Grace Jones to unmask

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

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GRACE Jones: Bloodlight and Bami — a biopic looking at the Jamaican-born singer, actress, and model — is scheduled for the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada next month.

The festival is expected to run from September 7 to 17.

Directed by Sophie Fiennes, the 115-minute film offers an unconventional peek into Jones's life and career. “Grace had fiercely controlled her public image, but made the bold decision to unmask... The film is a deliberately present-tense experience,” Fiennes was quoted in The Independent as saying.

The UK-born director spent more than five years with her subject and utilised a decade's worth of footage.

According to Fiennes, Jones discusses her multi-faceted life of music, fashion and film, as well as collaborators who assisted her on her journey. These include photographer and graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude (with whom she had a son), and Jamaican music duo Sly and Robbie.

Born in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Jones migrated to the United States at age 13.

Her androgynous look found favour with fashion labels including Yves Saint Laurent and Kenzo. She worked with top-tier fashion photographers like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, covering magazines like Elle and Vogue.

In 1977, Jones secured a record deal with Island Records, initially becoming a star of New York City's Studio 54-centred disco scene. In the early 1980s, she moved towards a new wave style that drew on reggae, funk, post-punk, and pop music. Her most popular albums include Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), and Slave to the Rhythm (1985).

Hollywood would soon come knocking. After a few low-budget flicks, she made it mainstream in Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1984. The following year, she was cast as a Bond girl in A View to a Kill. In 1986 she played a vampire in Vamp, and acted in and contributed a song to the 1992 Eddie Murphy film Boomerang.

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