Movie Review: Daft Punk’s Electroma

I’m not a large Daft Punk fan by any means but I am familiar with some of their work. I’ve seen Interstellar 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem but was the only film I had seen from them. I came across this after watching a fan edit of “Touch (feat. Paul Williams)” on YouTube with clips from this film. If you’ve seen that fan edit, then you’ve seen the entire film in under nine minutes.

Two robots want to become human.

This is a slow burn, considering the film is only 74 minutes long. There are long tracking shots, long periods of pure diegetic sound, and no dialogue other than the lyrics in the songs. In fact, there is no Daft Punk music in this Daft Punk film. Surprised?

The compositions are well-constructed, though there is a rather suggestive sand dune. There are some moments of queasy-cam and potential seizures with a faulty fluorescent light that lasts for more than five minutes. The light drove me crazy and I normally don’t have a problem with flashing lights.

Actually, the removal of the “human” masks is a reflection of how I feel about social engagements. I feel like I have to wear a human mask so that I can blend in with other people. After the engagement, I get rid of the mask and accessories as fast as I can so that I can be more comfortable.

The pacing of the film can easily be trimmed by half and still carry the narrative forward, notably the long hiking scene. When it was screened at Cannes, a lot of people left during the hiking scene. I understand that the two robots are walking into the desert but I do not need to be with them every single moment. But I am.

The challenge, among many, here is trying to read the facial cues. There are no eyes or eyebrows to look at. With HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, at least he spoke. It’s all in how the head is positioned. In real life, it would drive me crazy as I need to learn how to read the facial cues. The music and the robots’ actions were the only other cues I could follow to analyze emotion.

If you appreciate minimalism of any kind or a slow burn, then you might enjoy this; keyword being “might”. It will test your patience, much like Wavelength, only with Daft Punk and more camera movement. Headphones are a must.


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