Janelle Monáe
Dirty Computer
Dirty Computer
Out Now
Out Now
XX
Janelle Monáe
Directed by:
Directed by:
Chuck Lighting, Andrew Donoho
Written by:
Chuck Lighting, Janelle Monáe
Starring:
Janelle Monáe, Tessa Thompson
Year:
2019
Agency:
Record Label:
Warner Music
Music Video
Music Video
Music Video
An Android, Jane 57821, attempts to break free from the constraints of a totalitarian society that forcibly makes Jane comply with its homophobic beliefs.

Dirty Computer opens with an ominous voiceover spoken by Monáe, who coldly informs us of the bleak reality we’re about to enter. “They started calling us Computers,” she intones. “People began vanishing – and the Cleaning began. You were dirty if you looked different. You were dirty if you refused to live the way they dictated. You were dirty if you showed any form of opposition at all.”

The mini-film is neatly structured around a narrative spine involving two anonymous white male workers erasing her memories, the movie occasionally cutting to those “memories,” which are individual music videos for the album’s singles. And what quickly becomes clear is that Jane has been designated for cleaning because of her verboten lesbian romance with Zen, a free-spirited beauty played by Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson.