Some directors have their ‘thing’. Hype Williams uses bright colors and simple backgrounds to highlight the performer. Joseph Kahn uses graphics and visual technology for his videos. French director Romain Gavras uses starting imagery and in your face socially conscious themes to project the performers emotions towards the viewer. The new video for Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s ‘No Church in the Wild‘ is a perfect example of what Gavras creates: shockingly real visuals. In the video we watch as a crowd riot over comes police intervention in a violent metropolitan setting. Shot in Prague, Czeach Repubic, the video actors kick, push, and light on fire everything in their path including the police. Surrounded by stone sculptures and cars nothing is safe during their riot throughout the streets. The slow motion makes it all the more dramatic. The video truly makes a statement. Possibly inspired by the Arab Spring? Or possibly the London Riots? Either way it’s thought-provoking.
Director Romain Gavras also worked on M.I.A.‘s ‘Born Free‘ which received a shocking reaction (It was taken down by YouTube) from the public towards its subject matter which depicted a world with discrimination and hatred towards red-headed people, again showing us a socially conscious theme with a twist from the French genius. Pleased with the shocking reaction from the world it was only fit that M.I.A. collaborated with Gavras again for her more upbeat and amazingly pleasurable ‘Bad Girls‘ video.
Lastly, Romain Gavras paired up with French electronic duo JUSTICE to create a violent raging video for their single ‘Stress‘. In this video we see a leather-jacketed gang roaming the streets of Paris, snatching purses, vandalizing cars, smashing tourists’ cameras, and assaulting innocent bystanders, with a film crew capturing onlookers’ expressions.
Romain Garas believes in using his work to project powerful moving images. He is also the co-founder of a creative group Kourtrajmé, a 136-member art and filmmaking collective in Paris that incorporates hip-hop and graffiti sensibilities into stylish music videos and socially conscious documentaries.
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