Whimsical director Michel Gondry may have only just closed the can on his latest film 'Mood Indigo' but he reveals to HuffPostUK he's been planning it for 30 years - since long before his success with 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'Be Kind Rewind' and 'The Green Hornet'.
"I think I started to adapt it the first time I read it, 30 years ago, aged 17," he remembers.
"I had such strong images that stayed with me until right now, all these years later, and stayed with me when I began to be a director.
"All those ideas – romanticism, fear of death, I had them in my head and they helped me to become a film maker."
Sure enough, they're all there in 'Mood Indigo', telling the story of wealthy, inventive bachelor Colin (Romain Duris) who endeavors to find a cure for his lover Chloe (Audrey Tautou) after she's diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.
As with all of Michel's films, along with the optimism dancing along with despair is his resident sense of playfulness, something he understands keenly...
"I don’t like things that are pretentious," he begins. "It’s something that really offends me, when someone makes you feel as though they are above you, they don’t care about you, they condescend to you, I find that very unpleasant, so that is something I would never do, either as director, or filmmaker.
As well, I am a bit of a naïve, so I see the world with my own eyes. The definition of being naïve is that you see the world like everyone else, but when you represent it, you don’t achieve the representation, you don’t finish it. So you stop it at a place that seems sufficient.
You use your imagination to finish it, and you expect the audience to make the same leap of faith. That’s being naïve, and I think that’s how I work.
Even if I do a movie that has no visual or animation, I still work from being naïve, because I expect the audience to be like me, not to have to be represented something completely realistic to imagine it’s possible."
'Mood Indigo' is in selected cinemas now. Watch the trailer below...