Dirty Computer enhances Monáe's artistry in conveying a political statement.
A first for me, can't say I've ever seen something like this before. A short narrative that connects each individual song from Monáe's eponymous album into essentially one long music video. It depicts the story of an android named Jane attempting to deviate from the totalitarian regime that supports homophobia, forcibly wiping her previous memories of same-sex relationships. A rather creative and contemporary project that allows Monáe to convey her message through multiple senses. The vibrancy of the dystopian pastel colours is a feast for the eyes, while her songs accentuate meaningful lyrics which act as a statement against society. Bringing in fellow actress Thompson to star in the film enhances the additional star quality and conviction of the primary story. The production design was certainly adequate and suited the authentic futuristic vibe that Monáe excels at. Extremely reminiscent to Fritz Lang's dystopian masterpiece 'Metropolis'. Whilst I appreciate her artistic integrity, the film isn't actually necessary and rarely builds on the character's backstory. The music videos for each individual song acts as a memory, these are stringed along in a linear structure where we view each memory before they are wiped from Jane's mind, thus repressing her emotions. "PYNK" is sexually illustrious whereas "I Like It" showcases contemporary subtlety, so there is a wide range of themes throughout her songs. Connecting these songs together just felt uninspired and offered little incentive in watching the film as it lacks the additional layer of depth that is missing from the individual music videos. I admire Monáe as an artist and appreciate the effort into this "Emotion Picture", it just feels slightly uninspired and lacks memorability. Did I enjoy it? Of course, but you could simply just watch the videos separately to save time.
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