Yes, those white silhouettes are people.Daft Punk's Electroma
is a 2006 arthouse film directed by... well... Daft Punk
. After the music videos for Fresh
, Robot Rock
, which were also directed by Daft Punk themselves, they moved onto shooting footage for their music video of Human After All
, but along the way, it was extended into a complete feature film being an unplanned extension of filming videos for the entire Human After All
album. However, aside from the famous helmets of the characters
and "Daft Punk" being written on the main characters' jackets, the story has zero relation to any previously established continuity whatsoever.Electroma
is the duo’s third film, following D.A.F.T: a Story about Dogs, Androids, Firemen, and Tomatoes
and the hour-long anime/music video Interstella 5555
. Initially shown at the Cannes Film Festival, it was later shown at independent film screenings in France, Canada, Australia and the US with mixed reviews. Despite this, many viewings tended to be sold out quickly.
The story revolves around two robots, appropriately for the original plans, trying to become human. The film has absolutely no dialogue,
and does not feature any of Daft Punk's music, setting it up as its own immersive experience. Also, lots of walking in the desert.
Daft Punk's Electroma provides examples of the following tropes:
- Become a Real Boy: What kickstarts the plot. Their car's vanity plate even has the word “HUMAN” on it.
- Cool Car: A Ferrari 412, to be exact.
- Cool Helmet: So much so that everybody in town gets one! Subverted by the Guy-man protagonist, who smashes his to pieces.
- Despair Event Horizon: The silver robot crosses this after the two have been exiled. He never looks back, sadly.
- Downer Ending: See Driven to Suicide below.
- Driven to Suicide: After trekking the desert for a while, the silver robot starts to trail behind the Guy-bot. When he goes over to see what's wrong, the silver robot asks him to switch on the self-destruct keypad located on his back. He complies reluctantly. Shortly after, Guy-bot attempts this himself, but can't reach his own keypad. Instead, he opts to kill himself by setting himself on fire with a piece of his helmet.
- The Exile: Our heroes after their humanity stint gets them kicked out of town.
- Expy: The main characters themselves are ones for Daft Punk's robot personas. The masks given to the two main characters bear striking resemblances to Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo's real faces.
- Face Death with Dignity: The silver robot seconds away from his detonation.
- The Face Less: The two main robots, as to be expected by Daft Punk. It's then shown that literally everybody in the town has the same helmets.
- Fan Disservice: The two shirtless scenes involve the subjects killing themselves.
- Foreshadowing: When things get bad for the two robots, a brief image of fire flashes up on the screen, Hinting at Guy-bot's Self-Immolation later on.
- From Bad to Worse: First, their new faces start melting. Next, they're kicked out of town. It just kind of snowballs from there.
- Glamour Failure: The sun melts away our heroes' attempt to pass themselves as human.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Our heroes.
- The Hero Dies: Both of ‘em.
- Heroic BSOD: The silver robot experiences this first before crossing the Despair Event Horizon. Guy-bot follows suit shortly after the silver robot's death.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Both robots are unable to reach the self-destruct switch on their backs. One is forced to activate the other while not able to reach his own.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: If the helmets weren't a dead giveaway.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The townsfolk act exactly like humans do. We're able to see elderly robots, child robots, and even a pregnant robot in one scene.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Appears multiple times.
- The first time, our heroes see their melting masks in the reflection of an ice cream truck.
- The second time, the silver robot sees his face amongst the remains of his mask in the mirror while they hide from the mob.
- The third time, Guy-bot takes his helmet off and examines his true face in it, prompting his Rage Against the Reflection.
- No Name Given: Expected, as there is no dialogue. The credits even list our heroes as "Hero Robot #1" and "Hero Robot #2".
- Only Six Faces: Two more like. Every single ‘bot in town have the same helmets, up to and including the protagonists themselves. Justified due to the fact that they're all robots.
- The Other Darrin: Guy-bot and Thomas-bot are played by... Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: A common observation of the film's story.
- Rage Against the Reflection: After looking at himself with his own visor, Guy-bot smashes it to pieces on the ground. He later uses the pieces to set himself on fire.
- Self-Immolation: How Guy-bot bites it.
- Shirtless Scene: Twice. Both are more sad than anything.
- Silence Is Golden: Not a single word of dialogue is spoken throughout the film.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: The silver robot while he and Guy-bot hide from the angry mob. He keeps trying to put his face back on as he does so, but it just won't work.
- Torches and Pitchforks: The townsfolk after seeing the duo's new getup.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup: The main characters' latex masks. Good GOD.
- Unflinching Walk: Guy-bot manages to pull this off when he sets himself on fire.
- Vanity Licence Plate: "HUMAN" on the main characters' Cool Car.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Ferrari 412 which never shows up again after they get their faces.
- White Void Room: Where the two robots get latex masks to look human. Notable in the fact that the people inside save for them are part of the void as well, and thus can't be seen.