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The Playlist

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.

'A Better Life' And 'Twilight: New Moon' Director Chris Weitz To Rewrite Disney's 'Cinderella' For Mark Romanek

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 29, 2012 12:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Boy, Disney are keen for us not to give up on their new live-action version of "Cinderella." When first announced a couple of years ago, we were pretty ho-hum: fairy-tale movies were already ten-a-penny after the success of "Alice in Wonderland", and the creative team of producer Simon Kinberg ("Jumper," "This Means War") and writer Aline Brosh McKenna ("The Devil Wears Prada," "Morning Glory") wasn't especially enticing. But last year, the studio announced that "Never Let Me Go" helmer Mark Romanek was attached to direct, and suddenly we got interested.

Mark Romanek Tops The List To Direct Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 19, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Music video and commercials director Mark Romanek has had a bumpy ride in Hollywood of late. After making an impression with his debut feature "One Hour Photo," the director moved on up to the monster movie feature "The Wolfman" but walked away during the film's famously contentious production. Instead, he helmed an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed novel "Never Let Me Go," but unfortunately, it didn't quite become the awards season horse or critical darling many expected, picking up mixed reviews and a muted response at the box office. Then there was his pilot for Fox, "Locke & Key," which was canceled, and despite recent airings at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con in an attempt to revive interest, that too seems to have fallen by the wayside. But all that said, Romanek is still a respected helmer and over the past few months he's slowly been picking up heat, getting attached to direct a live action "Cinderella" film and being offered the chair for "The Wolverine" (which he turned down). Well, another big project may be coming his way and it will potentially reunite him with a star he was set to work with a few years back.

Because There Aren't Enough Fairy Tale Movies: Universal Hires Writer For A New 'Cinderella'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 7:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Anne Peacock has been hired by Universal to write a new take on the "Cinderella" story. Again. We would say that fairy tales are the new superheroes, but it's not like studios are threatening competing "Iron Man" movies. Yep, Snow White has company, as if it wasn't enough that Relativity's "Snow White" was to go against Universal's "Snow White And The Huntsman." Now we have competing Cinderella projects, as Universal (again -- so, so desperate) is trying to develop this property before Disney goes ahead with their Mark Romanek-helmed effort.

Will MTV Throw A Lifeline To Mark Romanek's 'Locke & Key'?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 8, 2011 3:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Could there be new life for the canceled and nearly forgotten graphic-novel-turned-TV-series "Locke & Key," which boasted a pilot episode directed by Mark Romanek? The answer is a resounding 'maybe'.

Watch: Mark Romanek Directs Dancing Hamsters In Futuristic War Zone In Weird Ad For Kia

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2011 10:34 AM
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  • 8 Comments
While some folks are surprised that "One Hour Photo" and "Never Let Me Go" helmer Mark Romanek has directed a commercial for Kia, he's been taking on that kind of work for years. But yes, we'll grant you that none of them has been as strange as this.

Watch: Trailer For Mark Romanek's Canceled TV Pilot 'Locke & Key'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Well, with so many directors dipping their toes in the water of television, not everything is going to make it, and unfortunately for Mark Romanek's "Locke & Key," the pilot episode of the mooted gothic horror/drama never even got to air. Those lucky enough to be in San Diego in July for Comic-Con were treated to a screening of the pilot, but if you weren't around to catch, this trailer will likely be the only peek you'll ever get at what Romanek cooked up.

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