Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.
The Radiant: Tina
Has any other woman ever rocked out as hard as Tina Turner? The leggy, volcano-voiced siren first hit it big in the 1960s opposite her then-husband Ike Turner, sang her way through the 1970s, got divorced and then reinvented herself as a pop icon in the 1980s. Along the way, she contributed some of the most successful and memorable musical hits of the 20th century, including “River Deep, Mountain High,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Private Dancer,” and drag staple “Proud Mary.” Turner’s unique vocals, high-energy stage performances and iconic looks also lent themselves to many a drag act over the years…not to mention many a drunken gay man singing karaoke.
Tina, the new documentary now streaming on HBO Max, gives Ms. Turner the full biopic treatment, examining her turbulent life, abusive marriage, rise, fall and resurrection as a musical sensation and her enduring legacy in extreme–often shocking–detail. Featuring interviews with Turner herself, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett (who played Tina in the delightful scripted biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It), friends and family, the film examines how and why Turner resonated with such a broad audience and why the singer–still luminous at age 81–has stepped away from public life. Turner’s unforgettable music also features large in the film, which only adds to the entertainment value.
By now the details of Turner’s very abusive marriage to Ike have become the stuff of showbiz legend, and a subject Tina would prefer not to discuss. She does so again here, possibly for the last time. The film adds a masterstroke, however, in the form of uncut archive interview footage of Ike himself, stammering to make excuses like a frightened child. It’s a jarring contrast between Ike’s image as a monster (which he was) and the towering strength of Tina herself, calmly discussing the years of torture she endured.
We also suspect it’s that calm strength that attracted a devoted LGBTQ fanbase to Turner from the outset of her career, just as much as her music did. She’s a woman to emulate on all levels. Featuring candid revelations, stories of profound inner resolve and a soundtrack of unforgettable music, we recommend a visit to the church of Tina Turner. It’s not an experience anyone will soon forget.
Streams on HBO Max.
Great documentary. Without a doubt, Tina Turner is one of the best entertainers, ever. So glad she found such happiness after enduring so much.
Pretty sure she’s a bodhisattva.
That has happened to me twice, recently. I have just closed Queerty and then re-opened it again. It probably IS someone with bad intent, but things have been fine for me, with what I did.
Anyone else getting redirected to a webpage saying your antivirus is out of date? This doesn’t happen every time I visit a queerty page, but frequently and started happening recently. Running Chrome with Adblock Plus.
Yes. A warning that my subscription to an antivirus program I do not use is about to expire! Not unlikely it is a phishing site, and likely to be the result of poor security on the part of Queerty.
Hard to believe Tina Turner’s 81 years old although she doesn’t look it. Born Eva Mae Bulloch in Nutbush TN, in 1939. I just recently heard she’s thinking of retiring and has been married since 2013 to her German boyfriend after dating for years, wow
Man About Town
Her name wasn’t Eva Mae, it was Anna Mae.
I see Tina is now moving from legend to saint. The media does this with most performers who live long enough, and never mind if it’s fully deserved. As a journalist who interviewed Tina back when she’d freshly reinvented herself as a solo artist, I remember her as one of the worst of the Monster Divas – prickly, defensive and combative. A complete nightmare.
You mean you were one of the journalists who kept asking her about all the times Ike beat her up and she didn’t respond well?
Ha. That’s what Elton John called her too. Of course from one Diva to the next.
So it’s your word in contrast to every other interviewer I’ve ever read on record that describes Tina as gracious, kind, and articulate. Gotcha. Can you provide any links to your interview whether on video or in print? Your claim kinda smells of BS. As for Tina, she is getting more deserved recognition much too late in life but by all accounts well-deserved. Kudos and enjoy your best life from this point. You have earned it.
Everybody has seen that New Yorker cartoon where a dog is typing on a computer, turns to his canine buddy and says “On the internet, nobody knows you are a dog”.
In other posts I assume you are perhaps a renounced nuclear physicist, or thoracic surgeon.
Let’s see those links to your work.
Some was hard to watch. One reporter asked about Ike and the abuse and she flushed up and started fanning herself. It was difficult to see someone who went through trauma get asked about the trauma every time a reporter talked to her.
Only through her amazing determination and the refusal to be identified as a victim, she crawled into global recognition and fame, and we sure do thank you…..
I had the good fortune to be able to see Tina in concert FOUR times. No one, no solo artist, no group, NO ONE can touch her live performances. She gave her audience EVERYTHING and more. She deserves a long, happy, ‘retirement.’ And if she turns out to be God, well then AMEN!
“Leggy”? She’s barely 5′ with 5″ spikes.
Sorry for the typos, it’s late and I didn’t pay attention to the auto correct
Comments are closed.