Kanye West: International Filmmaker
Kimye (Kanye+Kim) are making the rounds at the international film premiere, marketing and distribution showcase Cannes, this week. West will be releasing his latest artistic expression, a short film/video art installation titled “Cruel Summer”. Leading up to the screening, information about the production had been kept confidential. But what was known was that it going to be an immersive experience, about 30 minutes long and consist of seven screens. We also knew that it was made in conjunction with the Doha Film Institute. Kanye seems to be stepping his game up with this creative venture.
Kanye West: Transmedia Filmmaker
Now that the results and reviews are in we have learned:
The plot centers around Kid Cudi, who plays a high line car thief that falls in love with an Arabian princess. The princess’ father throws a wrench in the game by denying the union unless Kid Cudi can help her regain her vision… So far, so corny, but not having seen it first hand (and having sat thru much worse), I really can’t judge.
Of course, to be expect from a rap star with an ego like Kanye’s, all of the visual effects, bells and whistles have been thrown in to mesmerize the audience.
“Inside the tall white pyramid, seven huge screens were installed in front of padded bleacher-style seating: five in a three-180-degree panorama, one on the ceiling, and one below the stands. … The film felt like a mash-up of high-gloss Doug Aitken-style video installations, concert video backing panels, and narrative, big-budget music-videos. The movie flickers to life on the ceiling screen, as a hatch opens and boots drop through and onto the screen below. Soon, masked car thieves played by the G.O.O.D. Music crew survey the sports cars in a posh garage, while a masked Kanye and Kid Cudi engage in a Tarantino-style pop-culture debate. … After bickering, they jump into Lamborghinis and shoot down the streets of Doha to a remix of West’s recent single ‘Mercy.’ Then the soundtrack downshifts into a remix of Salem’s ‘I’m Still in the Night’ as the film becomes more of a mythic romance, replete with Arabic architecture, desert vistas, and flowing fabrics.” — Logan Hill, GQ
BTW. Those of you that are grown and sexy may remember the group Banarama who had the brief hit “Cruel Summer” back in the old school days of music videos (1982). A little before Kanye’s time but probably an influence still the same (especially when it comes to wardrobe).