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Daft Punk's Robot Rock

After a cool reception following its limited North American release this summer, Electroma (Vice Records, $19.99), the feature-length movie written and directed by Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, will be released straight-to-DVD this month.

The slow-paced and dialogue-free 73-minute art-house film focuses on two robots (played by Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich) and their botched attempts to resemble humans in a suburban Californian town. No music by Daft Punk is used in the film. Instead evocative songs by Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, Chopin, and Curtis Mayfield convey the robots' dreamy dislocation as they drive, then walk, through a desert landscape.

Critics panned the flick's plodding narrative and naïve homage to heavyweight directors such as Kubrick and Tarkovsky, but Electroma's surrealist qualities and fetishistic attention to detail warmed the hearts of some midnight moviegoers, leading French theatres to extend the run of this stylish, existential sci-fi quest.

This isn't Daft Punk's first stab at cinematography. In 2003, they teamed with Japanese animator Leiji Matsumoto for an animated musical, Interstella 5555, and directed a number of videos for their last album, Human After All.

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