One of my favourite Beyoncé flexes is when she shows up at a movie premiere but, unlike any other star at the premiere, somehow arranges it so that she’s only photographed by her own personal photographer on the red carpet – and avoids being shot by anyone else.
Jeymes Samuel’s feature directorial debut The Harder They Fall opened the London Film Festival last night. Here’s Jeymes with the team:
So you can see what the step-and-repeat looked like. And now, the Queen (fourth photo in the carousel):
I just want to know when and how it happens. Does her security team clear out the area while everyone else is inside the screening? Do they block off the entire section so that no one can get a good angle with their phones? Are NDAs distributed and signed? Do they run interference on the paparazzi to divert them so they can’t get off any shots of her arriving and leaving? Will we ever know? Probably not. Beyoncé shows her work but this is the kind of work that goes into preserving mystique, like how illusionists never reveal how they pull off their illusions.
Anyway, Beyoncé was there in support of The Harder They Fall and Jay-Z’s contribution to it. He co-produced the film and writes and performs on the soundtrack. We’ve been talking for weeks about award season and how crowded the field is – well now enter The Harder They Fall in the race, as the reviews seem solid coming out of London and according to Variety Jay could be a contender in the Oscar song category, setting up a potential Oscar showdown with his wife, as she’s written a song on the King Richard (the film about Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena) soundtrack. If that actually works out to be the case, it would be the first time a couple is nominated in the same category for different projects.
The bigger story, though, is how all of this factors into the Carters’ long-range plans. When they moved to LA from New York in 2015/16, in addition to family reasons, there was a professional goal. Roc Nation and music was just the beginning. As we know now, Roc Nation also handles sports management, alongside their partnership with the NFL. And they’ve been steadily getting into film and television. Jay’s annual Grammys party is an established tradition. But a few years ago, the Carters started hosting the Gold Party, their annual post-Oscars party, which has eclipsed the Vanity Fair party as the most exclusive and well-attended event of the night. The objective then is to build new institutions in Hollywood owned and operated by Black talent, not just create more space at the table but construct a whole new table, driven by the belief that at some point that’s the table everyone’s going to want to sit at.
Yours in gossip,