Startup distributor Oscilloscope has picked up the rights to Michel Gondry‘s new project, The Thorn in the Heart a documentary which recently wrapped the Cannes Film Festival. Gondry seemed excited at the prospect of his new distributors…

“So I called up my best friend Etienne and told him, ‘Guess who’s distributing my documentary about my aunt?’ and he said, ‘who?’ and I said, ‘MCA from Beastie Boys’ and Etienne said, ‘The Beastie Boy bought your Aunt’s documentary?! Get the f*** out of here!’ and I said, ‘Yeah!!!’”

Although Gondry is attached to more mainstream films such as his much loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the upcoming superhero flick, The Green Hornet he also has a love for documentaries and has decided to turn to his own family for material.

The Thorn in the Heart is a French and English language film, which centers about the director’s aunt and family-matriarch, schoolteacher Suzette Gondry and her relationship with her son, Jean-Yves. The film takes a deeper look at her relationship with her son and records the at times painful discoveries.

Films like these are difficult because sometimes they are more important to the filmmaker than the audience. It sounds like an extremely personal story in which Gondry decided to pursue most likely to discover something about himself in the process, more than for our entertainment.


The title raises expectations of angst a-plenty, but the tone throughout is one of warm regard; you could make a documentary about some random octogenarian plucked off the street and have a good shot at stumbling onto a more eventful and interesting life


Beginning with a static dinner discussion where Suzette starts to reminisce about her life, “The Thorn in My Heart” dissipates into self-indulgent tedium: People we don’t know reminisce about people they once knew.

Although Oscilloscope’s co-founder, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, seems to feel differently. He said, “Michel is one of the most innovative and creative people in the world. So it’s great to see him making a sincere doc on a subject that is so close to his heart. (no pun intended).”

The company has agreed to finance the distribution of the film and release it  theatrically as well as on DVD and via digital platforms.

For more reviews, check out our Cannes Film Festival Roundup.

What do you think of Gondry’s quest? Should he have kept it for himself or are you excited to see it?