Director Michel Gondry consistently surprises audiences with each film, from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to The Science of Sleep, from Mood Indigo to Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? Every step of the way, his work remains visually singular and emotionally resonant. Even Seth Rogen-vehicle The Green Hornet defied superhero conventions and was arguably ahead of its time.
Michel Gondry’s latest experiment, Las Vegas Love Stories, is a series of short films shot in Sin City. Here’s the kicker: all six films clock in around 8.2 seconds each (not counting title sequence or credits), which is the amount of time it takes to fall in love, according to a 2009 study in Archives of Sexual Behavior. Co-created and edited by his brother, Olivier Gondry, and shot at the Park MGM, Las Vegas Love Stories retains the Gondrys whimsical visuals while somehow distilling the most complex human emotion: love.
Despite the rigid time constraint, the Gondrys prove they are up for any challenge. They skillfully slow down blink-and-you-miss-it moments: two potential paramours lock eyes while riding escalators, friends share a passionate first kiss in an elevator, and a third person is introduced into a romantic equation.
It must be said, however, that the films are promotional pieces for Park MGM, a Las Vegas hotel and casino. It would be easy to dismiss the films as mere advertisements, but let’s not forget Federico Fellini directed several commercials after establishing himself as Italy’s greatest filmmaker, and in 2015, Martin Scorsese directed Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt in The Audition, a $70 million promotional short for Studio City Macau Resort and Casino.
Thankfully, each short highlights the Gondrys unmistakable flair for the fantastic, making for infectious repeat viewings.
Watch “It Is Decidedly So” and “Room 802” from Las Vegas Love Stories below: