Tuesday, October 26, 2010

34 Minutes with Kanye

I just spent the last thirty-four minutes with none other than Kanye West.

It's not exactly the way I usually plan on spending half-hours in the evening when I could be finishing those alterations on that dress I bought yesterday, or watching the Flinstones, or taking Elvis for a walk (that's my dog, not the living ghost of The King)... but you know. So, I was aware of Kanye's opus being in existence, but only vaguely. Remember, I've only just recently arrived back from a few months overseas and my pop culture know-how is somewhat lacking. I felt compelled to get myself back up to date. Also, I'll admit to being just plain old intrigued ... how the fucking what would Kanye fill one-third of a feature film?

HURRRR. I direct nao.

The answer?

Slow mo. (I'm not even kidding, if you sped up all the slow mo, it'd probably go for about ten minutes)

Now, the trailer itself is essentially just an exercise in a few vague, pretty, slow motion shots. Somewhat ominous, in my eyes.

In that case, the film itself ... God, after the frequent sniggering subsided, confusion set in. Confusion, and irritation. Those who think Kanye is a douche, will think no different of Runaway. Those who think he's a genius ... might like it. While I think the odd song of his is tolerable, occasionally catchy, I was basically dumbfounded by the sheer self-indulgence and ... dumb of it.

Right, so it's directed by Kanye, with music by Kanye and high art aspirations by Kanye. Interestingly, script writing congratulations are reserved for one by the amazing name of Hype Williams. So not all the blame should be squared at ol' Kanye. From the opening chorus of opera stylings to the end credits and all the well-shot prettiness in between (credit to Kyle Kibbe), there may be a lot of blame you want to aim.

A step by step account ... Kanye drives his shiny car through a pretty forest. Meteor hits it. SLOW MO EXPLOSIONS. From the wreckage (Like a phoenix! Cause phoenixes appear from fiery ashes! It's symbolic, yo!) appears bird-girl (otherwise known as Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks), in a feathered "costume" so revealing it may as well not be there. Impressive boobs are impressive. She wakes up at his place. Creepy, perhaps. She bonds with a bunny and a fluffy sheep in his yard. Perhaps he wants to eat her? Definitely creepy. He takes her to see a marching band and fireworks show, complete with GIANT INFLATABLE MICHAEL JACKSON HEAD. Creepmax. Symbolic? Kanye probably thinks so.

Slow mo explosion, Kanye rescues girl. Symbolism.

The largest portion of Runaway revolves around a giant dinner party Kanye throws for birdgirl, interrupted rudely and symbolically by ballerinas and Kanye playing single notes on the piano. Then standing on the piano. Then singing about douches.

Then. Then Kanye and Birdgirl exchange a horribly awkward DEEP CONVERSATION, then they kiss, then she wants to leave so he convinces her to stay for a while, with his dick. Cue slow motion explosions again.

I'll say right now, that I had the good fortune to watch Runaway online while a good friend of mine, Dave, watched it at the same time. As Kanye's opus played on youtube, we were on Messenger, providing capslocked commentary of the goings-on. Funny guy. Funny combination. I'll admit to being in stitches during much of the video... and I know for a fact that your smartass friend yelling through the internet things like, "SLOW MO BIRD ANGEL BITCH!" isn't conducive to taking something seriously. I suppose that if I'd watched Runaway in a different setting, perhaps a gallery with everyone in the audience looking nice and without Dave sniggering in the background, I would look at the symbolism (she flies!) and the slow mo (so much slo mo...) and try to take it seriously and give it a go. I suppose that's not quite fair on Kanye.

Similarly, I suppose if I'm trying to be nice, ol' Kanye deserves "a fair go, mate!" with all the heavy handed PHOENIX RISING FROM THE ASHES! PEOPLE HATE THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT! symbolism, recovering from the Kanye-Is-A-Douche of the "Taylor Swift Incident".

But then again, I just watched this interview ... he cites Kubrick, he says he wanted to create a film "that was like, all stills" and that he wants "females to connect to the different emotions". Eh... nah. Sorry. Kanye, I can't take your directorial debut seriously. It's pretty, but ... no. You're still a douche.


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