by Tolu Orekoya
D’Banj is just not content to stay in one spot. The last I heard, the singer was busy in the UK watching his single rise up through various charts. Now he’s in France? Why? Well, he’s currently kicking it with the rich and famous, as well as other members of the G.O.O.D. Music crew that were cast members in Kanye West’s first feature film called ‘Cruel Summer’. The movie is not an official entrant into the festival, Kanye just decided to crash the party, so to speak.
Only Kanye’s super-sized imagination (with a side of super-sized ego) would think to produce a 30-minute short film shown on not one or two, but seven different screens. The screens were arranged in a unique fashion as well, with 5 giving a 180-degree panoramic view, one screen above the audience and one below.
Kanye West has a condition called synesthesia and wanted to make the film to bring that perspective to life.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the plot of the film as “…shot using multiple cameras to provide different angles on each of the seven screens, follows a car thief (Kid Cudi) who meets a beautiful and mysterious blind Arabic woman, who uses golden strings tied throughout her house to navigate around. Her father says he can only marry her if he can help her see.”
To the reviews!
GQ said of the movie, “The film felt like a mash-up of high-gloss Doug Aitken-style video installations, concert video backing panels, and narrative, big-budget music-videos. The movie flickers to life on the ceiling screen, as a hatch opens and boots drop through and onto the screen below. Soon, masked car thieves played by the G.O.O.D. Music crew survey the sports cars in a posh garage, while a masked Kanye and Kid Cudi engage in a Tarantino-style pop-culture debate. ”
The Hollywood Reporter seemed to like the music, saying: “The film is heavy on the use of music and sound, the seats often shaking from the bass. Several times during the under-30-minute clip, the audience would sway to the beat of the songs, including those from the upcoming debut album from his G.O.O.D. Music label. Along with directing, West also has a small part in the film, as does Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari.”
The blogger over at the LA Times was a bit more reserved and not too fond of the booming soundtrack. “The story is secondary to the pyrotechnics, with new music from West and a thumping surround-sound quality that makes a 3-D Michael Bay effort feel like an iPad short.”
Kanye said after the screening, “I can dream that one day, that will be the way people will watch movies,” West told the audience after the screening.”
Kanye premiered during the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday and the short film/long form video is said to have an accompanying soundtrack, a compilation album of G.O.O.D Music songs as well as some new additions. Hopefully one of those additions includes D’Banj in the mix.
Scepticism aside, I can’t wait to hear what magic these two will cook up together.