Kanye West’s Runaway Film

31 10 2010

On October 23, Kanye West’s short film “Runaway” premiered on MTV at 8pm. It opens with Kanye West’s character running down a winding road in a forest, foreshadowing the outcome of the story. The scene then changes to the present with Kanye driving down this same forest road with a red sky contrasting the darkness of the forest. I have to make a comment on his car here because it’s an amazing looking car, and I love sports cars with pop-up headlights. I had to look this one up because I had never seen a car like this before, the Tatra MTX a Czechoslovakian V8 supercar. As Kanye is driving, what looks like a meteor crashes in front of his MTX. When he inspects the damage he finds a phoenix lying unconscious on the ground and brings her back to his place with an intense explosion behind him as he carries her off.

The next scene shows the phoenix waking up watching the news. This is the first scene where you really get a chance to see Selita Ebanks’ costume. This Victoria Secrets model is no stranger to wings and sports a pair of these in this video along with some strategically placed feathers on her chest and midsection as well as her arms. Her eye makeup is also incredibly intense, with white eye shadow and long white eyelashes; the makeup artists did a wonderful job.

Selita Ebanks in Ruanaway as the Phoenix

Kanye plays some music for her and begins introducing her to his life and culture. The music during the scene when the phoenix is dancing in the living room is probably one of my favorite parts of the entire film. It then leads into his song “All of the Lights’ where the most or one of the most controversial looking imagery really takes place with a huge Michael Jackson head, and red hooded figures marching with a band.

The next longest scene is in a huge dining hall, every dinner guest is wearing white, the table clothes are white, and the chairs are white. The green walls and the phoenix’s rose-colored feathers offset all of the white. Here the phoenix is now wearing a strangely beautiful headdress with chains dangling off about a foot in length. After one guest interrupts Kanye by saying “You’re girlfriend’s really beautiful, do you know she’s a bird?” he leaves the table and begins playing “Runaway” on a white piano. Once the piano starts an entire troupe of ballerinas run into the room and an 8-minute dance begins. The contrast of the green walls look amazing against the black leotards and tutus of the ballerinas as three of them perform their own solos and the rest stay behind dancing in a large group. This scene finally ends with the phoenix’s distress over the large bird intended for dinner that is placed in front of her.

Selita Ebanks as the phoenix in Runaway
Ballerinas in Kanye West Runaway Film

The next scene goes back into the backyard with the phoenix and the various animals hanging out. The phoenix and Kanye finally have a dialogue, which leads into their romantic scene. The next morning he realizes the phoenix is gone and the scene that started the film comes true with “Lost in the World” playing. He desperately runs, trying to find her again while the phoenix goes out in the same manner she came.

In my own personal opinion, this film was amazing, the colors, the imagery, everything was carefully planned out. I have watched this at least 5 or 6 times now and each instance is just as mesmerizing as the last. The only negative thing I have to say is watching this premiere on MTV really was not ideal. There were about 3-4 commercial breaks sporadically throughout the premiere which really threw off the entire feel, but it was an excuse to watch it again online. I think Kanye has really brought music to a new level by incorporating his upcoming CD’s tracks into this short film and it really shows his musical genius, as strange as some of it may be.