On Bey’s Lemonade

It’s been one week since I watched Lemonade. I haven’t read very much about it. I haven’t kept up with any sort of dialog. I even missed the NPR report about it. Nonetheless, here is my honest visceral reaction to it.

It was great. It was visually stunning and sonically compelling. I left the experience of watching it highly impressed and positively affected.

Perhaps the thing I felt most drawn to in the film was its southern rural imagery. As a first-generation southerner who has since left the south, I get nostalgic about southern imagery from time-to-time. Living in an extremely dry climate, I daydream of my youth spent in moisture. It’s an entirely different feel to living that’s hard to explain. When there’s moisture everywhere, things look and sound different — dark is darker, heavy is heavier, and deep is deeper. How light and sound cut through this part of the world is totally different from where I live now. These sorts of things affect how you live and how you shape your days.

Lemonade is filled with images that conjured up these memories for me. I got transplanted momentarily to a wetter place. Glass always has condensation. Walls feel softer. The earth always gives a little with each step you take on it.

I make no claims of understanding Lemonade. I have no insight into its purpose nor its intent apart from being a really innovative way to promote a new record. To be completely honest, I was not a fan of her work prior to this one. That being said, Lemonade did make me think about the things I tried to describe above, and for that I’m grateful to have had that experience of seeing it.

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