How Michel Gondry’s Music Videos Creatively Use Repetition to Visually Match the Structure of the Song

Noah LeFevre of Polyphonic (previously) quite astutely explores how Michel Gondry uses the twin techniques of repetition and recursion within the numerous music videos he’s directed over the years. This specific style marries together the optical with the auditory, using distinct visual cues that correspond with the rhythmic, recursing elements of the song.

Upon first glance ‘Star Guitar’ may appear to be a pretty typical music video. We open on a shot of a passing landscape outside of a train window but the repetitions quickly become evident. Water towers start to pass at regular intervals then a pattern of smokestacks emerge. It quickly becomes clear that these aren’t just repetitions for repetition’s sake, they’re The Chemical Brothers music represented visually, each of the repeating elements of the song is represented in the passing landscape.