Spike Jonze’s Stop-Motion Bookstore Love Story

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 19 2011 7:16 PM

Spike Jonze’s Stop-Motion Bookstore Love Story

mourir 5

Via Nowness comes the lovely short film below, which was created by Spike Jonze—director of Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and so on—and the handbag designer Olympia Le-Tan. Among Le-Tan’s creations are limited-edition, felt book-clutches based on the famous covers of literary classics. Le-Tan met Jonze in Paris, and he “asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall,” Nowness explains. “Le-Tan asked for a film in return.”

Together with French filmmaker Simon Cahn (who directed the short), they wrote a script that has shades of the Book of Jonah and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. The result is Mourir Auprès de Toi (French for “to die by your side”—a nod to the Smiths?). It begins in the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris. There, at night, a skeletal Macbeth (voiced by Jonze) catches sight of a fetching Mina Harker on the cover of Dracula. On his way to join her, he loses his head to a French version of The Big Clock, trips and falls into Faulkner’s Sartoris, and there he’s swallowed by a certain literary whale. Harker, voiced by French singer Soko, goes to rescue him.


As movie blog The Playlist points out, a sneak preview of the short first showed up last spring; the finished film just went live earlier this week. Enjoy.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.