Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Months ago we knew that Spike Jonze would be working again with Kanye West, for whom he’d recently directed the video for ‘Flashing Lights’. At the time we heard the new collaboration would be a short film called We Were Once a Fairytale, but we didn’t know if it would be an extended music video, a true short film, or somewhere in between.
Now, just as Jonze has had a great weekend with the opening of Where the Wild Things Are, his Kanye collaboration has been released/leaked and we can see that it’s definitely in the ‘somewhere in between’ realm. Watch the odd ten-minute (and probably NSFW) film after the break.
Set vaguely to the tune of ‘See You in My Nightmares’, this depiction of a drunken club night is probably exactly like one of Kanye’s nightmares. In the film, he staggers from one conversation and encounter to another, but here he’s the drunken buffoon (no surprise to many, after the VMA incident) who is making everyone uncomfortable. Eventually there’s some real/imagined backroom sex and then, about halfway through, things actually get weird. How weird? How about vomiting flower petals, strange little rat demons and a little bit of hari-kari?
Whether you like Kanye or not (no fan, myself) the filmmaking here is great to see. It is uncomfortable and almost hallucinogenic without being overworked; Jonze hits all the right drunken beats. The little rat guy definitely has the vibe of the creatures in Where the Wild Things Are, but otherwise there’s not much overt relation to Spike’s most recent feature work.
This film was once set to be released on iTunes back in September, but didn’t happen then. Various versions of it hit the internet over the weekend; some, like one of the main Vimeo embeds, have been pulled. So this definitely isn’t an ‘official’ release, though it might have been intentionally leaked. (It’s also played the LA Film Festival, so a screener there may be the culprit for the leak.) In other words, if you’re interested, watch it now or wait however long for the ‘real’ release.
And in related news, animator Bill Plympton has illustrated a bunch of Kanye’s lyrics for a book. Yeah, I know…weird. [via Vulture]