EbeneInfo – GB – ‘Lovers Rock’ review: Steve McQueen’s euphoric night in the 80s in West London

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The latest installment in the director’s anthology’ Small Ax ‘takes viewers to a hedonistic dance party in Ladbroke Grove

The only chapter in Steve McQueen’s Small Ax anthology not adapted from actual events, Lovers Rock is a sprawling, visceral drama that takes place at a dance party in Ladbroke Grove, west London

Set in 1980, the film loosely follows Martha (Amarah-Jae St Aubyn), a middle-class British Christian with Jamaican roots as we watch her as, wearing a homemade evening gown of purple and money, she comes out of her window and escapes into the night with her best friend Patty (Shaniqua Okwok)

Despite the film’s modest one-piece setting, McQueen presents the action in a wide variety of aesthetically pleasing close-ups: a cable tucked into a tire-sized amp; smoke collects in the air of generously filled joints, bright spots of sunlight between the girlfriends, as one runs a hot comb through the other’s hair

There is no singular narrative at Lovers Rock, but a handful of different stories are told throughout the film After Martha is harassed by her white neighbors on the street, the scene centers on the doorman the size of a cupboard that protects her, the floor lamp illuminating a scar on her cheek A fleeting, healing kiss in the upstairs house carries weight and promise.If anything, it would help the film to include more in order to delve a little more into the lives of these characters who have been so passionately realized Elsewhere, cinematographer Shabier Kirchner breathes life into the house itself – from sweat accumulated on the patterned wallpaper to hypnotic shadows cast by guests on the dance floor

McQueen and his co-writer Courttia Newland don’t romance the island quarter of the West Indies that have reunited for the night They certainly don’t hesitate to show arguments that later turn violent Instead, they portray a community delighted by the pleasures made available to them through several tender and remarkable moments For example, only part of the crowd can hit the high notes of Janet Kay’s famous 1979 rock ballad « Silly Games, » but that doesn’t stop the whole room from joining us over and over again. A masterful gear shift for McQueen, Lovers Rock is one of his best works to date

© 2020 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies

Steve McQueen

EbeneInfo – GB – Review of « Lovers Rock »: Steve McQueen’s euphoric evening in the 80s in West London

Source: https://www.nme.com/reviews/lovers-rock-review-steve-mcqueen-2820611

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