Watch Kanye West’s Provocative Short Film, ‘Runaway’

(Credit: Getty Images)

Kanye West certainly knows how to show a feather-covered bird lady a good time. In his first mini-movie, which he directed and which clocks in at 35 minutes, Kanye West’s “Runaway” takes us on a dreamy and wild journey set to the music of his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, due out Nov. 22.

“Runaway,” narrated by Nicki Minaj, premiered on MTV this weekend and opens up with a phoenix, played by the beautiful and talented Selita Ebanks (Kanye originally wanted Selita naked, but Selita gave that a firm “no”), falling from the sky in front of Kanye’s sports car. The phoenix, named Griffin, is a metaphor for Kanye’s career.

Like any good-hearted animal lover, Kanye scoops her up and takes her home (also because that’s what you do when you find an alien phoenix on the side of the road) and begins to woo her into his world: Kanye shows her some beats he’s working on, takes her to a parade to watch a giant Michael Jackson float and invites her to a dinner party in an abandoned warehouse with some ballerinas. Kanye’s posse isn’t sure what to make of his new girlfriend, as she doesn’t wear clothes or talk and has trouble drinking from a cup. In the end, the phoenix throws Kanye the deuces and peaces out into a ball of flames. (Symbolism! Metaphor!)

From fireworks to woodland animals in empty forests, the analogies in “Runaway” are a high school English teacher’s dream. Theories about what the video is trying to say are swirling, but we bet Kanye is probably the only person who really knows what “Runaway” is exactly about. Regardless of its true meaning, “Runaway” is really pretty to watch, the music is great and it reminds us once again why there is only one Mr. West.

+ Watch Kanye West’s “Runaway.”