Line Out Music & the City at Night

Thursday, November 29, 2012

R. Kelly's Masterpiece

Posted by on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM

It's the video for his 1998 duet with the now forgotten singer Sparkle, "Be Careful." My review of Trapped in the Closet, which SIFF is screening tomorrow and Saturday, could not resist including a few words about this almost perfect work of R&B art....

At exactly the minute mark, we see something (the movement of R.Kelly's leg) that transports us from the surface of the story (the room, the game on the TV, the boy, the carton of milk, the groceries) right to its core: all the joy has left this relationship.

Here is an image that appears in my head every time I watch this video: Structurally, "Be Careful" is all about R. Kelly tightening the screws and bolts of the narrative until its realism is airtight. The opposite is the case for Trapped in the Closet. In that work, he is loosening the bolts and screws—each to the very last turn, the very last moment before things start coming apart.


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Larry Mizell, Jr. 1
Posted by Larry Mizell, Jr. on November 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this

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