We Were Once A Fairytale: The Artist’s Coup de Grâce

We Were Once A Fairytale: The Artist’s Coup de Grâce

We Were Once A Fairytale is a new short film directed by Spike Jonze, in collaboration with singer-rapper Kanye West.  The film is set in a hip-hop nightclub, which is overflowing with drinks and beautiful ladies.  From the very beginning of the film, the action is fragmented, the background music is tweaked to a level of disturbing distortion and the lighting conjures up delusional effects.  Jonze’s filmmaking cinematography and sound design skills authentically render the feeling of being extremely bewildered in a disorienting hot-spot nightclub.

The short film attempts to lampoon Kanye West’s well-known arrogance by evincing more self-conceit and self-deprecation, with a bizarre, hallucinatory ending that features a small demon-like furry rodent and a form of Samurai seppuku/hari-kari.  At the beginning of the film, Kanye drunkenly staggers around the club while one of his songs plays in the background, asking everyone if they like the tune and inappropriately trying to hit on various women in the club.  Later the scene changes, and Kanye thinks that he’s ended up  in a VIP room for a sexual tryst with a beautiful young woman, only to wake up startled and dejected when he discovers that she was really only the couch.  At that point, the movie spirals out of control, as Kanye rushes downstairs to the bathroom, vomits torrents of red paper rose petals and curls up on the bathroom floor.

At the very end of the film, what can only be described as a demonic monkey pops up to torment the Heartless hit-maker.  The heavily symbolic birth/ death scene at the conclusion of the film is quite disorienting, but one that is to be expected from the envelope-pushing Spike Jonze, who always shies away from the more obvious imagery.  In lampooning West’s self-indulgent public behaviors and image, Jonze transforms Kanye West into a more sympathetic character, at least on film, helping the singer to rid himself of whatever demons reside within him in a cathartic, moving and powerful final scene.

In summary, We Were Once A Fairytale is certainly not a children’s fairytale movie, but rather a fairly disturbing, possibly awesome, but unquestionably super-bizarre work of art from director Spike Jonze.

We Were Once A Fairytale: The Artist’s Coup de Grâce

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