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Anthony and the Johnsons - Turning

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Many know Johnson just for his music but he is in fact a performance artist and here in this film by Charles Atlas he presents, in his own words, a "Show about dignity and beauty." A dozen women provide the visual effects. Generally standing on a rotating platform some appear topless, some wear masks, body paint or other costuming, and all in one way or another are striking. Some of the women are transsexuals and with that in mind the film's title could also be construed as referring to the surgical procedure and all that goes with it. But, when asked for her interpretation of what Turning refers to, one of these women says that it represents "Gaining the freedom from society, from art, gender and everything that oppresses us as transsexual women and as artists." So there are lots of things to take from the film if finding meaning is the viewer's objective. Otherwise Antony's operatic warble set to the performance art is enjoyable enough without getting too deep in thought. The program's songs come from throughout Antony's career and include "Everything is New," "I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy," "Bird Gerhl," "One Dove" and about a dozen others.

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Anthony and the Johnsons - Turning
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