Michel Gondry’s film Be Kind Rewind is a film that pokes fun at and removes the underpinning of film editing. This film is fundamentally about the art of story telling and editing. Throughout the film, the ideas of the rules of editing and filmmaking are completely nonexistent, as the main character of the film, Mike and Jerry, shoot films and release them, with no type of post-production process.
Be Kind Rewind follows Mike, played by Mos Def, and Jerry played by Jack Black, friends who work at a failing video store. When Jerry mistakenly becomes magnetized he accidentally erases all of the VHS tapes in the video store, leaving a mob of angry and disgruntled customers in his wake. To fix this problem, the pair decide to re-create famous Hollywood films, to satisfy their costumer’s needs. The results are films that are put together in one take, no budget, and no editing involved. However, the community is surprisingly receptive to these poor quality remakes, and business begins to boom. Gondry exposes the world of editing in this film, in a way that says big budget films and continuity don’t matter if the passion to make the film is there, someone will like it.
There is a use of pastiche in this film, where different forms of art collide. The story of Fats Waller is used throughout the film as a point of reference. These scenes are in black and white, and are visually creatively different then the rest of the film. The Fats Waller clips are more documentary style, with the use of voice over and interview.
The idea of time compression in this film is used in a montage sequence where the filmmaking team is in full swing. This montage sequence is unique in the sense that it shows the elapsing of time, as well as is also a montage sequence of the different films they are filming. As we move along the set, time passes, and we are introduced to various movies the group is “sweding”.