Antony and the Johnsons and Charles Atlas


Antony and the Johnsons and Charles Atlas: Turning (Secretly Canadian)

Nov 21, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

A combination concert film and documentary, Turning is the collaborative work of Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) and Charles Atlas. Turning intimately documents 13 women and men as they lay bare their childhoods, their insecurities, and their experiences as transsexual individuals. These experiences led them to publicly "turning" on stage as part of the concert film. The documentary is interspersed with bits from the concert, which was filmed during Hegarty's and Atlas' fall 2006 European tour. The take-home version of Turning is a deluxe package that includes the concert film/documentary and a CD of the music heard in the film, recorded live at London's Barbican.

Turning is quite possibly the culminationalthough not nearly the terminationof Hegarty's personal and professional aspects. He seems younger and more vulnerable than ever; his earnest performance has him looking and sounding like he is on the verge of tears. This does nothing to hinder his heartrending voice, which breaks at just the right moments, set against classical instruments and orchestral arrangements of his music. As always, the stage is bare and immersed in darkness, making it about the performance and nothing else. The openness and rawness with which the participants share their stories cannot fail to touch the viewer. It's not about sexuality; it's about coming to terms with your identity. Turning gives everyone a chance to be himself or herself-and to be celebrated for it. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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