Inside Kanye West’s ‘Cruel Summer’ Cannes Film Premiere

By James Montgomery

Whenever Kanye West does something, he does it big, and his recent film premiere at the Cannes festival last week was no different. ‘Ye went all out to debut his new short film “Cruel Summer,” which bears the same title as his upcoming G.O.O.D. Music album.

Kanye West projected the film onto seven video screens inside a tented pyramid on the Mediterranean Sea.

It was a stylistic choice meant to represent “a post-Steve Jobs, post-Windows era … where your mind puts the screen back together, the way you put memories together … like the experience of life” (so said West in a speech before the premiere). But if you weren’t lucky enough to attend the film’s gala opening — which is to say, if you weren’t Kim Kardashian or Jay-Z — those words probably don’t hold much meaning to you.

But now, you can get a glimpse at what it was like to be inside that tented pyramid, as a series of photos of the venue — and the multitude of strategically placed video screens — have hit the Web.

Designed by international firm OMA, who have built eye-popping venues in cities like Beijing, Montreal and, uh, Syracuse, the “temporary pavilion” featured seven screens “of cinematic proportions,” and was envisioned as “a constellation of projections that wrap around the audience.”

The pyramid itself was created “to create an effect of levitation above the red carpet,” and attendees “ascend[ed] into the pyramid along a continuous red carpet that widen[ed] into the 200-seat auditorium.” The entire projected was site-specific collaboration between OMA, West’s own DONDA collective and Cannes-based production team Ar’Scene.

“Cruel Summer,” inspired by West’s upcoming G.O.O.D Music compilation of the same name, stars Kid Cudi as a car thief who falls in love with a blind Arabian princess. The 30-minute film was co-directed by Alexandre Moors, who previously worked with West on his videos for “Runaway” and “N—as in Paris,” and was shot entirely in Qatar in the Middle East.