Without question, the visual accompaniment to Kanye West‘s The Life of Pablo centerpiece “Famous” stands as the most talked-about video of the year. The reasons why are numerous, and we shouldn’t have to remind you of them here. The influence of the video is now hitting everyone’s favorite dude from the New German Cinema period of filmmaking, Werner Herzog. In fact, the Salt and Fire director even put his legendary voice to use by narrating and analyzing “Famous” at the request of the Daily Beast‘s Jen Yamato.
“I have never seen anything like this,” Herzog told the Daily Beast. The iconic German auteur then noted the visual’s usage of eerily life-like doubles of everyone from Donald Trump to Taylor Swift, comparing it to the experience of being a digital native:
“That’s an interesting thing that the internet can create: doppelgängers,” Herzog said. “The most interesting thing for me as a storyteller is, and it’s something that I always keep saying, 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.” According to Herzog, Kanye totally nailed all of that.
But Herzog’s praise didn’t stop there. The director seems to believe Kanye is making a statement on society’s obsession with projected identities, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. And Herzog is very here for that. “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,” Herzog said. “I try to explain to them there’s not just a story that you are telling and you are concocting some sort of relationship between people and you have a flow of narration. Sometimes it accelerates, sometimes it slows down. I try to embed, to implant moments where time doesn’t matter anymore.”
Werner Herzog co-sign? Check!