Sunday, April 24, 2016

 

Beyoncé Serves Up Emotional, Personal Film with 'Lemonade' HBO Special

Beyoncé brought world premiere events back into style with her hour-long HBO presentation Lemonade on Saturday (April 23). The visual album was a series of deep cuts that not only dominated the conversation on timelines but also offered an inside look into the mind – and heart – of the mysterious Mrs. Carter.
The emotional ride began with a field of tall plants, a grey stone building and Beyoncé, clad in a black hoodie zipped over her head, singing, “You can’t taste the dishonesty/ It’s all over your breath.” Gasps ensued. “I prayed I'd catch you whispering/ I pray you catch me listening.” Was the opener a public reprimanding of her husband, Jay Z? (Rumors of his alleged infidelity ran rampant surrounding Elevator-gate.)
Before viewers could jump to further conclusions, Beyonce captivated with both her visuals and lyrics. For "Denial,“ she walks over to a building ledge barefoot and jumps off the side of a building before plunging into a bedroom that is underwater, as she asks the question "Are you cheating on me?"

bat and smashing car windows, belting lines like "Don’t wanna lose my pride/ But I'ma fuck me up a bitch” and “What’s worse – looking jealous or crazy?” There is also a Soulja Boy reference here as she repeats the viral line, “I look in the mirror, say wassup?" At one point during the film, tennis MVP Serena Williams also makes a cameo, twerking for Queen Bey.
For a chapter titled "Freedom,” she recruits actress-singer Zendaya, actress Amandla Stenberg as well as supermodel Winnie Harlow, for one of the peak emotional moments of the film, saluting generations of strong black women. The mothers of police brutality victims like Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin later appear with photos of their sons. In both visual and musical form, Lemonade fist pumps to her New Orleans roots and those who share her skin color and ancestral struggle. The voice of Malcom X also makes the cut, saying, "The most neglected person is the black woman.“

In the final "Redemption,“ personal wedding footage of her and Jay Z (who also appears earlier in an intimate clip, where Beyoncé sings beside a keyboard) followed by scenes of the couple with Blue as well as her mother, Tina Knowles and her significant other, among other images of love, shining through as the sky opens and sunlight breaks through over the once drab field that opened the film. Like every endeavor Beyonce’s name is attached to, her every move is calculated, making it no surprise that Lemonade the album dropped as a Tidal exclusive following the special. She also controls the narrative on her personal life, offering almost diary-style anecdotes in each track. On Lemonade, Beyoncé appears just the way we like her – unapologetically herself.

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