Features & News

Music to Movies

When another bright new hope in directing surfaces in the film industry, it is often the case that despite seeming to appear out of nowhere, they manage to produce remarkably accomplished pictures. In reality, many have a decent amount of smaller scale work already under their belt, many having started out in directing music videos. Different from the novelty of two high profile figures collaborating – see Martin Scorsese’s 16 minute West Side Story-esque video for Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ – there are numerous directors whose cinematic career has come off the back of their strength in this less prestigious field. Here are two such success stories definitely worth looking out for.

Richard Ayoade

Probably most widely recognised as Moss from ‘The IT Crowd’, Ayoade has in fact directed a respectable set of sometimes surreal, often humorous music videos for bands including the Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend, citing Godard and Fellini as influences. Critically acclaimed in both this field and that of comedy writing (such as Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace), his feature film debut is the highly anticipated ‘Submarine’, a darkly comic coming of age picture follows precocious adolescent Oliver in his quest to lose his virginity and prevent his mother from running off with her dance teacher. From the few clips that have surfaced we can glimpse what immediately appears to be an innovative and visually striking piece of cinema boasting some impeccable young acting talent

Mark Romanek

More established, but with only a few more cinematic titles to his name, is Mark Romanek. Having directed numerous acclaimed videos for singers, including Madonna, he cites them as being more like ‘miniature assignments’ and an opportunity to learn the craft of film making rather than examples of his personal vision. He moved from directing the controversial video for Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ into similarly unsettling territory in ‘One Hour Photo’, which featured Robin Williams playing brilliantly against type as a department store photo processor who becomes obsessed with a family whose pictures he develops. His latest project is ‘Never Let Me Go’, an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s extraordinary dystopian novel. It has been generating significant awards buzz for a number of months, with its widespread release in January – just in time for the Oscars.

Isabelle Parkin

Features & NewsFilm & TV

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