Werner Herzog Offers Positive Critique of Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ Video
In typical Kanye West fashion, the rapper incited endless discussion — both positive and negative — with the release of his controversial music video for “Famous.” While the surrounding discourse focused largely on the ethics directly intertwined within the visual — should Kanye have asked for permission from the celebrities involved, considering their combined naked likenesses and the video’s implied sexual content? — it seems Kanye's at least found approval in legendary filmmaker, Werner Herzog.
During a promo stop for his forthcoming Internet documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, the German filmmaker was asked by The Daily Beast to offer his critique of "Famous."
According to Herzog’s wildly positive interpretation, the clip offers viewers a fascinating take on the type of cinematic storytelling Herzog aims to achieve in his films.
"The most interesting thing for me as a storyteller is...in a movie, yes, you do have a story, and you develop a story. But at the same time you have to be very careful and think about and organize a parallel story, a separate, independent story that only occurs in the collective mind of the audience," he said. "And when you hear the rap, which is very well done, all of a sudden it gives you more time than anything else just to reflect on it. And this video gives you space for creating your separate parallel story."
"And you keep thinking, are these people for real? Are they doppelgängers? And what could be the story of them? What are they doing? How have they partied? What brought them together? So all of a sudden, the rapper gives me the chance to completely go wild on my own story," he continued. "On the collective audience that he has out there. It’s very, very interesting...I see something very wild here, which is essential in real deep storytelling."
Herzog signed off with one final bit of praise for Kanye, saying if the "Wolves" rapper applied to his Rogue Film School with the "Famous" video he'd accept him immediately, "because I have never seen anything like this, and it really has caliber."
"It shows us that the Internet can be well beyond the 60-second cat videos," he continued. "Although I like them as well."
Kanye, it seems, approves of Herzog's critique:
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