David Ehrlich June 18, 2013
Welcome to Your Daily Short, a new feature on Film.com that will highlight and stream a short film at high noon. Every weekday. Every week.
THE FILM: “Runaway” (directed by Kanye West) 2010
RUNNING TIME: 34:33
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Where’d you learn how to combine the gaudy maximilism of hip-hop with the formal austerity of Stanley Kubrick and the feral nature of Werner Herzog? “Yeezy taught me.” Three days and three nights after it was leaked, “Yeezus” walks the earth today, and so I thought it be fun to look back at Kanye West’s greatest contribution to the cinema (so far), the 35-minute not-so-short film that he made in tandem with his last record, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” Featuring snippets from nine of the album’s songs, “Runaway” is – like everything Kanye does – both patently ridiculous and compulsively watchable, as comfortable with its infinite as Ozu was with a tripod. The story of a man named Griffin (West) who’s driving to a swanky dinner party when he happens upon a wounded phoenix (model Selita Ebanks, nude save for a delicate arrangement of rusted feathers), “Runaway” may ultimately be an inflated promo real, but – like everything Kanye does – is so consumed by its own self-importance that, by sheer force of will, it urgently metastasizes into a full-fledged work of art in its own right.
It’s also completely hilarious. One brilliant moment even beats Wes Anderson at his own game (perhaps anticipating a favorite moment from “Moonrise Kingdom”). Kanye and his phoenix sit down at a banquet table, when the man next to Kanye feels compelled to say something.
MAN: “Your girlfriend is really beautiful.”
KANYE: “Thank you.”
MAN: “Did you know she’s a bird?”
KANYE: “No, I never noticed that.”
Annnnnnd scene. Watch the short below, and please, hurry up with my damn croissants.
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Categories: ColumnsTags: David Ehrlich, Kanye west, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Runaway, Short Film, Yeezus, Your Daily Short