October 24, 2010

Runaway, my dear. [Kanye West's short film]

**SPOILER ALERT: I do go into details, and if you have not seen the film, please go to YouTube.com. In the search box, type in "Runaway" and the full 34-minute version is available.**

Saturday night, TV screens went dark, and anticipation loomed throughout the entertainment world. An angelic sound surrounded living rooms everywhere, and although this peculiar darkness and seemingly eerie music only lasted for a couple seconds, the suspense was a cold killer. Kanye West's much anticipated short film "Runaway" was premiering on the three most popular TV channels in the world.

Hardly anyone knew what to expect, except of course the people working on the film. Would it be a controversial film? Afterall, Kanye West has been known to spark controversy, even with just the snatch of a microphone and the right to freedom of speech. Would it be a comedy? Would it be a once and for all "comeback"? It could have been all of those, but according to Kanye, it was beyond anything he'd ever done. He wished to broadcast his artistic talent, his deepness, and his hard work all in one. He didn't want to have just another big thing, he wanted to capture the world with THE biggest thing, Runaway.

The main question every critic seeks to answer is "Was this film good?". We are ALL critics, some more famous than others, but we all have the capability to critique, especially with art forms such as this. I am a critic, and after watching the film at three o'clock in the morning, I do have an answer.

First of all, may I start by saying that the scenery and cinematography of the film was radiantly beautiful, and dare I say flawless. Not only what the camera captured, but the location. It was filmed exclusively in Prague, Czech Republic. After watching the film, I've added to my list of places to see. I digress. The film began with Kanye running, seemingly as fast as an Olympian competing for his final chance to triumph, and get the gold medal. This was in fact a prequel, and you'll understand once you finish reading this piece.

The angelic music continued to play, the running scene was cut short to what seemed to be an asteroid or something of the like burning in the sky, as if it were a comet burning through Earth's atmosphere. It soared through Earth's sky, landing deep in the woods, the same forest in which Kanye was running. As the comet landed, Kanye can be seen driving through the forest on a long, curvy, paved roadway. After driving for a bit, Kanye crashes into the site where the comet landed. Suspense once again, until the camera focuses on a bird like creature in the middle of the road. Kanye emerges with her in his arms, and takes her off to his home.

In the next scene, after she's recuperated from her "fall to Earth" the bird awakes to the news being played on TV. She's intrigued nonetheless, by the TV. The screen starts to fade, as it goes off, causing her confusion to turn into curiosity, she goes for the TV, and stops as Kanye startles her, telling her that the in his world you never listen to the news.

The bird like creature, who has a woman's body with colorful wings and feathers on her arms and back, explores the outdoors as Kanye watches her, observes her strange behavior. She's never seen animals, trees, nor leaves. She's curious yet nervous about them all. She eventually becomes comfortable with her surroundings, touching everything in sight, as a child in a toystore would.

In the next scene Kanye is creating music. The bird like creature is moved by the music, it causes her to emerge from her seat, and dance to the rhythm that he creates. They have something in common, love for music. I'm assuming she's lived with him for a while now, and he's now starting to teach her "how to behave" in his society. How to drink and use utensils. She eventually learns the routine of how to drink and eat, well enough for Kanye to bring her to an affair that he's hosting.

Once they arrive at the affair, which is a large, elaborate dinner, everyone stares at her because she's different. She doesn't wear clothes, or expensive shoes, just feathers and a beautiful head piece. As she sits at the table exploring the items that are unique to her, such as decorative pieces, centerpieces, etc. the people at the table began whispering to one another, most likely talking about her, and how different she is. As a peace offering or gift she takes one of the simple decorative pieces that she finds intriguing, handing them to the lady that sits beside her. The lady seems disgusted, and doesn't take the gift, disappointing the bird. She puts the piece down and continues to explore things on the table.

As the bird is distracted, a man beside Kanye compliments his date, the bird. He tells Kanye that she is beautiful, but still asks him if he knows that she's bird. Kanye seems a little hurt, and says that he's never noticed. He stares off into the distance for a few seconds, before getting up and going over to the piano that's offset in the room. Kanye begins to play a simple chord. The bird turns around attentively listening and watching him play, while the others act as if it's nothing. As Kanye, plays and sings "Runaway" ballerinas dance intricately and exquisitely to the music. Kanye seems to not only be performing but relaying a message to his date, runaway. Although she doesn't get this message, he has a hard time with the song. Probably because, she's so different it would be hard for her to fit into his world and people in his world only accept people who are of the right image, and aren't different. If she wishes to stay into his world, she'd have to conform to them, they'd have to accept her, and not the other way around. She'd have to endure alot to be accepted by such a group, so Kanye advises her to runaway, indirectly.

There's a long scene of beautiful dancing by the ballerinas and once Kanye says "Let's have a toast for the douchebags" everyone raises up their glass, ready to toast...To themselves.

After the performance, Kanye goes back to the table and more food is served. Typical in European cultures that fancy meals have multiple courses. A bird that resembles the woman, is placed on the table. She screams in horror, and backs away from the table. In the next scene, Kanye is seen with his head down, and his table that was once full of "friends" is now empty...

Toward the end, the bird like creature tells Kanye that she doesn't like his world. People in his world don't accept differences. She also alludes to the fact that once you take the uniqueness out of someone or something they become statues, all the same, conformed to society. She tells Kanye that she must go back to her world. He doesn't want her to leave, and had obviously fallen for her. He pulls her in, and they begin to kiss. It seems as though, they become intimate in some way, on top of the roof. After becoming intimate, the scene cuts to the bird like creature flying in the air, surrounded by fire as she moves up into the sky, going back to her world.

The next morning, Kanye awakes happy until he figures out that the brid like creature that he fell in love with is gone. He looks around anxious to find her, he looks up in the sky seeing the comet like ball of fire, and the film ends as it began, with Kanye running [away] as fast as he can.

All in all, I thought the concept was AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. I can't put anyone other word there. I loved everything about it, UNIQUENESS at it's best. I pray that people take the meaning away from the film, and do something with it. Once we get over this obstacle, we can accomplish anything as a society, as a people. This video goes beyond music and Hollywood. In general, Americans ESPECIALLY dislike people who are different, this is not the right way of thinking. Open your minds, open your hearts, to differences. Thank you Kanye, thank you.

Addition 10/25/10: I would like to say that Ms. Selita Ebanks was flawless. I keep hearing people say "Oh she sucked...She can't act." but she really exceeded my expectations. She was a beautiful bird lady and only had about two speaking parts throughout the entire film. She really brought home the innocence of the bird, the innocence of someone being pushed into the Entertainment world, if they like it or not. I think she did an awesome job. She helped make the message of the movie more crucial. Perfection at its best.

10/24/10 6:27 AM.

October 17, 2010


Has a FB friend who gets her daily nutrition from compliments. Everytime there's one of those "Like this status and I'll say something about you" she'll like every single friend who participates in it and even though the compliments are generous I know she lacks self esteem. As pretty as she is, I feel sorry for her, and wouldn't want to walk in her stilettos anyday.