Beyoncé - BLACK IS KING | Page 16 | The Popjustice Forum


Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by EnsnareTheSenses, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. That was GLORIOUS! Although I honestly feel like I don't even have the right words to describe it. Beyoncé - and everyone involved - really did the damn thing! I watched it three times yesterday and am watching it again right now. I feel it's going to take even more viewings to really take in everything.

    I've been playing The Gift non-stop since it released, but the film just elevated everything. I just felt so emotional throughout the whole thing. And I just know one day Brown Skin Girl is going to catch me off guard and have me bawling my eyes out. What a glorious celebration of black and brown skin women. My Power has always been my favourite from the album and again I have no words to describe just how amazing that whole sequence was.

    There really is no one doing it like Beyoncé right now, she's on her own level and her own competition. I had high hopes for this anyway after having loved the album for so long, but it surpassed every single expectation I had for it. I really feel like I'll be watching this everyday for weeks.
  2. I just keep thinking... there's literally nothing more gratifying to a gay than a pop star as talented and driven as Beyonce who has shaken off ALL commercial expectations and label interference. She is doing whatever the fuck she wants and it's such a pleasure to watch.
  3. It’s also refreshing to see how much money she sinks into her work. The budget for these looks and set-pieces... Not every artist has her millions to draw from, but we’re lucky she’s spending it on the thing that matters most.

    I mean, I’m sure Beyoncé is an entrepreneur in many ways, but her art always comes first. And yes there is a hint of shade to this post.
  4. Beautiful film. Brown Skin Girl was such a highlight. Because of this, people will see sides of Africa they (perhaps foolishnessly) never knew existed there.
    Trouble in Paradise likes this.
  5. I'm honestly struggling to connect with this film as much as everyone else seems to be, and I'm wondering why. It's a very Disney-fied Wakanda-esque vision of "Africa". And while I respect and often love what that kind of representation has meant for the Black imaginary in a broad sense, and how powerful that can be - I have problems with it and find it in need of critique. I say this as someone who is born, raised and living in an African country.

    My Power was a moment, though. As was Brown-Skinned Girl. And overall it was beautiful to watch - like even just in a technical and creative sense it's powerful to see so many Black people in all our beauty, grace, diversity and power. And maybe that's enough for me to take from it.
  6. BTG


    I’m in awe. No one is operating on her level. An absolute celebration.
    sesita and johnny_tsunami like this.
  7. I feel quite similar! The Gift is one of my favorite albums of hers and I loved it right from the first listen last year. The visuals are stunning without a doubt but I too had problems connecting with the film. I guess it's that version of Africa that you described that just didn't feel very authentic to me. I also struggled with the portrayal of gender roles in the film. The little boy with a purpose and destiny vs girls who get validation for being told they're beautiful. Both of these things are great but it's the contrast that bothers me a bit.
  8. Wow, the visuals were truly stunning. I’m just echoing what most have already said but her commitment to releasing visuals and films for the majority of her music these days is incredible and so inspiring. My Power was probably my favourite moment of the whole thing, the ENERGY, whew.

    Really excited to see what she does next.

    (also someone questioned if Disney+ is just available in America...definitely not the case as I’m in Ireland and have it. You can get a free trial for a week too I think - or at least I did earlier in the month to watch Hamilton, but kept my account for this)
  9. Wait... she did? That’s so disappointing. Especially coming from someone who called herself King B for a bit, you’d think the film would be made without stereotypical gender roles.
    Jasper47 likes this.
  10. Is this criticism mostly based on Brown Skinned Girl? Because telling girls they are beautiful in their skin while society gives them another impression is important I’d say? They grow up to white beauty standards everywhere so empowering them is not wrong. I see it’s in the context of the boy’s hero role - arguably based on it being a retelling of Lion King?

    She could have gone out of her way more but I kind of feel in a movie that oozes female power it’s a bit picky to frame it like this seeing it’s based on another story AND she wants her daughter and every other black girl to understand that they in fact are beautiful no matter what wrong impression they could get.
  11. No, because I was just going off on someone else’s comment. Did you mean to quote @Jasper47 instead?

    Also, you can put a message of girls fulfilling their destiny and being beautiful at the same time (and for boys too). It doesn’t need to be presented differently. And just because it’s based on The Lion King doesn’t mean it has to adhere to that in regards to a gendered presentation of the message just because the original story had a male protagonist, it’s 2020 and we already got a remake in 2019.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    Jasper47 likes this.
  12. I finally found a way to watch this!

    The positives:

    The set pieces, the LOOKS, the clothing were exquisite. The ambition is through the roof and Beyonce has a gorgeous narrative voice. I don't know any other pop star doing it like this.

    The last half of find your way back was breathtaking and I mentioned in the Beyonce thread that she'd absolutely slay a throwback disco Donna Summer era. My other highlights were MOOD 4 EVA (Bey strutting across the mansion and in the pool were essential to me starting this week), BROWN SKIN GIRL and POWER. She's just so consistent as a performer that you expect nothing but greatness from her from the choreo heavy sequences.

    Things to improve on:

    I understand the story, but it isn't hitting as hard and developed as much as I'd like. I think the problem is a bit that they were telling the boy's story, but had to balance showing Beyonce a lot because it's her album. So it ended up trying to be two things at once: a Lion King retelling and a Beyonce visual album. Which is why it may be difficult for the viewer to connect to it besides being in awe of the visuals.

    And similar to ALREADY, the editing could use a bit more work. The shots weren't very varied and they seemed to use the wrong effects at the wrong moments. The sudden fast forwards and transitions to the "home video" effect are a bit amateur-ish so they should reduce those a bit in Parkwood's future projects. It gets noticeably a lot better towards the end, though.

    Overall, this is another great project for Bey, and I'm looking forward to the similar ambition she'll have for her next album.
    RainOnFire, Lately and Jasper47 like this.
  13. Just got finished watching this and it was such an experience. So breathtaking and beautiful . Made me so proud of my culture and heritage. Every visual was so stunning and how it was all put together was just spectacular . Bey did that !
  14. I totally agree with everything you said about Brown Skin Girl. The song and its message are important. It's just the stark contrast in the film in which girls and woman were portrayed compared to boys and man. Telling girls they're beautiful is important but next to a boys story about destiny and purpose it kinda shows the same old flawed standards we set for each gender.
    Not just Brown Skin Girl but the whole movie showed beautiful woman and young girls in dresses and Beyoncé had one fashion moment after another. Compared to the boys and man who had to do the absulute minimum to match up, it sends a message.
    I still think that Black Is King is a great project and I remain in absolute awe of her artistry and talent.
    theincredibleflipper and ohjimmy like this.
  15. I am rewatching this masterpiece and the way MY POWER’s visuals and the song itself REFUSE to leave my mind and ears...


    Also, her acting and the cinematography during Otherside were out of this world. Every scene was soooo beautifully touching.
  16. I’ve seen this critique time and time again, and while it’s valid it is never something that has concerned me or that I have even expected from Beyonce for a few reasons.

    Firstly, the initial seed of the idea is the retelling of the Lion King’s themes and ideas. That alone Set the stage for what vision of “Africa” we are getting. For me the connection between the original Lion King and Africa is a reach to begin with.

    Secondly, Beyoncé is a black woman from America who is literally trying to find her way back. That means the authenticity will feel fractured and messy, and that’s part of the pain of being of the diaspora/being a descendent of enslaved African people. So between the Afrofuturism themes and Pan-Africanism it wasn’t difficult for me to connect because I recognize what That relationship Beyonce has to Africa is.

    I do wonder what this entire project would look like if there was the basic premise of “A love Letter to Africa” but no Disney tie-in.

    I often find that because of how the world devalues and marginalizes Black communities, cultures, and ideas, we can operate from a place of impossible expectations. So often these sorts of projects are expected to address every single need, nuance, and desire because historically we have only gotten a very limited view of Africa and Blackness across the diaspora

    .So for m, I don’t need to see an authentic view of Africa from Beyonce. But rather I want a world where there are more projects that can truly show the spectrum of diversity, nuance, lives realities, and imaginative realities of the Black experience across the diaspora. I think the exciting part that is easy to overlook about this project is the amount of African and Black creatives who are collaborating and being compensated on such a stunning project. My hope is that each of those people can go on to thrive and tell more nuanced and authentic stories in their own way.
  17. I am a bit torn about this because there was a lot that is easy to miss in the dream-like poetic kind of storytelling (in terms of meaning/story when a lot of it relies on symbolism), but I also think they managed to capture a version of the world view of people who, like Beyoncé, try to go back to their roots in a way that a more literal storyline would not be able to capture as... wholly maybe? Likewise for the variety of looks and people showcased in this that would merely be the backdrop at best in a more coherent/realistic story. My main issue in this respect was that the villain -esque role/the 'lose your way' plotline/the struggles felt pretty central/crucial but were pretty much hand-waved in a 'just make this look ominous' kind of way.

    On another level, the chapters did not feel as clear as in Lemonade and, between the pauses and the interludes, the songs kind of bled into each other, so I am not sure I have a good sense of what the songs were/what the album is like (having never listened to it before) apart from, like, the three to five major moments in the film that looked like proper individual music videos. But of course it is perfectly valid as an approach.

    I did love how ambitious this was, and what it means in terms of exploring what kind of art a popstar can produce/what a mainstream artist can be in service of. And I love how it contributes to the discussion of matters of race, legacy etc and what it means for representation of cultures and people. Who else if not Beyoncé? I am just glad I am alive to see it, honestly, and it was all entertaining and looked gorgeous too, of course.
  18. I think that Lemonade is still probably her peak, musically and visually.
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