If you were anywhere near social media this weekend, you probably saw quite a bit about HBO’s big premiere. And while the season premieres for “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley” certainly had people talking, that wasn’t what reigned supreme. No, it was “Lemonade,” Beyonce’s Terrence Malick-esque hour-long visual album, that took the internet by storm. Since its debuted on Saturday night, the web has blown up trying to dissect each and every thing about it, namely who the hell “Becky with the good hair” could possibly be, and here to provide more context and analysis to the concept project is Nelson Carvajal with his video essay, “Film Fidelity: Beyonce’s Lemonade.”
Quick to note that Malick isn’t the only filmmaker that influenced Beyonce’s new project — David Lynch, Pipilotti Rist, Cameron Jamie, Jonas Mekas and Terence Nance also get their fair due — Carvajal takes these seven minutes to show how nods to “Mulholland Drive,” “To The Wonder,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Tree of Life,” the video art installation “Ever Is Over All,” the short dance film “Massage The History,” “Like Mekas” and “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty” helped informed the final product. And while some may or may not be up-for-debate (even Carvajal, in his explanation over at the blog Free Cinema Now, is a little dubious about Jamie’s contribution), some are absolutely impossible to deny.
The parallels between Lynch, Malick and Rist are very direct — some set designs go out of their way to look like the films that inspired them, and there are some shot-for-shot recreations — and it’s worth noting that Kahil Joseph, one of the segment directors on “Lemonade,” had a hand filming B-roll for some of Malick’s latest films. So it looks like there was some direct carry-over on this one. In any case, it’s likely many of the people who watched this personal exploration from Beyonce weren’t aware of the influences behind it, and while I still need to watch it for myself (I have it on my DVR and I plan to see it soon!I promise!), this looks like one of those times where imitations are more than just flattery.
To see the parallels yourself, check out the video below.