Daft Punk’s Electroma

electroma

Daft Punk’s Electroma is a 2007 film by French duo Daft Punk. The plot revolves around the quest of two robots (the band members, played by Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich) to become human. The music featured in this film is not by Daft Punk, which is a first for the duo after their previous film and home video releases, ‘D.A.F.T.’ and ‘Interstella 5555.’

The two lead characters appear as the robotic forms of Daft Punk; one wears a silver helmet and the other wears a gold one. An opening scene shows the duo driving in a 1987 Ferrari 412 with its license plate displaying ‘HUMAN.’ After passing through a Southwestern United States landscape, the duo arrives at a town in Inyo County, California. The town’s denizens are robots physically identical to the two main characters, but at different ages, with different clothing and alternating gender.

The pair drive to a high-tech facility where liquid latex is poured over their heads. The latex is shaped into human-like faces with the aid of prosthetic appliances and wigs. When the two leave the facility, the locals of the town are shocked by their human appearance. The duo’s faces eventually melt in the sun as the townsfolk chase them. The two take cover in a public restroom where the gold robot discards his ruined mask, then encourages the reluctant silver robot to do the same. Again appearing as robots, the pair then undergo a lengthy hike across desert salt flats.

After walking for a while, the silver robot removes its jacket and reveals a switch on its back. The gold robot flips the switch, which begins a timer. When the countdown ends, the silver robot is blown to pieces. The remaining robot piles the remains of the silver robot, then continues to walk. The gold robot eventually falls to its knees and attempts to reach the switch on its own back, but to no avail. The robot removes its helmet and repeatedly slams it into the ground until the helmet shatters. Using one of the shards as a burning-glass, the robot focuses the sunlight to set its hand ablaze. The film ends as the robot, completely on fire, walks in slow motion through darkness.

Daft Punk’s previous directorial credits include the music videos for their singles ‘Fresh,’ ‘Robot Rock’ and ‘Technologic.’ The duo initially shot footage for a music video of the song ‘Human After All,’ but expanded the content for a feature-length film instead. Band member, Thomas Bangalter stated, ‘With this film, we had the same approach as when we started making music. Create without any rules or standards. Take a free approach to something new that you don’t really know, and that you learn from scratch.’ The film was shot on 35 mm Kodak stock under the cinematography of Bangalter. He purchased and read over 200 back-issues of American Cinematographer in preparation for the feature-length picture. The robotic and makeup effects were designed and created by frequent collaborators Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc.

While ‘D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes’ and ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’ were produced to complement the albums Homework and Discovery, the soundtrack for ‘Daft Punk’s Electroma’ does not feature material by Daft Punk. The music in the film includes works by Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, Sébastien Tellier, Curtis Mayfield, and folk singers Linda Perhacs and Jackson C. Frank. Giving his take on the film’s reception, Thomas Bangalter stated, ‘We expected it to be less popular than Discovery, of course. The film is experimental and inaccessible; however, it’s a movie that does not require your brain to function.’

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2 Comments to “Daft Punk’s Electroma”

  1. Hi, I would like to know who made the art for this article. I could not find any credits nor an image source through google image search. Please, I’d really like to know.

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