MARK ROMANEK – Filmmaker

My dad took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was nine years old. My little mind got blown.

- MARK ROMANEK

HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY INTO FILMMAKING?

My dad took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was nine years old. My little mind got blown.

NEVER LET ME GO FEELS LIKE A NEW DIRECTION, COMPARED TO YOUR FIRST FILM ONE HOUR PHOTO. WHAT DID YOU SEE IN KAZUO ISHIGURO’S NOVEL THAT MADE YOU WANT TO TURN HIS STORY INTO A FILM?

I was deeply moved by it. And I was engaged by it intellectually as well. It was an exciting challenge to usher this experience of the novel into cinematic experience for an audience. I don’t think it’s a hugely new direction. I feel like both One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go are both about characters who don’t fit in, who are yearning to make a connection. It’s just that the tonalities of the films are quite different. The former is very American. The latter is a hybrid of a British and Japanese sensibility. Never Let Me Go is a far more overtly romantic film. But I was filled with a similar sense of pity and empathy for these characters in both films.

YOUR MUSIC VIDEOS ARE EMOTIONALLY ENGAGING AND HAVE MANY LAYERS OF MEANING. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EMOTION TO CAPTURE?

I don’t believe one emotion can be rated as preferable to another. I suppose if one can evoke a sense of Mono No Aware, that could be considered a worthwhile artistic achievement.

THE JOHNNY CASH VIDEO, ‘HURT’ HAD A PROFOUND EFFECT. IT’S BEAUTIFUL AND SAD AT THE SAME TIME. WHAT WAS YOUR INTENTION WHEN MAKING THE VIDEO?

To be truthful (without being disrespectful).

YOU FILMED MADONNA GIVING BIRTH TO A FLOCK OF DOVES IN ‘BEDTIME STORY’. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH THE QUEEN OF POP?

It seems we had a love/hate thing going on.

WHERE DID YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE ICONIC, ‘SCREAM’ VIDEO FEATURING MICHAEL JACKSON AND SISTER, JANET?

Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terrible.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARK ROMANEK?

Hopefully, more feature films.

QUICK QUEsTIONS

MOST MEMORABLE SCENE FROM A MOVIE?

Spaghetti scene from Cassavetes, ‘A Woman Under The Influence.’

FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH?

“Marilyn”on Gilligan’s Island.

FAVORITE LOCATION TO SHOOT IN NEW YORK?

I love shooting all over New York. No one favorite spot.

SECRET VICE?

It wouldn’t be a secret if I told.

MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?

My family photos.