Turning

DIRECTOR: Charles Atlas

Expected to attend: director Charles Atlas .

Visually divine and aurally sublime, Turning deftly merges the tremulous and melancholy melodies of queer alternative- music icon Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) with the beguiling presence and poignant stories of 13 fierce and fearless transgender/gender-variant women, who join Antony on stage and behind the scenes in this revealing documentary of their acclaimed 2006 European tour, by pioneering video artist Charles Atlas (The Legend of Leigh Bowery).

Seen by Antony as beautiful embodiments of his deeply emotional chamber-pop songs and ongoing lyrical preoccupation with divine personal transformation, the baker’s dozen of leggy ladies who perform with him are candid in their storytelling and remarkable in their gender reinvention. “I don’t want to be a boy. I don’t want to be a girl. I want to be me,” unapologetically states one model. Honey Dijon, Nomi, and their clique are sisters in song, spirit and fabulous pumps.

The ever-ethereal Antony presides over his clan like a proud den mother, offering performing advice (“Imagine the moment when you were most loved,” he suggests just before showtime), a shoulder to cry on when painful memories resurface, and a hand to hold onto atop the Eiffel Tower. As the women appear on a revolving podium and in elaborate video projections, Antony offers soaring versions of Kiss My Name, One Dove, and other favorites. “Everything is new,” Antony intones in his quivering vibrato, a truism for performers and viewers alike.

— STEVEN JENKINS

Co-presented by:
CounterPULSE

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