Mark Romanek's Music Videos

Mark Romanek directs music videos. His website is a great example of the web providing supplementary and explanatory material to more traditional forms of media. His music videos are all online in quicktime and you can read original treatments and see on set photographs. Romanek directed the video for Jay-Z’s 99 Problems this year and the video for Johnny Cash covering NIN’s Hurt in 2003. These are both great videos, and they complement each other perfectly. They are both by quintessentially American artists who work in quintessentially American forms, but their music could not be more different. Both videos offer recapitulations of the artists path and the choices they have made. The video for Hurt suggests that Cash wouldn’t change a thing, while the video for 99 Problems suggests how easily things could have ended differently for Jay-Z. And they both illustrate what music videos can do best: provide an alternate narration for a song, expose meanings you hadn’t considered before, evoke new resonances.

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