Lovers Rock

Lovers Rock ★★★★

Lover’s Rock took me back to all-night benders in Oakland warehouses and underground basements: hedonistic parties where nothing mattered besides skin, sound, and the sentient transcendence of pulsing music.

And despite the fact that mainstream radio has long ago sabotaged pop-reggae by overplaying it to oblivion, the dub reggae tracks and grooves in this film are utterly euphoric.

That said, when categorized as a feature film, Lover’s Rock feels slight. It doesn’t have to be anything besides what it is, and I respect McQueen for exhibiting the aesthetic bravado to let it just be a vibe, a milieu, an atmospheric piece. But with a tenuous plot, thin characters, and a running time of just 70 minutes, I’m simply not that inclined to elevate it to the peak of my Best of 2020 lists like so many seem to be.

It just feels a bit too much like an extremely long music video, rapturous and sensually teeming with life though it may be.

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