been developing for a while now, working with a cast of unknown kids, in a story that’s very loosely about a bunch of high school stundents on the bus home on the last day of school, and how relationships change and evolve. There have been some hints at time-travel or sci-fi elements, but how those come into play is not yet known.
However, with the movie now set to open the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight next month, we have our first look at the film courtesy of Paris Match, and while it doesn’t answer any of the larger questions around the movie it does confirm at least that it exists. Last fall, the Hunts Point Express reported on the making of the film, which was shot in the Bronx, and revealed how the idea for the movie developed. Gondry and his team first interviewed various participants in youth programs and high schools in the area, and asked them to describe and act out an important moment in their lives. These were recorded and a year later, Gondry returned with a script inspired by the “big salad of stories,” and used many of the same youths who originated the stories to play themselves.
Said to touch upon themes like “bullying, stereotypes, and insecurities [and] universal issues about interpersonal relationships,” Gondry sums it up by saying “The We And The I” asks, “When are we most ourselves?” We’ll get the answer next month at Cannes. (Special thanks to Jerome for the heads up).