HOMECOMING: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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If you don’t already understand why superstar singer-songwriter Beyoncé — the most-nominated female artist in Grammy history (she’s won 23) and one of the biggest-selling musicians in the history of music — is damn near worshipped as a goddess, the new documentary Homecoming (streaming globally on Netflix) is here to show you why. Part concert film, part myth-in-the-making, this is a glorious pop spectacle that is both enormously entertaining — even if you’re not a particular fan of Beyoncé’s, as I’m not — and hugely important. It may not be a stretch to call the moment it records as a landmark one for African-American culture. For American culture, full stop.

With no fucks given, Beyoncé presented to the 2018 Coachella music and arts festival and its mostly white audience a celebration of black Americana through the prism of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), which developed a distinct collective personality during segregation, when their African-American students were forbidden from attending schools reserved for whites. The full marching band and majorette dancers performing on and in front of a pyramid of football-stadium risers might not look entirely different from what was happening at white colleges and universities at the same time (or anywhere still today), but the very fact of this parallel existence is testament to black Americans’ defiance in making their own that which was denied to them. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).