How Love Begins in ‘Queen & Slim’ | Anatomy of a Scene

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A couple on the lam takes a moment to breathe in this scene from “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas.

The sequence finds Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) in a juke joint during their flee south after a deadly incident in Cleveland with a police officer. The scene is lit warmly and the mood is in a lower key. And as the two slow dance, feeling protected in this space, they begin to fall in love.

Narrating the scene, Matsoukas discusses her influences for the production design, which include the work of Birney Imes, who photographed juke joints in the Deep South.

Matsoukas took inspiration from other films she loves as well, including “West Side Story” and Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love.”

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