It is no secret that Kanye West has an eclectic taste in movies, with the wildly popular rapper announcing it in interviews and even taking to Twitter to declare what he thinks are some of the greatest films ever made. Ranging from the definitive anime masterpiece Akira to Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph, Kanye has been very vocal about what he wants from cinema.
While Kanye does have an appreciation for relatively recent projects like 12 Years A Slave and Get Out, which have garnered mainstream attention, he also uses his platform to amplify cult classics. Before he sets out to create his music, Kanye usually draws from vastly different sources of inspiration, and that is the case with the cinema he enjoys the most.
One of the filmmakers Ye looks up to the most is Chilean-French pioneer Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose works have also inspired other iconic musicians such as John Lennon. In fact, Kanye loves Jodorowsky’s cinema so much that he once provided this onstage rant: “I don’t know if y’all have heard of Tesla, and I’m not talking about the car, I’m talking about the inventor,” he said, adding: “Or if y’all ever heard about Jodorowsky, the director who made The Holy Mountain“.
Kanye named The Holy Mountain one of his favourite films of all time, which had a significant impact on his creative journey. Jodorowsky was already gaining traction in the public eye before he ever made The Holy Mountain, attaining the appreciation of The Beatles and even financial support from them after Lennon had his mind blown away by El Topo.
In order to express his admiration of Jodorowsky’s works, Kanye decided to meet with the filmmaker, who had no idea about who the rapper was. However, he decided to go ahead with the meeting and had one of the most bizarre experiences of his life. Jodorowsky is known as one of the greatest surrealist masters of cinema, and even he found this encounter to be more surreal than his own films.
When Jodorowsky was staying in Nice, Kanye’s assistant called him up to set up a meeting, but the director had not heard of Kanye before. However, when he heard that the rapper was in Cannes and really wanted to meet him for an hour, Jodorowsky ended up agreeing to the meeting. Kanye was so enthusiastic that he arrived an hour or two before the scheduled time.
According to Jodorowsky, Kanye showed up at the director’s hotel with four of five guys, including another pioneering filmmaker Spike Jonze. The first thing that Jodorowsky told Kanye was: “What do you want?” However, Kanye’s eagerness to connect with Jodorowsky won him over, and the director claimed that he immediately liked the rapper.
Over the course of their interaction, Kanye did a lot of crazy stuff, including pitching ideas to Jodorowsky, which would see him become “the most well-paid actor in the history of movies”. They exchanged a lot of thoughts; Jodorowsky conducted a tarot card reading for the rapper, they clicked a picture, and he departed, which left Jodorowsky wondering what Kanye had actually wanted in the first place.