Daft Punk, whose twerping, bleepy music has lately hit such a global chord, has also crafted a distinct visual aesthetic. As an extension of its experiments with imagery, the French duo has established a film production company, Daft Arts, through which it has released its first feature-length film, Electroma.
Sure, there are previous Daft Punk films: D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen, and Tomatoes accompanied its debut album, Homework. And Interstella 55555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem coincided with its followup, Discovery.
But Electroma is a singular creation — it's actually mostly silence, the quiet only occasionally punctured by songs not created by Daft Punk. Instead, Electroma features tracks from Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, and Curtis Mayfield, among others.
As for the plot, it vaguely follows two robots on a quest to become human. Representing Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo— the two fellows behind Daft Punk — are actors Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich, who played similar roles in the video for Kanye West's "Stronger." As the robots traverse the United States, the nightmare that is Electroma begins.
Painfully drawn out, Electroma is mind-numbingly boring. One actually feels trapped in the car with the robots, except there is no conversation, no driving music, no interaction whatsoever. Scene after scene features dry, hot desert. Eventually the robots begin the process of becoming human, which seems to consist simply of having some kind of clay plastered over their helmets. They strut around town in Saturday Night Fever fashion, only to have their faces melt in the sun. Not to ruin it for you, but they kill themselves in the end — about 75 minutes later than they should have. But perhaps like so many other Daft Punk productions, the rest of the world will catch up to them in 10 years. We'll have to wait and see.