vlt’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ok um this wasn’t very good.
It just seems that this guy came straight off r/OFWGKTA and /mu/ and decided to create a movie focused fully on aesthetics and his favourite Spotify playlist rather than a film with a solid plot.
I’ll talk about the music first because the use of songs in this film is just too much for me, christ. This was more like one of those youtube videos that is a homage to the creators favourite artist rather than a feature length film. Frank Ocean is one of my favourite music artists of all time, but even I can’t defend the use of the songs in here. The scene with Rushes in particular fucked me off because it’s literally the same scene aesthetically speaking as Moonlight, which for sure I can see Trey being influenced by it, but it doesn’t come off as original or creative but just as crappy copy. The scenes with IFHY and I am a God were cringey as fuck and the addition of Animal Collective and Radiohead completes the /mu/cores/ wet dream in cinema form. All in all the songs implemented in these scenes added nothing really significant to the plot, it just shows a Frank and Kanye stan trying to awkwardly place their favourite songs into a messy eye rolling catastrophe. I have no problem with directors adding their favourite songs to a film, it's not a crime, but songs should be built around a film not vice versa; this is not he case here. Anyways, besides all that putting /mu/core/ and OF does not make you edgy Trey, nor does it pass the off as being an "avant-garde" millennial masterpiece.
Moreover, in various interviews Trey seems to hailing this film as a personal one. Yes, I can see certain elements to that but it seems to radiate a cringey captivation of black culture instead of Trey's own personal experiences in Florida. Take Tyler for example, his name is a reference to Tyler the creator, his hair is a reference to Blonde….. It’s a fucking tribute to his favourite artists and rather than showing Tyler as a genuinely made character, it’s just a mere prop that Trey made when he glanced down jerking off at his Spotify playlist. So the theme of showing a black kid struggle through his problems is completely undermined cause that’s not the personal part, it’s Trey’s portraying his blatant obsession over black art. I’m not that sort of person who believes in putting a barrier of who should make a certain film, but the fact that Trey passes this film as "personal" just comes across as disrespectful and ignorant. Adding on to this, the fact that Trey had the audacity to claim that this film is "autobiographical" or "colour blind" (i.e not recognising stereotypes with skin colour etc.) is honestly just a bullshit and ignorant excuse in order for him to justify to himself that he can make an abomination like this. Again, I'll clarify... I really don't think we should set a fence that prevents people from different backgrounds making certain films, but it HAS to be done right with respect to a particular groups' art and not be some cringey “I don’t listen to mainstream rap” white kid that is completely disrespectful in the manner of his storytelling. The image of well brought up Trey jerking off to 911/Mr. Lonely in his room with his Yeezus tour merch on actually being given the opportunity to make a film like this and shitting it out to the public is a joke tbh.
Anyhow besides all that venting, the movie itself is way too long for what it is and it’s simply way too much of a fucking mess. The themes that surrounded Tyler gave a good foundation to go off, but in the end it just comes across as undeveloped. The second half was way too boring and came at a time where I completely lost interest in the film. Like the dual film concept is an approach that I'm not opposed to at all, but with a wack ass plot like this I'm not gonna be able to genuinely be captivated for the entire 135 minutes. Furthermore, the second half is filmed like one of those Tumblr girl's aesthetic film about breaking up with her ex after an 8 day relationship; my point being that this essentially comes off as ridiculously amateurish for a high budget film and ultimately becomes a painful watch. Also, really don't get the praise of the camerawork either, as changing the aspect ratio alone doesn't yield mind-bending results as Trey demonstrates here. For a supposedly intensely emotional drama, nothing is really built up well and moments that are supposed to be emotionally intense come off as limp and anticlimactic. Nah straight up I'd rather shit in my hands and clap than sit through this bullshit again.
This movie is corny as fuck.
Stick to 20 min Youtube tribute videos and Tumblr posts Trey.
LTOP > Yeezus