Michel Gondry’s youthful ambitions to become an inventor or painter emerged during his upbringing in Versailles. Music was part of family life; his father was a computer programmer and pianist who loved jazz and had a special affinity for the sound of the Hammond B3 organ. Gondry’s father’s dedication to a technical profession and love of music could have set a powerful example for his son, whose work displays a dual dedication to technique, on one hand, and to art, music, abstraction, and emotion, on the other. As Gondry’s collaborator, Charlie Kaufman, puts it, “What I like about Michel is that he’s got this technical brilliance, and yet there’s this human stuff going on. That’s a really unusual combination.” 1 Gondry’s mother, Marie-Noëlle, played piano and taught music. She wrote music that appears in the short film La Lettre (1998), the feature Human Nature (2001) in a mystical sounding cue, and in the 2004 documentary I’ve Been Twelve Forever. Gondry has described the house as full of music and electronics, although his childhood preoccupation was drawing. He recalls: “We had only two gods at home: Serge Gainsbourg and Duke Ellington.” 2