Chris Milk’s “Rome”-Inspired Project Gets Another Chapter

Posted January 9

Director Chris Milk creates some of the most innovative music videos on the scene today, and, apparently, he has even bigger projects in the works, including a feature-length film based on 2011′s Rome, an album by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi. Milk is out this week with a new piece of that project, a grim, animated music video for the song “Two Against One” that’s like a mashup of The Last Unicorn and Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

According to NPR, the Rome film will be live action, and the production team will include Milk, Danger Mouse, Anthony Bregman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Megan Ellison (True Grit). The film is said to be about a girl named Temple living in a post-apocalyptic world, and based on the Alden Bell novel The Reapers Are the Angels.

We were first introduced to Temple via “3 Dreams in Black,” an HTML5 experience for the song “Black,” featuring Norah Jones and Jack White. It was unveiled at Google’s I/O conference in the spring and created by Milk and, along with Aaron Koblin from Google Creative Labs. That “video” integrated HTML5 and WebGL tech to created a 3D, interactive world in which Temple navigates a dream landscape, complete with a woozy train ride and a journey through a vast desert.

The most recent video, featuring vocals from Jack White and co-directed by Anthony Francisco Schepperd, is, according to Chris Milk, “essentially the fever dream of the antagonist of the story. It’s mostly his backstory, his life before the tale we see in the movie…. These pieces are sort of narrative breadcrumbs that lead you to the eventual larger story. More to come soon.”

As you may expect from the bad guy in a film about a post-apocalyptic world, the beautifully animated mini-movie is drenched in blood.

Back when Milk was nominated for an O Music Award for Digital Genius, we asked him about the film, and he described it thusly: “It uses Danger Mouse’s and Daniel Luppi’s Rome album as its foundation. I’m attempting to build a sort of transmedia story that grows through multiple media paths, interactive film, music video, live performance, maybe print and culminates in a full feature film.”

By Brenna Ehrlich