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In full effect 

‘Bloodlight and Bami’ and the enigma of Grace Jones

Gregg Reese OW Contributo  | 4/19/2018, 10:02 a.m.

Fiennes could have been more deliberate in editing the transitions between Jones the performer and her home coming to her Jamaican relatives, including Bishop Noel Jones, pastor of Gardena’s City of Refuge Church. Instead, we jump from sound checks in France, to family reunions in Jamaica, to layovers in random hotel rooms, often without benefit of locale descriptions or other identifiers.    

The film would have benefited with flashbacks from her extensive history of collaboration with fashion designers Phillip Treacy, Issey Miyake, Eiko Ishioka, Azzedine Alaia, and especially her ex-paramour, Jean-Michel Goude (who has described her as “…beautiful and grotesque at the same time”). All of them were instrumental in shaping her image (Jones’ allure is as much visual as it is aural) Goude does make an appearance, as he and Jones converse about their shared past, which includes their son, Paulo (who also appears, with Jones’ granddaughter).   

All in all, Grace Jones remains a captivating performer relevant some 40 years into her career, and a compelling inspiration for scores of entertainers following her, including Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monáe, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Rihanna. Her influence transcends the realm of dance music, and impacts pop culture, curetted fine art and fashion.

Amber Rose challenged the status quo and our perceptions of race, sexuality, her place as a pioneer of a particular-and ever changing-aesthetic sensibility remains unchallenged.

 “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” opens Friday, April 20 at the Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd, in west Los Angeles.