Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Were Once A Fairy Tale

Spike Jonze / We Were Once A Fairytale from background on Vimeo.

Spike Jonze is killing me these days. I find it an encouraging testament to the elasticity of human potential to watch a skater kid turn into one of the preeminent philosophers of our time. Where The Wild Things Are was part Camus, part Cassavettes and completely without filters. I felt something every second of that film. At the end Claire and I are both wiping our eyes and I realize that, because Jonze's story was told from such a deep, subconscious place, Claire and I, 6-year-old daughter and father, were able to experience a movie from an identical vantage point for the first time ever. To our reptilian, primal brains, we're all the same age.

Jonze has also just released a short film starring Kanye West called We Were Once a Fairy Tale and I suppose some people will think it's too abstract to accept, or even dig it for its abstraction as kind of unassailably out. For all its magical realism it seemed pretty straightforward to me, and again Jonze is defying filters by tweaking the public shortcomings of his film's lead actor - getting under the dirty fingernails of fame, a trapping Kanye West has been vocally struggling with. Gutsy all around. West, in a white tux, makes an ass of himself at a high-class club (his performance is so believable I have to wonder if he actually got drunk to to it), wanders into a bathroom, vomits a gush of rose petals, and then comes face to face with his own demon, literally.

Watch this with headphones on because the sound design is overwhelming. The whole time you'll feel like you're in a womb.

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