Akira goes West

More Akira news… Although I posted on the Kanye West/Spike Jonze video for Flashing Lights only recently, I haven’t really been a fan of West up to now (although Chris Milk who I interviewed for Remixing Music Video, has made some great clips for him), suffering as he does from typical rap star pomposity. However Flashing Lights, and the Stronger video (Youtube embedded here) twist him in a direction that really connects to a larger cinematic zone.

I love the Stronger video because it is a direct homage to uber-animé, Akira. The motion trails from the motorbike lights as they zip through a neon-lit Shibuya are astounding. Shame Hype Williams didn’t go the whole way conceptually, and make a condensed live action version of the film rather than intercutting performance footage and spoiling the flow. But then Hype is commercially expedient if nothing else.

This post is mainly here to remind myself to look more closely at the parallel effects that can be borrowed from animé and tuned to live action. Mamoru Oshii did it super-effectively in Avalon, borrowing from his own Ghost in the Shell direction, etc. Some of the effects in Serial Experiments Lain for example are ripe as inspiration.

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