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James Franco, Sam Taylor-Wood guest direct new REM videos

Michael Stipe tells NME about the clips that accompany new album 'Collapse Into Now'

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Pic: Press
James Franco, Sam Taylor-Wood and singer Michael Stipe are among the guest directors on a series of short films which are to accompany each track on R.E.M's new album 'Collapse Into Now'.

The Collapse Into Now Film Project, which was personally curated by Stipe, features a host of artists and film-makers tackling different songs from the band's 15th studio album. The list of directors includes actor Franco, artist and director Taylor-Wood and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.

Speaking about the project to NME, Stipe said: "It was a way of presenting the idea of an album in 2011, beyond a music fan's idea of an album 20 years ago. The way technology is right now, it's possible to present something in any way you want to. I basically wanted to explore the idea of what is an album, and how do we present it with everything that we have available.

"I like the opportunities the 21st century have provided for presenting work in a different way."

When asked how he selected who would work on each clip, Stipe said: "I went to people I really wanted to work with and I could trust them to do whatever they wanted. They had absolute free rein. In many instances I was surprised, in many instances I got what I wanted. What I wanted wasn't primarily important though, what was important was to trust the directors with something as precious as a brand new song.

"It was really fun for me to curate, working with all these different artists, and seeing how they interpreted the songs. The thing that was surprising is how much they interlockingly work, like an album."

The films will be unveiled for viewing at broadcast and web outlets over the course of the next few weeks. Check back at NME.COM for more information.

The tracklisting, with each director in brackets, is as follows:

'Discoverer' (Michael and Lynda Stipe)
'All The Best' (James Herbert)
'Uberlin' (Sam Taylor Wood)
'Oh My Heart' (Jem Cohen)
'It Happened Today' (Tom Gilroy)
'Every Day Is Yours To Win' (Jim McKay, Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch)
'Mine Smell Like Honey' (Dominic DeJoseph)
'Walk It Back' (Sophie Calle)
'Alligator_Aviator_ Antipilot_ Antimatter' (Lance Bangs)
'That Someone Is You' (James Franco)
'Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I' (Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan)
'Blue' (James Franco)


R.E.M's new album 'Collapse Into Now' is released on Monday (March 7). Speaking about it, Stipe said: "It's one of the best things we've ever made. I'm really proud of it – we're all really thrilled with it. It's been a long time since the idea of an album has been at the front of people's minds and this is a tiny little R.E.M attempt to explore what an album is in 2011."

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