Robot Rock

You could call them glam-house or even prog-dance, but no matter the classification, the French duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, better known as Daft Punk, have always pushed the boundaries of art and performance beyond simple electronic sounds. Way back in 1997, when their debut album Homework had already begun to rock the crap out of people’s behinds, the Punks took a decidedly visual and narrative track by pairing up with directors like Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) to draft compelling videos that didn’t just superimpose their music, but instead interacted along with it symbolically.

΄Course, by the time Discovery was released in 2001 the duo had shifted its real world personas entirely, owing to the Kubrick-esque robotic helmets they sport whenever in public. They paired with Japanese director Leiji Matsumoto to bring Discovery to the screen, this time in the form of a full-length anime film called Interstella 5555: a sweeping space saga that claimed pop music as the creation of an insidious planet-hopping race of wizards. And even without a single line of dialogue, the movie managed to weave a pretty deep tale while demanding a rhythmic head bob in the process.

And now Daft Punk is back in the visual game, this time as directors themselves. Their latest opus Electroma may come as a bit of a shock to Daft fans, simply because it contains no dialogue and no music by the band whatsoever. Nope, this is Daft’s indulgently kinky robotic vision – a world of noiseless robots striving to assert their humanity – played out through their always-compelling and fully relatable cast of characters. Since debuting at Cannes in late 2006, the film has become a staple at cultish midnight screenings overseas. Because it’s yet to be released on DVD, the screening of Electroma at 9 p.m. Friday at Studio A (60 NE 11 St., Miami) will be the first in Florida. Admission costs $6. Call 305-358-ROCK, or visit www.studioamiami.com.

 
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