If you have a spare 35minutes and don’t know what to do with it, I suggest taking a look at Kanye West’s music video/short film. It’s something I definitely have never seen before.
Directed by Kanye himself, the film features Selita Ebanks as his girlfriend/phoenix. Kyle Kibbe is responsible for the cinematography, which is amazing to say the least. But not only is the cinematography amazing, so is Yemi Akinyemi’s choreography. The dancers mesmerised me; although, I did get momentarily distracted by Kanye’s dancing on top of the piano, which (for lack of a better way of describing it) confused me, much like the rest of the film.
The costumes were designed by Martin Izquierdo and the marvellous Phillip Lim. If Lim’s Sprint 2010 collection is anything to go by, then you know to expect something amazing and beautiful in Runaway. The phoenix outfit worn by Ebanks is stunning and I marvelled in the magnificence of the outfit. All of Kanye’s outfits look polished, elegant and like no other hip-hop or rap artist around. It seems as though Kanye is really on a mission to set himself apart from the rest of the pack; something he seems to have achieved with this film.
However, I am not without criticism for this film. It seems as though the orientation of the film is stuck somewhere at the end. Before this I sat wondering whether I wanted to endure 35 minutes of Kanye, as I was unsure whether it would be a waste of time. I still haven’t worked out whether it was or not.
The film has its great moments, sure; but I can’t help but wonder whether Kanye is simply desperate not to be seen as the stereotypical rapper and wants to make himself and his music seem like art. The ‘artistic’ in this film comes from those such as Kibbe, Akinyemi and Lim, I wouldn’t necessarily say the same for Kanye. Of the songs featured in the film, only a few really appealed to me personally. But that comes down to my taste in music.
The film seems are though a whole lot of strange and muddled thoughts from Kanye’s mind were chucked together. Fans are saying it’s a ‘masterpiece’ and downright ‘amazing’, but I have to ask. Yeah, it’s about “the story of a phoenix fallen to Earth, and [Kanye makes] her [his] girlfriend, and people discriminate against her and eventually she has to burn herself alive and go back to her world”, but some of the scenes in it create a real WTF moment, making me wonder whether Kanye fans really UNDERSTAND what the film is about.
What makes it even more confusing is Kanye’s past antics ensures everyone has their doubts about his ‘film’ and whether it’s anything special. This isn’t made any less confusing by the apparent clean-look Kanye and co (i.e. the Rosewood Movement – yes he created his own movement amongst the G.O.O.D. crowd). If the reviews are anything to go by, no-one seems to be able to agree/work out whether this is an absolutely horrid excuse for a film with great visuals, or a genius’ masterpiece.
Perhaps when I have another spare 35 minutes I will bother re-watching the thing to try to make sense of it. But until then, I sit here in utter confusion.