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France/USA 2006
Directed by
Thomas Bangalter / Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo
112 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Daft Punk's Electroma

Daft Punk is the ironic nom de plume of successful Paris electronic/house musicians, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Bar their hit single Around the World, I do not know their music and being no fan of synthesizers and drum machines, am not a likely audience for the duo’s excursion into feature film (they had previously produced music videos and a feature-length animated film, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem). Pop music is as much, if not more, about attitude as it is about any musical value and this consideration can be applied here. Daft Punk fans and some aficionados of electronic music may find satisfaction from Electroma, but from a non-devotee’s viewpoint it is a slight affair.

Shot by Bangalter, Electroma takes full advantage of the starkness of the desert of California to tell the simple, wordless story of two black-clad robots on a mission to transform themselves into human beings. With a mix of samples ranging from Chopin to Curtis Mayfield (although none of their own music ) underscoring the visuals, one cannot help but recall the Nicolas Roeg classic, The Man Who Fell To Earth, about an alien who is forced to become human which was released in 1976 when Christo and Bangalter were still in nappies. Given that the star of that film, David Bowie, released Low, a benchmark album of part-electro-pop music the same year, it is surprising that The Thin White Duke doesn’t get a guernsey here particularly as his fellow art rock alumnus, Brian Eno does. But then that might have drawn too much attention to the limitations of this project.




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