Tebogo Malope directs Nakhane Toure’s Clairvoyant music video

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“What I find interesting is that each time an artist tackles a LGBTQIA subject, it’s always regarded as protest art and should make an “impact’. Nakhane and I were intent on not making a protest piece; we just wanted to project love however it may be packaged.’ – Tebogo Malope

Despite the homophobic threats experienced after his award-winning performance in the Oscar-nominated film, Inxeba (The Wound), actor, author and musician, Nakhane Toure serves audiences with another contentious performance as he stars in a music video that celebrates black gay love.

Titled Clairvoyant, this emotive and steamy music video has already topped the YouTube charts, with some viewers seeing it as a revolt against the negative press that the Inxeba star received for his role in the Oscar-nominated film.

Tebogo “Tebza’ Malope, director of Clairvoyant, sets the record straight saying: “What I find interesting is that each time an artist tackles a LGBTQIA subject, it’s always regarded as protest art and should make an “impact’. Nakhane and I were intent on not making a protest piece; we just wanted to project love however it may be packaged.’

Malope is a good friend of Toure, and got to hear several of the star’s recently recorded songs. However, it was at a music show when the two met to talk about possible video ideas for Toure’s song Clairvoyant.

“Our first meeting was about a colour that doesn’t exist; I’m still determined to capture it. And then it was a back and forth with ideas, scenes, colours, etc. One thing we share is a taste for Asian cinema and that played a major role in our collaboration,’ shares Malope.

The duo’s collaboration resulted in a striking modern interpretation of neo-noir film: “The video has a neo-noiresque style and pallet. The intention was to externalise the emotions and narrative of the characters visually. The wonderful thing about neo-noir is that it is a style that is all about the body, where characters are in the frame and how they relate to each other as well as colours. It is through these visual cues that we are able to build on the emotions of the song in a multi-layered way that makes the most out of the film medium,’ explains Malope.

The video portrays the intimate moments between lovers in their comfort zone; sharing a bathtub, sweet caresses, walking around half-naked in their home and lying naked in each other’s arms. “Often two extremes of love relationships are explored in song and music videos,’ explains Malope. “The one is that “I’ll love you to the grave’ type of love, a sort of fantasy take on love and then the other is the “you drive me crazy and I want to kill you but still love you’ type of love – the Rihanna’esque type of visual… We challenged ourselves to be more real, a day in the life of a typical couple. No bells and whistles. Just simple love.’

The video was shot in one day, in a soft-lit apartment in Hillbrow on the Arri Alexa Mini. Malope says that he also tried to choose a lens that would allow him and his team to get up close and personal with the characters. “We made a creative call to put a lot of time focusing on the lighting of our characters and their environments. The various colours give off different moods that enhance and set the emotion for our lovers. This stylised neo-noiresque imagery helped us craft every single shot as if it was a portrait. In every frame, there is a wealth of information for the viewer to absorb.’

Editing was done by Saki Bergh, and other post-production duties were handled by Left Post Production and Bladeworks. “We got some push backs from European channels on some elements of the video which we needed to cut out, yeah that was a hard part,’ Malope shares.

However, despite the criticism of the film and the Clairvoyant music video being described as “controversial’ and “provocative’, Malope voices that there should be more inclusiveness in the broadcast of LGBTI issues.

“It resonates with me and Nakhane, it’s true to what we went out to accomplish. I just hope there are lots of other Tebza’s and Nakhane’s out there in the world. If not, I hope the video converts some to Tebza’s and Nakhane’s,’ Malope concludes.

TECH CHECK

EQUIPMENT
• Camera: Arri Alexa Mini

KEY CREW

Director: Tebogo Malope
Producer: Marc Harrison
Editor: Saki Bergh
DOP: Trevor Calverley
Art director: Gavin Scates
Colourist: Craig Simmoneti
Make-up: Adie Cohen
Actor: Simphiwe Bam

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