Posted by , Aug 12, 2016 at 10:17am
"The fact that there’s just breathing and imagining is wonderful about it."

To call Kanye West's "Famous" music video "controversial" would be an understatement. West himself has called the video, which features wax nudes of Kanye, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and other A-list celebrities in bed a "comment on fame."

Now, the video has been narrated by the venerated film director Werner Herzog, courtesy of the Daily Beast. Herzog's live commentary reads like an essay from an academic journal. Indeed, the highbrow end of the criticism spectrum has received the video relatively positively. Here are excerpts from his narration:

"That’s an interesting thing that the internet can create: doppelgängers. 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. 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. 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.

"Of course, Donald Trump, you can tell that’s not the Donald. But it’s good to see it because you start to reflect upon the overlaying self and invented self. What’s going on on Facebook is all stylized, invented forms. And I see it in my personal contact with the internet that there’s a lot of doppelgängers pretending to be me, trying to speak in my accent, my voice, answering things on Facebook, on Twitter. It’s all impostors. So our understanding of self has, in a way, deeply and radically changed. ... There’s all of a sudden a guy out there in the world of rappers who is doing something that I’ve always tried to get across to people who want to make movies. I try to explain to them that there’s not just a story that you are telling and you are concocting some sort of relationship between people. ... I try to embed, to implant moments where time doesn’t matter anymore. There’s a standstill, there’s only breathing.

"The fact that there’s just breathing and imagining is wonderful about it."

Watch Herzog's narration below.

Werner Herzog Narrated Kanye West's "Famous" Video

"The fact that there’s just breathing and imagining is wonderful about it."


To call Kanye West's "Famous" music video "controversial" would be an understatement. West himself has called the video, which features wax nudes of Kanye, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and other A-list celebrities in bed a "comment on fame."

Now, the video has been narrated by the venerated film director Werner Herzog, courtesy of the Daily Beast. Herzog's live commentary reads like an essay from an academic journal. Indeed, the highbrow end of the criticism spectrum has received the video relatively positively. Here are excerpts from his narration:

"That’s an interesting thing that the internet can create: doppelgängers. 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. 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. 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.

"Of course, Donald Trump, you can tell that’s not the Donald. But it’s good to see it because you start to reflect upon the overlaying self and invented self. What’s going on on Facebook is all stylized, invented forms. And I see it in my personal contact with the internet that there’s a lot of doppelgängers pretending to be me, trying to speak in my accent, my voice, answering things on Facebook, on Twitter. It’s all impostors. So our understanding of self has, in a way, deeply and radically changed. ... There’s all of a sudden a guy out there in the world of rappers who is doing something that I’ve always tried to get across to people who want to make movies. I try to explain to them that there’s not just a story that you are telling and you are concocting some sort of relationship between people. ... I try to embed, to implant moments where time doesn’t matter anymore. There’s a standstill, there’s only breathing.

"The fact that there’s just breathing and imagining is wonderful about it."

Watch Herzog's narration below.

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