Melina Matsoukas is known for directing some of the most compelling and visually striking music videos including Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyonce’s game-changing “Formation” — both earned her an MTV Video Music Award. This year, she made her foray into the feature space with Queen and Slim. Written by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and starring Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, the film has been causing buzz ever since it was announced.
As her feature debut, Matsoukas had a tall order — specifically with the film’s timely story of police violence against the black community. She unpacked how she approached the film and the responsibility she had as a filmmaker and woman of color to have this story be as authentic as possible. She also explained why comparing it to Bonnie and Clyde isn’t exactly ideal for her. On top of all that, Matsoukas talked to us about the overlooked greatness that is Hype Williams (I mean, have you seen Belly?), how it was like going from helming music videos to directing a full-length feature film, the best music video she wished she directed and we talk about how Denise Huxtable is an icon for a healthy amount of time. Listen to the episode below.