Oscar-winning Frenchman Michel Gondry on Thursday premiered his latest work -- which follows a bunch of schoolkids on a bus through the Bronx -- at the Cannes film festival.
"The We and the I", which kicked off the festival's Directors' Fortnight section, is a world away from the big budget superhero flick "The Green Hornet" the director brought out last year.
It examines group dynamics as the youngsters pile onto the Number 66 bus on the last day of school before the summer holidays and brag, bully, and flirt their way across New York.
The bravado slowly fades as the bus empties out and brittle teenage personalities are laid bare to reveal loves, conflicts, despair and hopes.
Gondry, who now lives in Brooklyn, said after a Cannes press screening that he had been inspired to make the film after watching a group of high school students take the Number 80 bus in Paris.
The director's previous work includes "Science of Sleep," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", which won a best original screenplay Oscar, and he has done music videos for Bjork, The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk.
He is currently working on the French-language film "L'Ecume des jours" (Mood Indigo), which stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou and is an adaptation of Boris Vian's 1947 novel.