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The Highlighter

by Brittany Spanos

turning, 2012, film, documentary, antony and the johnsons


“Just step into your moment. That’s what we’re trying to do, I guess.”

Uttered just prior to a final performance of Antony and the Johnsons’ “Turning” concert/performance, this sound advice is what Antony Hegarty gives the thirteen women who model on his stage. The counsel seems trite, however, after an hour of these artists baring souls, bodies and whatever else they have to offer in desire for liberation. Stepping into their moments seems to be what they’re all best at.

But maybe what these women need is reassurance. Throughout the documentary “Turning,” a collaboration between the band and filmmaker Charles Atlas, the models are without names and are defined solely by the intimate, personal stories they each emotionally reveal on camera. A poignancy is made evident as specific tales are paired with defining songs; performance shots of Antony along with the women displaying proudly the…

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