The Work of Director-Mark Romanek (2005)

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Released 24-Jan-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Interviews and Commentaries
Featurette-The Work of Director Mark Romanek
Interviews-Cast-Romanekian
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Making of 99 Problems
Booklet-56 Page Book
Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 100:54
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mark Romanek
Lance Bangs
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Fiona Apple
Audioslave
Beck
Brian Bell
Chester Bennington
David Blaine
Rob Bourdon
David Bowie
Peter Buck
Johnny Cash
Chris Cornell
Rivers Cuomo
Brad Delson
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

The fourth DVD volume from The Directorís Label is devoted to the work of Mark Romanek. A veteran of the music video industry, Romanek also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed feature film One Hour Photo (2002). Unfortunately since then Romanekís feature films projects have fallen through. However this year Romanek signed on to direct a remake of The Wolf Man (1941) for Universal Studios starring Benicio Del Toro with a script written by Andrew Kevin Walker.

Romanekís first feature film Static (1985) found a cult audience in the UK but the director decided to work within the music video medium through a division of David Fincher's Propaganda Films. Romanekís work is highly recognisable as he has worked with many high profile artists, musicians and bands.

There are a few music videos absent from this release including Romanekís debut music video Sweet Bird of Truth for The The, You Don't Have To Worry for En Vogue, Is There Any Love In Your Heart and If You Can't Say No for Lenny Kravitz, Do Something and I Try for Macy Gray, Sleepwalker for The Wallflowers and finally Speed of Sound for Coldplay, which was left off the DVD compilation as it was produced after the compilation was released in 2005.

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Track Listing

1. 99 Problems (dir. cut) - Jay-Z
2. Faint - Linkin Park
3. Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Hurt - Johnny Cash
5. Cochise (dir. cut) - Audioslave
6. Hella Good (dir. cut)) - No Doubt
7. God Gave Me Everything-Mick Jagger
8. Got 'til It's Gone - Janet Jackson
9. Criminal - Fiona Apple
10. Perfect Drug - Nine Inch Nails
11. Devil's Haircut - Beck
12. El Scorcho - (dir. cut) by Weezer
13. Novocaine for the Soul - Eels
14. Little Trouble Girl - Sonic Youth
15. Scream (dir. cut) - Michael Jackson
16. Bedtime Story - Madonna
17. Strange Currencies - R.E.M.
18. Cold Beverage -G. Love & Special ..
19. Closer (dir. cut) -Nine Inch Nails
20. Jump They Say - David Bowie
21. Rain - Madonna
22. Are You Gonna ... - Lenny Kravitz
23. Wicket...(dir. cut) -Keith Richards
24. Free Your Mind - En Vogue
25. Constant Craving -k.d. lang.

Transfer Quality

Video

Unfortunately no content on this DVD is 16x9 enhanced and each of the 25 music videos are presented in the 1.33:1 Full Frame aspect ratio, replicating how the videos would have originally been broadcast. There were some incidents of aliasing and film artefacts but overall the picture quality is relatively good, as the videos remain clear and colour remains true to artistic vision. The transfer has been encoded at an average bit rate of 5.92 Mbps over a dual-layer, single-sided DVD. The high bit-rate overall achieves a pleasing transfer, the most recent videos are pristine and remain sharp and detailed, such as 99 Problems and Cochise, while the older videos such as Constant Craving and Are You Gonna Go My Way display low level noise and minor incidents of cross colouration. No subtitle options are available for the music videos.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The single audio option is clear and error-free and is suitable for the medium of a music video. The 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack does not take advantage of the possibilities of surround sound and subwoofer usage is limited. Overall the soundtrack is appropriate.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

The main menu is 16x9 enhanced and features a subtle, atmospheric soundtrack with various animated still images from Mark Romanekís music videos. The menu is suited to the different content on the DVD and is presented in a clear, practical and functional design that enables the user to navigate through the content with ease. A play all option is available for the music videos which are listed in a reverse chronological order.

Audio Commentary

As with previous DVDs in the series the commentaries have been sourced from interviews. Romanek provides commentary for each video while some of the artists provide a separate commentary. Each are brutally honest; Rivers Cuomo speaks of his frustrations regarding the final product of El Scorcho, Trent Reznor speaks about his first impression of Johnny Cashís cover of his song, while Fiona Apple speaks about her negative experiences after Criminal was released, due to the provocative nature of the music video. However all the artists conclude they admire Romanekís unique approach and with time have understood Romanekís sophisticated and sometimes dangerous ideas. Romanek equally speaks honestly about various issues which plague a music video production and how he needs to balance the artistís expectations with his own concepts and ideas. Each commentary draws upon the complexities and volatile nature of music video productions:

99 Problems (director's cut) by Jay-Z

Faint by Linkin Park

Can't Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Hurt by Johnny Cash

Cochise (director's cut) by Audioslave

Hella Good (director's cut) by No Doubt

God Gave Me Everything by Mick Jagger

Got 'til It's Gone by Janet Jackson

Criminal by Fiona Apple

Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails

Devil's Haircut by Beck

El Scorcho (director's cut) by Weezer

Novocaine for the Soul by Eels

Little Trouble Girl by Sonic Youth

Scream (director's cut) by Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson

Bedtime Story by Madonna

Strange Currencies by R.E.M.

Cold Beverage by G. Love & Special Sauce

Closer (director's cut) by Nine Inch Nails

Jump They Say by David Bowie

Rain by Madonna

Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz

Wicket as it Seems (director's cut) by Keith Richards

Free Your Mind by En Vogue

Constant Craving by k.d. lang

The Work of Director Mark Romanek (38:19)

The same interviews which were sourced for audio commentaries are expanded and edited with rare behind the scenes footage from the music video productions, treatments and stills. Other interviewees included are Michel Gondry, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Steven Soderbergh, Rick Rubin, Chris Rock and Shannyn Sossamon. An excellent addition to the compilation. Optional subtitles are available.

Romanekian (7:48)

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Robin Williams speak about their favourite Romanek music videos and try to decipher the ĎRomanekianí style. As you would expect the three comedians provide very funny commentary on the music videos. Optional subtitles available.

Making of 99 Problems(10:42)

Jay-z originally wanted Quentin Tarantino to direct the production but after a suggestion by Rick Rubin and after seeing the music video for Hurt by Johnny Cash chose Mark Romanek instead. Jay-Z wanted a realistic black and white music video set where he grew up, which is an approach uncommon in music videos of the rap genre. Interviews with Romanek, Jay-Z and Rick Rubin are all included in this feature which is blended with rare behind the scenes footage.

Booklet

A revealing in-depth interview with Romanek by Spike Jonze is included in the 56-page colour book, which also includes rare photographs of the artists, cast and crew of Romanek's music video productions and film productions.

Credits (1:00)

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The NTSC R1 and PAL R4 are identical in terms of features.

Summary

Almost all of Romanek's work is included on this compilation with an in-depth behind the scenes look at the complexities and volatile nature of music video productions. The picture quality is average and somewhat flawed with a limited yet appropriate soundtrack. Overall this volume is a welcome addition to The Director's Label series and demonstrates artistic integrity does exist within the commercial music video industry.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Friday, March 09, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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