Lovers Rock

Lovers Rock ★★★★½

Ravenously, exhaustingly sensual. It is perfectly calibrated in so many minute ways - the drape of fabric, the places where Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn shifts her accent to situate herself relative to the other characters, the placement of hands, the selection and ordering of music cues, the first shift from the luxurious warm golds inside the party to the cool night greens outside. The floating camera and constant rhythmic movement of the cast combine to create an unbearably blissful, trancelike state in the first part that drifts into something more frenzied, and droning and tired, in the way that the last people at the party are the most alert and most wired, with the ultimate punctuation mark of a brief but intense burst of almost illegible chanting to mark the political potency of what has seemed like just a fun, celebratory night. Joyful, empowering, dreamily erotic - and just like the kind of party it commemorates, there's maybe no way to end it that isn't sort of unsatisfying and hollow, and maybe this was even the best way Steve McQueen could have ever come up with. Lacks the roar of Widows and the bravura of Hunger, which remain my two favorite things he's directed, but this is definitely what I'd use to try and sell new people on his gifts as visual artist, and his attentiveness to the fleshiness of human bodies.

(Full review at Alternate Ending)

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