Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Paul Gondry, KAYA at Deborah Schamoni Paul Gondry


By Gwynne Hogan | October 21, 2016 1:24pm
EAST WILLIAMSBURG — The artist son of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director Michel Gondry was questioned by NYPD hate-crime investigators after he hung a dummy from a tree on the same block where the film was shot — in what some neighbors considered a disturbing reference to lynching.

The dummy slung up by Paul Gondry, 25, Wednesday outside his Orient Avenue home was an effort to  "create some weirdness" in the days before Halloween, he said.

"I don't want it to be seen as a hate thing, it's not," said Gondry, 25, who was featured in three of his father's films, according to his IMDB page.

The artist's creation was the second effigy found hanging from a neighborhood tree in several weeks, though Gondry is not claiming credit for the first.

Following a DNAinfo report about the second dummy, police notified hate-crime investigators, who were looking into it, according to Deputy Inspector William Gardner of Williamsburg's 90th Precinct.

Paul Gondry, son of director Michel Gondry, didn't intend the hanging puppet to be a racist, he said. Gondry said he hoped his dummy — which had its head covered in cloth and its arms tied behind its back — would add to the suspenseful build-up to Halloween.

Because the dummy had a cloth around its head, police thought it might have been targeting Muslims in the neighborhood, Gondry said they told him during questioning. But the son of the Oscar winner had chosen the cloth for another reason.

"It was supposed to be more like a medieval peasant. The world we live in is reminiscent of medieval times," he said, pointing to the city's record homeless population. He hoped to "bring that back into an urban context," he said.

Gondry, who said he was "really into puppets," had some second thoughts about hanging the dummy, though he wasn't totally sorry he'd done it.

"I think I would do hanging clowns if I were to do it [again]," he said, adding, "It's always cool to create a bit of polemic."

Gondry added that there were "no Halloween decorations in the neighborhood. It's weird."

"I wouldn't go to Bed-Stuy and do it," said Gondry, who's lived on the block for seven years. "It's my own house."

Hate-crime investigators will determine whether or not to press charges against Gondry, police said.

The first dummy was found strung up around the corner, on Kingsland Avenue in front of the Cooper Park Houses, at the end of September, unnerving residents who called it a "spiteful symbol of lynching."