Has everyone seen the new highly stylized slice of Kanye West's id? It is pretty and ridiculous:
If you don't have 34 minutes to watch, here's a summary:
1. Shot of Kanye running.
Title card: RUNAWAY. Get it, audience?
2. Kanye is driving, and a comet falls out of the sky in front of his expensive European car.
Kanye carries her away from an explosion in slow-motion, in a manner not dissimilar to Serge's Melody Nelson narrative and the Propellerheads album cover:
Actually, this raises my side-point. A lot has been said of Kanye's relevance more as a celebrity/personality than as a rapper, and I think on projects like this that bears a lot of merit. Kanye is an original American asshole, at this point so rich and artistically free to do literally whatever he wants that he can write a song that publicly apologizes for publicly being an asshole, and perform it at the awards show on which he originally was that asshole -- that song itself also celebrating assholes!
ANYWAYS it called to mind Serge Gainsbourg and I wondered whether or not Kanye was following in his footsteps? I mean, aside from the obvious visual similarity of the way Melody Nelson and Runaway begin, both are half hour concept pieces detailing forbidden love. True, Melody Nelson is visually garbage and as far as I know a lot less obsessed with public persona, but that's not to say Serge himself wasn't obsessed with the public perception of him as an asshole. Kanye and Serge's paths seem similar, but I guess the main differences is that Kanye also produces his music, and is uniquely/irreducibly American in the same way that Serge is uniquely/irreducibly French.
3. Kanye takes Alien Bird Lady (ABL) back to his apartment in Prague and she watches the news, who says that her arrival was a comet:
Kanye turns it off and says "don't trust what the media says about
4. Kanye plays the beat to "Power" on an MPC and she falls in love with him.
5. Kanye takes ABL to a parade of British redcoats hauling a giant Michael Jackson float.
6. Kanye takes it upon Himself to tame the savage beast.
On a related note, remember when Kanye looked like this?
7. Kanye performs "Runaway" in the style of his VMAs and SNL performance.
8. ABL freaks out when she sees that they are eating bird for dinner.
9. After some intense soul-searching and the following verbatim transcription, Kanye and ABL consummate their relationship.
ABL: If I don't burn, I will turn to stone.
Kanye: What do you mean burn?
ABL: If I don't burn, I can't go back to my world.
Kanye: I don't want you to go back to your world. I want you to stay here with me.
ABL: I have to burn.
Kanye: No. I'll never let you burn.
SPOILER ALERT THEY KISS!!!!!!!
10. Following an extremely subtle and elegant visual metaphor, Kanye awakens to find himself alone.
11. Kanye, upon waking up/finding himself alone, runs away (get it, audience?) and sees that ABL has flown away I GUESS THEY WERE NOT SO DIFFERENT AFTER ALL, HE AND SHE, AND ALSO, THE BEGINNING WAS THE END THE WHOLE TIME