Directed by Spike Jonze, USA
What you need to know: Kanye West is at a club. He's surrounded by adoring, arguably begrudging, "fans" (loose term). He's drunk. He sounds like the cartoon of himself. In the previous post Emily quotes, '"It's my song!" he tells a pair of unimpressed women. "I made all the notes!" Proclamations like these play off the stereotype of West as a puerile, out of control egomaniac. It would seem West is in on the joke, and the tension the self-consciousness creates is a great example of star power importing extra meaning to a film. West's celebrity makes the film something of an inside joke we all feel privy to." In the end West ends up alone, in some sort of dark, twisted, fantasy (album title, I think). It would behoove the audience to view the film at this point.
I've been stewing over the details of this film all morning. How shall I approach the icon, the ego, the narcissist himself? The beginning of the film plays out to me as fantasy; a very master- slave dynamic or daddy- son, whichever you prefer. West like a dom top. His adoring fans sub bottoms. All of which, seemingly, taking a turn in the circle jerk of his ego. What's worse, his own song is playing in the background. Jonze roots us in the fantasy - this is what it's like to be Kanye West. Or is it? I think it's important to take note of the joke. However, unlike Emily who says, "It would seem West is in on the joke" I'd argue that the joke is on West. I'd be a liar if I didn't say that he makes fantasy look good. To be Kanye for five minutes might fill the coffers of ones ego for years.
In the case of West, dark is not dichotomous. It's not so black and white. West actually appears to be in a dark place emotionally. He pummels the audience with his ego. It's a relentless repetition that gets old quick. Throughout the entire film his ego only isolates him from others. People are unsure of how to approach him. He's unsure of how to approach people. He dances alone. In his darkness he's consoled by a woman that he has sex with (an exercise of his ego, further isolating himself), but ultimately he ends up alone. Jonze takes the audience on a ride to a deep dark place that West occupies in an expensive tuxedo jacket and trademark sneakers.
This is where Jonze gives birth to the films metaphor. A drunk, sick West spews pink goo. It's a spectacle and again, he's alone. Out comes something less of a gremlin, something smaller, but with equal parts hair and animation. My interpretation is that this monster represents the monster (West's ego) living inside of West. In a standoff, West acknowledges his dark passenger (thank you, Dexter) and the monster kills himself. The end of West? An end to West's cartoon-like, oversized ego? I doubt it. Just a lot of melodrama and a fascinating short film experience in the way of the id, the ego, and superego (Dark, Twisted, Fantasy) from the brilliant Spike Jonze.