Interview - Mark Pellington

Comment Interview - Mark Pellington

Mark Pellington

November 10, 2014 Leave a Comment

Imagine directing movies with Jeff Bridges, music documentaries with U2, and video’s with Lincoln Park!

The diversity of amazing creative genius that Mark Pellington has achieved is jaw dropping.

In a rare interview Mark shares how he taps that into the genius of the creative process. 

Mark even shares how the tragic passing of his beloved wife challenged him to even deeper levels of 
revealing the human condition.



Chelsea Wolfe's "Lone" Requires Surrender to Self and Senses


Chelsea Wolfe's "Lone" Requires Surrender to Self and Senses

So, there's this game that I occasionally play on Facebook when I desperately need for my mind to slow down. It's one of those stupid little simulation games where you spend hours upon hours mindlessly gathering irrelevant items to build irrelevant structures and you get rewarded with similarly irrelevant objects of absolutely no consequence.

There is the one item in the game that seems to occupy most of my time. It's called a "spirit bandage." I thought about the "spirit bandage" a lot while watching Lone, a 57-minute transcendent journey based upon the lyrics of Chelsea Wolfe whom I might describe as a sort of gothic folkster whose mere presence I find mesmerizing and whose music requires nothing short of full-on surrender.

There is music that you listen to and that is enough. Then, there is music that you truly experience with all of your senses. This is the case with Wolfe, whose 2010 debut The Grime and the Glow announced the coming of a fresh new voice and spirit into the underground music scene. She followed that up with Apokalypsis, Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, then 2013's Pain is Beauty. 

There's something about a collaboration between Wolfe and Mark Pellington, director of such music videos as Pearl Jam's Jeremy, U2's One, and  Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up along with such films as The Mothman Prophecies and Henry Poole Is Here, that simply feels right.

Lone feels like a spirit bandage. I suppose that's an odd description for a film frequently infused with dark, gothic sensibilities and unfathomably rich humanities, but it fits. It works.

I find myself feeling better for having watched Lone, not so much because of the lyrics that unfolded or the images that burst forth or any defined sense of messages sent forth, but because of the experience of watching the 57-minute film that captures innocence and wonder, grief and despair, conscious and subconscious memories, life memories and lost experiences and things left unspoken.

Lone feels like both sacred meditation and solemn eulogy, a musical and visual labyrinth in which life's beautiful journey unfolds in bits and pieces at each corner turned.

There aren't words, at least not words that feel adequate, to describe Lone yet it is that indescribable nature of the film that makes it such an extraordinary companion to the words and music of Chelsea Wolfe. For those familiar with the video of Wolfe's Feral Love, that video is essentially an excerpt from Lone. While Feral Love certainly works as a stand-alone music video, it's an astounding piece of this full experience.

Lone looks, feels and is experienced very much like a primal chant, a birthing and rebirthing or a death and resurrection that is brought ecstatically to life by Wolfe through her presence, her words, and her overwhelming sense of vulnerable strength that ultimately screams out that, indeed, pain is beauty.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic  


Linkin Park Can’t Wait For The Underground To Meet The Echelon On Thirty Seconds To Mars Tour


Linkin Park Can’t Wait For The Underground To Meet The Echelon On Thirty Seconds To Mars Tour

Talk about a clash of the titans. When Linkin Park kicks off its joint Carnivores Tour with Thirty Seconds to Mars on August 8 it will be an epic meet-up between LP’s rabid Underground fan club and 30STM’s notoriously intense Echelon. And, to celebrate, they have an equally epic new video to help get things off the ground (more on that later).

If you ask LP producer/songwriter/rapper Mike Shinoda, the bands’ first road trip together should be pretty epic. “Their fans are similar, but also a bit different because our style, especially on the new record, tends to be a bit heavier and more aggressive because of the mindspace we were in [when we were] writing it, which carries over to the show,” said Shinoda of the group’s guitar-heavy The Hunting Party album.

Redferns/Marc Broussely

Is This Even Going To Work?
The two bands have shared a bill before and Shinoda said he learned a lesson about underestimating Thirty Seconds frontman Jared Leto’s chops. “I walked in a little skeptical, figuring he’s an actor and he’s got this new album and band,” Shinoda said of a gig LP played when 30STM were touring on their self-titled 2002 debut. “I didn’t take it very seriously and then I saw Jared singing and watched some of his show and realized that they’re very talented and passionate about it.” 

That passion stuck with him and when the idea came up to tour together Shinoda thought the pairing was perfect. While LP took a bit of a turn away from their hip-hop-inspired sound on The Hunting Party, Shinoda promised fans that they would get the full experience during the shows. “We’re really excited to play the new material,” he said. “The show is simultaneously more technologically advanced and also more raw than any live show we’ve ever done… There’s so much deep integration of the sampled elements… but there’s also a freedom to be more improvisational.”

Trust Me And Just Go With It, Okay?
Speaking of freestyling, Shinoda said the just-released video for “Final Masquerade” definitely pushed the group out of their comfort zone. “On our last few videos [turntablist] Joe Hahn has directed them, but Joe wanted to take a break and the idea of working with [acclaimed director] Mark [Pellington] was Joe’s suggestion,” he said.

Warner Bros.

And though they are used to Hahn’s clearly laid-out video treatments, like the atypically loose, jamming vibe in the studio during the The Hunting Party sessions, Pellington came to the dusty Los Angeles set of the “Masquerade” video with a more abstract mindset. “Mark’s spectacular and the body of work he’s created speaks for itself,” said Shinoda of such landmark videos as Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy.” “When we sat down with him he said he’d just gone through some personal stuff and the song really connected with him.” 

But, because Shinoda is a stickler for concrete ideas, when Pellington came back with 10 pages of abstract thoughts and notes for the clip, it required a serious leap of faith to just go with it. “There was nothing concrete in the treatment and you could have picked any one or a handful of the ideas and made a video,” he said of the moody video with a series of ominous, post-apocalyptic scenes. “When we were shooting on that day he said he was going to follow his gut and find the best stuff.”

In the end, Shinoda said he really connected with what Pellington came up with, especially the shots featuring a crying baby, since many of the band’s members are now parents. In fact, one of the most striking images — a band of figures wearing white Hazmat-style suits who leap off a ledge and lay motionless on the ground — was made up of production assistants hired to man the smoke machines and fans who Pellington pressed into action on the fly. “I really ended up connecting with some of the imagery,” Shinoda said. 

gil kaufman

I'm so fancy.