Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mark Romanek on his debut movie Static

It amuses me no end when people refer to One Hour Photo as Mark Romanek's debut feature, which would make Never Let Me Go his second film as director. Because Romanek actually directed a film before One Hour Photo, even if he's chosen to disown it and scrub it from his resume. The film was Static (1986), co-written by Romanek and actor Keith Gordon who also starred, along with Amanda Plummer. Here's a great piece outlining the film's plot.

If you didn't see Static at the time (and let's face it, not many people did), the film's almost impossible to watch today. I bought a NTSC video copy from ebay several years ago for a small fortune because I'm a completist and was intrigued to see for myself what Romanek was evidently embarrassed about. What I discovered was a film very much of its time. Static is intriguingly quirky and delightfully odd and features a terrific soundtrack from the likes of OMD and Japan, but, more importantly, it's really rather good. And so, when I spoke to Romanek recently, I mentioned to him how much I liked Static and asked why he decided to disown it.

"It’s nice that you think that," he said. "For me it seemed premature. Like I had an opportunity to make a film before I felt I had much to say or knew what I was really doing as a filmmaker, so I just find it this sort of embarrassing bit of juvenilia. I find it is embarrassing, but I know that some people connected with it and I don’t mean to discount that fact. I just wish it would go away…"


Movie reel said...

Movies showcase all the basic human emotions like pain, grief, happiness, joy and vengeance.

Anonymous said...

i loved this film, remember it so fondly and every clip i can find online makes me want to watch it again. the colours are so eighties, but done so i love them like the classic 40's file noir, but there's so much more day-to-day humanity of real life for ordiniary people struggling with life. i lost my dad 2 months ago and my wife lost her dad the month before. my vhs copy is long gone, but i will keep looking until i can watch it again.

Paiego said...

I own this on VHS and really want to convert it to DVD. I really love this film. A simple and powerful tragedy.

Jason P. said...

It's Thanksgiving 2016 and I just found something interesting to watch. Comet TV is showing Static as I write!