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Kanye West’s ‘Fade’ Video Director Details Influences: John Carpenter, Grace Jones & Pornhub

The 24-year-old Eli Russel Linnetz got his start working for director David Mamet at the age of 15.


The director of Kanye West’s latest music video for “Fade,” Eli Russel Linnetz, is just 24 years old, but he’s no stranger to the work of artists who made their mark on society long before he was born. Linnetz recently told The New York Times about his inspirations for the video, which features actress and singer Teyana Taylor in a steamy shower scene with her real life husband and Cleveland Cavalier Iman Shumpert.

“‘Flashdance’ is just so iconic that it’s hard to move away from that, but the Ohio Players’ album covers were our starting point,” Linnetz told the Times. “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.”

Linnetz also brought on “Jackie Brown” cinematographer Guillermo Navarro to shoot the video, and “Equals” production designer Tino Schaedler, who’s worked as an art director on Harry Potter films, to do the art direction.

Linnetz got his start working as director David Mamet’s assistant at the age of 15.

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