Lovers Rock

Lovers Rock ★★★★½

How much mileage can one get from a small, cramped room, teeming with young men and women dancing the night away? Quite a lot, if one is Steve McQueen, apparently. His career has no shortage of indelible imagery, and Lovers Rock is brimming with images that are on par with the very best of them. A hypnotic, often abstract mood piece contained almost entirely within a party, and only punctured by small but crucially illuminating ventures outside the central house, Lovers Rock is a tactile and irresistibly beautiful experiment with form. Small gestures, tender touches, brief glances and the sight of drops of sweat dripping down the walls above a dancing couple shape a narrative that fully defines a cultural and historical ecosystem. The dynamics within this environment and its position within the larger context of British society—in which isolation feels like a necessity for this community to have the safety and freedom to dance, and love, with abandon—are fully defined, often through interactions that last  only a few seconds. It’s remarkable storytelling and a truly transcendent experience. The only regret is not being able to watch it on the big screen.