The 24-year-old pop phenomenon presented his film on Saturday September 9 Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero. The feature film traces his rise to power and his decision to openly embrace his ity.
Cinema and music lovers were spoiled this weekend at the largest film festival in North America, galvanized by the arrival of the phenomenon Lil Nas and his new documentary, which is part of a program focused on the music industry.
Two feature films dedicated to the legendary singer Paul Simon and the Canadian rock group Nickelback were also treated to their premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). But all eyes were on Lil Nas X on Saturday night, the 24-year-old pop phenomenon revealed by his country hit Old Town Road and who has since become a true icon of the LGBT+ community. Combining images from his first tour with various unpublished interviews, his documentary Lil Nas illustrates the behind-the-scenes story of the artist’s rise to prominence. Real name Montero Lamar Hill, the native of the state of Georgia, in the south of the United States, also talks about his decision to openly accept his ity and the repercussions on those close to him and his music.
“It seemed very important to me to come out if I wanted to progress“, says Lil Nas X in the film. On the red carpet, co-director Zac Manuel particularly focused on his societal impact as an outspoken and proud gay black man, defying stereotypes through his adoption of avant-garde fashion and his presence mive and eccentric on social networks. “I think it’s crucial to show a different view of ity, being black, masculinity and being comfortable with it. I think that’s something he brings to the audience“, declared the director to AFP. Following the screening, Lil Nas X took the opportunity to give “his biggest advice” to his excited fans: “Do what you’re most afraid to do“.
A few hours earlier, the premiere was disrupted for around thirty minutes by a “general threat” which, however, was not “not directed against the film or the artist”, according to TIFF vice president of communications, Judy Lung. Toronto police told AFP that a perby “made a threat to security», while emphasizing that it was not targeting anyone in particular. For its part, the specialized media Variety, citing an anonymous source, maintains that it was a bomb threat specifically targeting the rapper for his skin color and orientation. Lil Nas X’s agents did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.
Retrospective of Paul Simon
Less than 12 hours after the screening of Lil Nas In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, a captivating dive into the career of the 81-year-old folk-rock icon. “I never wanted to be anything other than a songwriter and singer since I was 13“, says Paul Simon in the film by Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning director behind the documentaries Taxi to the Dark Side And Going Clear. The film compiles archival footage spanning more than six decades, ranging from his stormy collaboration with childhood friend Art Garfunkel to his exploration of world music, with Graceland notably.
It also retraces the work carried out on his latest album Seven Psalms, released in May, and describes how the Grammy Award winner, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, deals with hearing loss in his left ear. “I really fell into depression», confides the artist, who explains how his creative approach was transformed by this health problem. On another note, it was Nickelback fans who were doubly satisfied on Friday. In parallel with the premiere of the documentary Hate to Love: Nickelbackthe Canadian rock band performed a free concert during the TIFF street festival, returning for the first time since the pandemic.
The group, best known for their hit How You Remind Me, number one in 2001, has faced harsh criticism over the years for remaining too conventional. The film shows how this torrent of reproaches hit the private lives of its members head-on. TIFF continues through Sunday, September 17.