Runaway- Paul Martin

One category of film that is rarely discussed conversationally is art film, especially experimental art film.

One experimental art film I recently saw for at least the tenth time is “Runaway,” a half hour short film directed by the acclaimed and equally divisive musician and designer Kanye West. The film was shocking to most viewers upon its release in 2010 to accompany what was at the time his greatest album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which is consistently ranked by music critics as one of the, or the top, album of this millennium. The film is a work of pure aesthetic, with a choppy overarching plot line that engages a wide array of issues from race and class, to the media and fame. Despite the constant variation and lack of apparent focus in the film, paired with some of the worst acting ever put on screen, the film is a major success at creating a maximalist aesthetic that leaves a definite imprint on the mind. The film has not been engaged nearly enough by film scholars, which will hopefully change. I think that the work will hold up well in retrospect as a flawed piece of aesthetic weight, and upon closer review without the clouded lens of seeing the film accompanied by Kanye West’s media persona, the film will be an important piece for years to come.

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