Thursday, October 22, 2009

Short Film You Must See: "We Were Once A Fairytale" (Spike Jonze, 2009)

See the film here

by Brandon Colvin

It is the second collaboration between Spike Jonze and Kanye West.

It is a portrait of the artist as a forlorn failure, a charismatic creep, a self-hating superstar.

It is a feverish, fickle-focused fiction about fantasy, fucked-upness, and frustration.

It is a dreamlike documentary of digital-age debauchery, of a drunken dude in debonair duds desperately clinging to the final shards of his identity.

It is auto-tuned lyrics, cultural convergence, and sweating strangers shrugging off the awkward advances of a semi-suicidal, seppuku-committing icon of media megalomania.

It is NewTube.

It is a performer performing a performance of himself as a performer performing.

It is Kanye’s stilted slurrings and their amateur-professional truth.

It is the dancefloor tears that slyly suggest both autobiography and shameless solipsism.

It is confetti blood.

It is Godard.

It is a seriously shocking ending, for once.

It is the sincerity in such an ending, for once.

It is what I expect from the director of Adaptation.

It is a poem.

It is easily one of the best films of 2009.


Unknown said...

Brandon, you seriously echoed, articulated, confirmed and expanded on what I thought I felt when I watched this short film.

I couldn't feel more strongly about this short review.

Brandon Colvin said...


I'm glad to see that the film has some hardcore fans. And that my poem experiment worked!

Anonymous said...

Я люблю когда пишут умные вещи, и постоянно читаю ваш блог (, но тут я с вами не согласен

Brandon Colvin said...

For those who don't read Russian, the above commenter said that s/he loves when we write clever things, but that s/he disagrees with me on this.

James Hansen said...

Thanks Brandon! Glad we got a translation. And to anonymous...thanks for reading!

w. said...

you liked this?

there's something so grating about kanye's speaking voice that i can't be bothered to watch more than a minute of it. i also feel like he's reaching that point where he's so self-aware that he's kind of a joke, but maybe that's the point? i thought the flashing lights video was AMAZING. they should stick to subverting ass and titties rap videos.

Brandon Colvin said...

Just as the "Flashing Lights" video subverts ass 'n' titties conventions, this one subverts Kanye's entire persona. I think that is indeed the point, as you suggested.