When Kanye West makes his film debut, no ordinary theatre will do. Even the movie is making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Last week, West’s short film Cruel Summer premiered at the prestigious fête in a seven-screen pyramid next to the Mediterranean.
The international architecture firm OMA designed the flamboyant structure specifically for West. OMA is known for its dramatic buildings that can be seen in cities such as Montréal and Beijing. The temporary pavilion was meant to wow audience members—exclusive elite of the rich and famous—and to give them an unforgettable cinematic experience.
The pyramid’s seating gave the effect of floating above a red carpet, while the seven screens plunged moviegoers into the heart of the film. Apparently, West envisioned spectators being wrapped and surrounded by the film. It sounds like a 21st century experience, and I would have loved to join the lucky few that attended.
However, the 30 minute movie sounds like another promotional vehicle for West’s ever-growing megalomania. His inspiration for the project was his upcoming G.O.O.D Music compilation and features a weak storyline. One of West’s usual collaborators, Kid Cudi, stars as a car thief who falls madly in love with a blind Arab princess. He marries her, on the condition that he helps her to see again. This plot line sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The only thing that would make it worse is if Kim Kardashian, West’s current flame, played the princess.
I give props to West and OMA for redesigning the movie theatre. While it is still only for the elite, I hope that cinemas will be inspired by this venue and dabble with new techniques in theatre styling. Surroundings are important for perception, and moviemakers shouldn’t be afraid to try different ideas. Cinema has become too commercial and needs a facelift. Hopefully, pyramid-style theatres will become the norm in the coming years. Until then, I will keep wishing for that invitation to Cannes.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She aspires to be a culture broadcast journalist and photographer. She loves to discover new lands and adventures, and will continue exploring, starting with a Masters of Journalism in Denmark in the fall. To follow her on her latest journeys, follow her on twitter.