The connections between Kanye West's Yeezus tour and Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain are well documented. But what about Kanye West and Thai cinema? Who out there on the Internet is up on that Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the filmmaker behind the Palme d'Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives?
In Uncle Boonmee, the title character (played by Thanapat Saisaymar) is dying of a kidney illness. During his last days, he's visited by the spirits of dead loved ones in the form of red-eyed shadow beasts. They look like this:
The eyes are red pinpricks of light, like lazers. They appear covered in fuzzy black fur. They represent spirits from Boonmee's current life (maybe a past life, as well), and they're there to usher him into his next life.
Compare their looks with the beast that stalks the stage of Yeezus:
Pretty similar, right? West hasn't made mention of the film or its director in any interviews or onstage monologues, meaning this connection is purely speculative at this point. But given that the tour is already indebted to one difficult arthouse movie, it isn't an enormous leap to suggest the influence of another. (There's also a scene in Uncle Boonmee where a princess, floating on her back in a pool of water, receives oral sex from a catfish. Yes, she really orders the fish filet. If this kind of thing wouldn't appeal to West, then I've completely misunderstood him as an artist.)
Even if the Boonmee connection can't be confirmed, one thing is for certain: DONDA has great taste.