Charles Atlas’ “Turning”

Turning, Charles Atlas’ new film of Antony and the Johnsons on tour, opened Friday night at IFC. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but from the trailer it looks really beautiful and moving. Check it out:

And in the interest of the greater good I will lay aside my jibes at Klaus and Marina and give them thumbs-up for participating in special post-screening discussions on Sunday, November 18th and Tuesday, November 20th respectively. While the film is primarily a document of the tour, the show itself features 13 women who, like Antony himself, are not easily categorized personas. It is pretty great that that Antony is using the platform of his music to raise the visibility of and awareness about people who are challenging traditional notions of gender simply by asserting their individuality and humanity.

Antony’s music is gorgeous and anyone who has seen Charlas Atlas’ films (especially for Merce Cunningham) knows how wonderful his work is. There’s a thoughtful write-up at Filmmaker and a less thoughtful “review” in The NYT. With a paragraph like this:

A screen behind the musicians presents gorgeous montages by the video artist Charles Atlas, the focal point of which are 13 women — or transvestites or transsexuals — who pose on a slowly rotating stand at stage right. (Hence, presumably, the title of the show and the movie.)

One wonders if the Times writer gave it any thought at all.

So if you have time between now and Tuesday, definitely go check it out. Here’s info on the  post screening discussions with the filmmakers, Klaus and Marina:

Sun Nov 18: Charles Atlas and Klaus Biesenbach of MoMA
Tues Nov 20: Antony and Marina Abramovic

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