Kanye invited a very select group of about 100 journalists and bloggers to the Wednesday-night London screening of his 45-minute art film for the song "Runaway." at the BATFA theatre in Piccadilly.
The night also ended with a two-hour Q&A session during which West took any and all questions about the film and his upcoming albums. "Halfway through, an American guy from his label asked for one last question and just as the person asked it, Kanye said, 'Why is this the last question?' and said he was happy to talk as long as people wanted him to."
Thorogood (MTV reporter) said there are perhaps only two dozen words spoken in the "ambitious … great looking" 45-minute art movie, whose narrative he described as "very loose and abstract." If anything, he suspected it could be chopped up into five separate mind-bending music videos, though it only uses heavily altered snippets of West's music that are quite different from the versions of such songs as "Monster," "Runaway" and the Bon Iver-sampling "Lost in the World" that fans have heard so far.
"It opens with shots of Kanye in a Porsche Cayenne and slow motion shots of deer and then you see a huge explosion and you see he's crashed into the Phoenix," said Thorogood of the other star of the film, model Selita Ebanks, who plays the Phoenix and who has been seen on 'Ye's arm at events lately. "He picks her up in his arms and walks away from the car which explodes behind him." The title of the film then flashes on the screen and the first voice you hear is a snippet of Nicki Minaj's English-accented rhyme from "Monster."
The film contained french subtitles throughout, which were likely a holdover from Tuesday night's screening in Paris, since West said the version he showed in London was still a rough cut. Among the other new songs featured in the movie is one called "Blame Game," which contains a healthy sample of the melancholy piano groove in cult electronic musician Aphex Twin's 2001 song "Avril 14th," as well as vocals from frequent 'Ye collaborator John Legend, which the rapper said may or may not make the final cut of the album.
- 90% of the music in the film will be featured on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- The inspiration for the film is a nod to musical films such as Michael Jackson's Thriller, Prince's Purple Rain and Pink Floyd's The Wall
- Also inspired by Picasso and Matisse
- The film encapsulates "An overall representation of what I dream."
- There is a scene that features an over-sized papier mache model of Michael Jackson's head
- The film was written and directed by Mr. West, with the assistance of art director Vanessa Beecroft
- The opening scene features Nicki Minaj narrating with a British accent (Jesus Christ!)
- Selita Banks is cast as Yeezy's love interest, and the "Phoenix"
- The film was shot over the course of four days while out in Prague, apparently pulling 20 hour days