The Playlist

15 Underseen And Overlooked Dystopian Futures In Film

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 19, 2014 1:19 PM
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  • 18 Comments
15 Underseen Sci-Fi Dystopian Films
It's not easy creating a dystopian future on film. Ask the producers of "Divergent," which opens this week (read our review). Not only do they need to establish a demented future where we live under draconian rules, but they must do so over multiple films. Given that there are several different elements to this type of future, from corrupt governments to alien intervention to dizzying technology, it can be like mapmaking in an uncharted area. Sooner or later, you get lost and can't circle back.

Watch: Mark Romanek-Directed Video For U2's "Invisible"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 12, 2014 3:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments
U2 Invisible
We live in a weird time now where rappers sell albums via cell phones, and humanitarian Bono and his band U2 use a Super Bowl ad for Bank Of America to debut a new song. So much for rock 'n roll being dangerous (though in fairness, they did raise $3 million for charity by making the song available to download in advance for one day, so that's pretty cool). But anyway, Ireland's biggest export is back with a new single "Invisible," and the only reason we're interested has to do with two words: Mark Romanek.

John Carney To Direct 'Sing Street' With Music From Bono & The Edge, Mark Romanek Sees 'The Visitors' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 6, 2014 2:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While he's done some other lower key pictures, the ones director John Carney is best known for involve song, and he's sticking to his strength. The "Once" helmer will get behind the camera for "Sing Street," with none other than Bono and The Edge to write some original songs for the picture.

Mark Romanek To Direct Casey Affleck In 'Boston Strangler'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 8, 2014 9:53 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Mark Romanek is a director we could use more of. It took eight years after "One Hour Photo" to make 2010's "Never Let Me Go," and we've been waiting ever since for his next feature. He was attached to Disney's "Cinderella" for a time, before money and a creative clash with the studio kiboshed the gig. But now a project is on his plate that sounds much more exciting than a mainstream tentpole, and it will find him working with an actor who has no problem signing on to great material.

10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 13, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers
Many years ago, The Playlist started off as a blog dedicated to soundtracks, scores, music movies and the rest of the middle part of the Venn diagram where the worlds of music and film collided. Though we’ve evolved since then, that overlap is still something close to our hearts. One way those worlds are inextricably interlinked is in the number of directors who come from a music video background to work in features, and with most of us being that precise age that we can still remember the first heyday of the music video, it never ceases to surprise us how many of the promos we remember best were shot by filmmakers we now associate primarily with features. Arguably the form is experiencing something of a renaissance in relevance these days, not just via YouTube, but also with high-profile bands like Arcade Fire embracing and expanding their music videos’ artistic potential, even while the Robin Thickes of the world grab some extra headlines with risque or provocative content.

Watch: Jay Z's 10-Minute Short Film/Video 'Picasso Baby' Directed By Mark Romanek

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 3, 2013 11:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Jay Z Marina Abramovic Picasso Baby
Inspired by famed performance artist Marina Abramovic, directed by Mark Romanek and an event coordinated through social media...you gotta hand it to Shawn Carter, he knows how to do it right. And the result is "Picasso Baby," the first promo/video/short film from his summer banger Magna Carta Holy Grail. And if you missed the premiere broadcast on HBO last night, not to worry, as it's now online for you to check out. So what's it like?

Interview: Mark Romanek Talks Jay Z's 'Picasso Baby' Short Film, Says "It's A Tsunami Of Joy"

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 1, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Tomorrow night, at 11 pm, Jay Z (the hyphen is gone!) will premiere his brand-new video for "Picasso Baby" on HBO, a highlight from his recently released Magna Carta Holy Grail album. It's an art installation-style 10-minute short film, in part based on Marina Abramovic's "The Artist in Present," an installation (and later, feature-length documentary) at New Year's Museum of Modern Art, in which the famous artist sat at a table for hours on end while everyday people would sit across from her and stare. For the Jay Z project, the rapper rented out a downtown Manhattan art gallery and invited people to perform the song too. So it was kind of like the Abramovic thing, except much more of a party. We got a chance to talk to Mark Romanek, the director of "One Hour Photo" and some of the most memorable music videos of the past two decades, who told us where the project came from, how he put it together, and why the music video format might be dead.

Interview: Mark Romanek Talks Making 'One Hour Photo,' What Happened With 'Cinderella' & What Might Be Up Next

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 7, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Even before Mark Romanek yelled action on "One Hour Photo," his debut feature film, he was already a trailblazer behind the camera. The filmmaker had made a name for himself as a music video director, helming iconic spots for Lenny Kravitz ("Are You Gonna Go My Way"), Nine Inch Nails ("Closer"), Madonna ("Bedtime Stories"), Michael Jackson ("Scream"), Fiona Apple ("Criminal"), Johnny Cash ("Hurt") and much, much more. His videos were bold and found Romanek easily able to switch genres musically and stylistically without batting an eye, delivering evocative spots that both defined Romanek and the artists he worked with. But when it came to his feature film, he largely kept the flashy stylization at bay.

Mark Romanek Parts Ways With Disney On 'Cinderella'; Director & Studio Clash Over Dark Vision

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 7, 2013 10:04 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Well, this is deeply unfortunate, but perhaps not entirely unexpected. Director Mark Romanek ("Never Let Me Go") has parted ways with Disney over their reimagined live-action adaptation of "Cinderella." The modern, reivisionist project was set to star Cate Blanchett as the evil step-mother and last we heard, young ladies like Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander & Gabriella Wilde were in the mix for the title role of Cinderella. But it was not to be, at least not for Romanek, which is a shame because on paper it would be a most anticipated film, any calendar year it was released.

Watch: Nike Football Ad Directed By Mark Romanek & Edited By Academy Award Winner Kirk Baxter

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 28, 2012 12:45 PM
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  • 5 Comments
While Mark Romanek's next directorial effort "Cinderella" continues to develop, he's been busy keeping his skills honed in the commercial world. Last year he directed that pretty weird Kia ad with the dancing hamsters, but he's back with something a bit more his flavor and has brought some pretty solid talent with him to assist.

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