Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 by Russ Fischer
My original title for this piece was ‘Kanye West Loves Enter the Void, But Not Enough to Credit It.’ Because the video for the Kanye West single ‘All of the Lights’ is dominated by strobing full-screen text missives that are pure imitations of the brilliant and assaultive credits sequence for Gaspar Noe‘s Enter the Void. But while the video sees fit to ape the credits to Gaspar Noe’s latest film right down to the fact of crediting some of the people involved in the video, it doesn’t actually shout out to the film or filmmaker that inspired it. Bad form, Kanye.
Then again, the video already has far more than two million views on YouTube, and perhaps it will bring a new and unsuspecting audience to Mr. Noe’s film. Check out the video and the credit sequence that inspired it, after the break.
Now, it probably goes without saying that Enter the Void hardly took shape in, er, a void. The film is explicitly indebted to a multitude of other films, from 2001 to Strange Days to the long steadicam takes in Snake Eyes, among others. (Not a lot of filmmakers will own up to being influenced by Snake Eyes.) But Gaspar Noe wrapped his influences in enough of his own style and storytelling that they didn’t feel like explicit imitation. I can’t say the same for Kanye West and video director Hype Williams. But uncredited borrowing is what music videos do, and pretending otherwise would be unrealistic.
So here is the video for ‘All of the Lights,’ directed by Hype Williams:
And the opening credits to Enter the Void, directed by Gaspar Noe and featuring the song ‘Freak’ by LFO: