Lemonade Screen 9 articles

Lemonade

2016

Lemonade Poster
  • It's overwhelming how much of herself Beyoncé puts onscreen here: her rage, her style, her centuries of heritage, her grief, her love. Nothing's off-limits. The camera glides through fields and swamps and sandbars. Stories of black women's resilience spill out of this dense hour.

  • Its directors give this project texture, mystery and life. Restraint, too. The only memorable dancing is by the world’s greatest living female athlete: Serena Williams, a tennis player. And all of that opacity — the sense from her previous special that no matter how much Beyoncé talks, she isn’t telling you anything? That doesn’t exist here. Feelings gush like water.

  • It shows the personal journey [Beyonce's] been on, a sort of awakening, and remarkably brings the viewer on that same journey... What’s most revolutionary and cathartic about Lemonade, though, is that it dares to make a new canon, finding references in the unphotographed past and future simultaneously, a land of no men. “F**k you, I’ll build anew,” Beyonce seems to say with this daring and necessary work.

  • With "Lemonade," the Malick comparisons aren't just facile, but they substantially understate its sprawling visual ambition, not to mention its pronounced political and cultural intelligence. One thing "Lemonade" does (apparently) have in common with Malick's movies is that it's intensely personal in ways we may never quite understand.

  • To admire, appreciate and love Beyoncé and ‘Lemonade’ is perfectly reasonable. But to make the assumption that ‘Lemonade’, Beyoncé, or any prominent black artist, is meant for a white gay audience is a wilful misreading of the work. Laud Lemonade for its virtuosic direction, its profound emotion, its hypnotic visuals, and its balance of personal and political. There’s no need to claim, with regards to black artistry, “They don’t love you like I love you.”

  • A worthy ode to the black South and the dynamism of black women, on closer inspection Lemonade still falls into the dangerous trap of romanticising black anguish. The film concludes in a section entitled Redemption with the heartwarming Motown-esque ballad All Night, a celebration of love, familial and romantic, but lacking nuance... In spite of its questionable turn, Lemonade remains a triumph, a victory for black women, black authorship, and black art.

  • Beyonce's second "visual" album was a collection of new songs wedded to a one-hour film, tightly controlled by the star but directed by seven people (the star included). Hopeful, sad, angry, bleakly funny, politically engaged and consistently provocative, it was one of the year's most original works.

  • Beyoncé and her collaborators’ work has to be one of the most engaged, politicized, radical texts produced in a year that certainly needed them. And it’s rhythmically seductive, beautiful to watch, mesmerisingly charismatic, to boot.

  • I don’t need to defend Beyoncé’s thrilling visual album/confessional/historical pastiche as a work of cinematic nonfiction, but there’s at least one undeniably documentary element: Khalik Allah’s powerful, gritty images of New Orleans. Like his work in Field Niggas (19th on my list last year), Allah creates portraits that ring of rare immediacy and depth, which fit perfectly into the luminous vision of African American heartache and power conjured by Beyoncé and her collaborators.

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