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Kanye West’s “Fade” Video Was Inspired By John Carpenter, Grace Jones, And ’70s Porn

According to 24 year-old director Eli Russell Linnetz.

September 01, 2016

🎈 THANK YOU. FAMOUS. NOW STREAMING ON TIDAL. #tidalxfamous #webrokeit #famous #blessed

A photo posted by ELI RUSSELL LINNETZ (@elirusselllinnetz) on

Twitter absolutely freaked over the "Fade" video Kanye West premiered at the MTV VMAs on Sunday, August 28. From Teyana Taylor's dance moves, the cat face, an Iman Shumpert cameo, and the sheep, it was a visual to remember. Now director Eli Russell Linetz has spoken about how it all came together.

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The 24 year-old is undertaking a "one-year artist residency with Kanye," and has worked on the "Famous" video, as well as his current St. Pablo tour and all of its merchandise. Linnetz told the New York Times that he hadn't finished the video when West called him and told him that he would be debuting it at the VMAs. His original brief for the video was wide ranging. “I just got an email from Kanye superlate at night," Linnetz said, “saying, ‘I want you to direct "Fade." Space, space, space. ‘Teyana Taylor dancing. Iman Shumpert, taking thousands of years of culture and throwing them into a single frame or moment. That’s our approach whether it’s "Famous" or "Fade" or fashion or the tour.”

As for influences, Linnetz admits that one '80s film was an obvious touchstone for the "Fade" video. "Flashdance is just so iconic that it’s hard to move away from that, but the Ohio Players’ album covers were our starting point. Some people picked up on the Grace Jones boxing images by Jean-Paul Goude. I pulled a lot of references from ’70s and ’80s porn, just on Pornhub. That was less about the imagery and more about the texture of the skin, the oiliness. There’s John Carpenter films, The Fly. There’s also things like Dancing With the Stars, the Olympics and the N.B.A. championship. I brought on Guillermo Navarro, who shot Jackie Brown, as the cinematographer. Renelou Padora did the styling, and then Tino [Schaedler] did the art direction. He’s done everything from Harry Potter movies to Daft Punk videos. It all seems fragmented, and then it’s all boiled down to this one image because Kanye is so good about overseeing the people involved."

Read the full New York Times interview here.

Kanye West’s “Fade” Video Was Inspired By John Carpenter, Grace Jones, And ’70s Porn