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Kanye West Famous Video SFW
Still from Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ video

Watch filmmaker Werner Herzog analyse Kanye West’s ‘Famous’

The ‘inventor of cinema’ praised the musician’s use of naked waxworks and storytelling technique

Acclaimed German filmmaker and self-styled “inventor of cinema” Werner Herzog has weighed in on Kanye West’s “Famous” music video.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, the Nosferatu director applauded aspects of West’s vision that are “essential in very deep storytelling”. Referring to the “deceivingly well cast” naked waxwork figures including Donald Trump and Taylor Swift, he mused on the use of doppelgangers to explore identity, particularly in the age of the Internet.

The video for “Famous” was met with serious controversy for its use of ‘nonconsensual nudity’ with some of the world’s most famous faces naked on a huge bed. Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Anna Wintour are also among the wax bodies.

“Our understanding of self has in a way deeply and radically changed,” Herzog observed. Known for his explorative meta-documentaries like My Best Fiend, exploring his relationship with the troubled actor Klaus Kinski, and Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Herzog asserts that the TLOP singer shows an understanding of the art of narration that he always wants students to learn.

Herzog recently launched an online masterclass in filmmaking, teaching students across the world the art of documentary filmmaking, storytelling, interview techniques, shooting on location and cinematography. 

The director mistakenly refers to Ye as “Kane West”, but happily invites him to apply to his film school because of what he sees as obvious talent, stating that he’s “never seen anything like this”.