This past weekend, a group of cinema-loving, food-appreciating folks with charitable hearts were invited over to Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League's front lawn for a very special Rolling Roadshow screening of Michel Gondry's latest film, Mood Indigo, which is being distributed in the US via Drafthouse Films. Every summer, League and the Drafthouse put together a fun charity event to raise money for the MS150, an annual two-day bike ride from Houston to Austin to raise money for MS research. The films typically shown at these fundraising events are, of course, bicycle-themed, but this year they wanted to do something a little different and give fans a chance to see this incredibly exciting new film from the mind behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep a little early.
Before the film, Tim spoke to the intimate crowd about the MS150 for those of us who were still unfamiliar, and it was touching to see so many faces in the crowd who clearly make an effort to attend these events year after year and show their support, not just as fans of film and lovers of the Drafthouse and what Tim does, but as people who want to support a good cause. It's always wonderful to have the opportunity to marry your passions with helping others, so if you can sit outside on a beautiful spring evening, watch a lovely French film and enjoy some delicious food with good company while supporting a charitable foundation, why not?
They really couldn't have picked a better film or time: the weather was beautiful, and I think we were all in the mood for a little Mood Indigo, as well as some seriously tasty food courtesy of the Drafthouse's Executive Chef, Trish Elchelberger, who planned a four course menu as charming and playful as the film itself, paired with lovely Chloe wines -- a cute nod to the name of Audrey Tautou's character in the film. Look, I'm obviously a little biased because I work for BAD and the Drafthouse is my second home, but major thumbs up to Trish on the hard work she put in on that menu, especially the second course: sliced baguette with rabbit rillette (the first time I'd ever eaten rabbit, and sorry bunnies, but you're tasty), brie, and a petite deviled egg with truffle oil.
As for the film, Mood Indigo is Gondry at his best, working completely without restraint to deliver a wildly inventive, poignant and heartbreaking film about what it is to truly love someone, and how that person's story forever becomes intertwined with our own. But the story also follows an illness, and contemplates the beauty of selflessness in love, which seemed thematically appropriate given the event. And while the ending seems to be the dividing point for most people both times I've seen it, I think there's a glimmer of hope and optimism to be had -- though I won't say much else. What I will say is that Mood Indigo is intensely creative, and the kind of film where every moment, set piece and accessory is working in tandem to weave a gorgeous narrative tapestry. And there also seems to be a bit of a Pee-wee Herman influence at work, sort of like a mature French surrealist version of Pee-wee's Playhouse at times.
You can see Mood Indigo when it hits theaters courtesy of Drafthouse Films in July. To find out more about the MS150 and how to participate in their annual rides or to donate, please visit their site.