This guy has Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry beat by a decade. Paul Granjon is an artist who operates much in the same way Tim Hawkinson does. He builds machines that do odd things. His films document some of these inventions or performances. Check out "Cybernetic Parrot Sausage" (1997) and "The Antigravitational vehicle for cats" (1997). Humor and whimsy provide a playground for investigations into the tentative relationship between man and machine. For more on Granjon and his work there are some texts on his work in english here.