R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe has recruited a group of filmmakers including James Franco, Jackass cinematographer Lance Bangs and Oscar-nominated documentarian Albert Maysles to create music videos for every song on his band’s new album Collapse Into Now. Stipe told the NME that the project is intended to take advantage of modern technology and present “the idea of an album in 2011, beyond a music fan’s idea of an album 20 years ago.”
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The stable of filmmakers assembled by Stipe includes many of the band’s longtime collaborators, such as “E-Bow the Letter” and “Country Feedback” director Jem Cohen, Tourfilm director Jim McKay and James Herbert, who has made several iconic clips for the band including “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine),” “Driver 8” and “Turn You Inside-Out.” Stipe himself will team up with his sister Lynda to direct a video for the album’s opening track “Discoverer.”
New collaborators include the conceptual artist Sophie Calle, Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Wood and Franco, who is slated direct videos for two tracks from the album, “That Someone Is You” and “Blue,” which features vocals by Patti Smith.
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Though this Collapse Into Now project marks the first time R.E.M. have commissioned videos for every song on an album, they have come close in the past. In 1991, the band released This Film Is On, a collection of videos for most of the songs from Out of Time. In 1984, the group collaborated with Herbert on Left of Reckoning, a short film soundtracked by the entire first side of their album Reckoning.