Whatever else you may say about Kanye West, subtlety is not his stock in trade.
West didn’t just make videos for the tracks on his new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” he made a film. The 30-minute-plus “Runaway,” which incorporates nine songs from the album, debuted Saturday night (Oct. 23) on MTV, MTV2 and BET.
You can easily read “Runaway” as yet another rejoinder from West to his haters. Its sometimes very heavy-handed message is encapsulated in a line spoken by Selita Ebanks‘ phoenix character near the end: “You know what I hate about your world? Anything that is different you try to change. You try to tear it down.”
]]><![CDATA[That aside, though, "Runaway" (which West directed) is a pretty impressive piece of filmmaking. West more or less plays himself, and he encounters Ebanks' phoenix when she crash-lands on Earth right in front of his car. We see West trying to show her his world, but the world doesn't seem to want her, and she eventually decides she needs to return to her own realm.
Visually, the film is stunning — there are sequences involving a marching band and a giant effigy of Michael Jackson’s head and later a group of ballet dancers that are wonderfully cinematic. Narratively? As we said, not exactly subtle, but it’s not a complete ego exercise. (“Trapped in the Closet” this is not.) And also, the music is pretty compelling.
But judge for yourself: The full film is embedded at the top of the post. Watch it and let us know what you think.
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