Archiv der Kategorie: Barry Jenkins

Into the Light

Film review: If Beale Street Could Talk (Director: Barry Jenkins)

By Sascha Krieger

Dream and reality: In the opening moments of Barry Jenkins‘ new film, they clash with a ferocious matter-of-factness that will make the unsuspecting viewer draw their breath. A quietly poetic apotheosis of love in warm colours and in almost otherworldly imagery gives way to the cold efficiency of a prison visitors area. The protagonists in both scenes are the same: 19-year-old Tish and 22-year-old Fonny, lovers, soon-to-be parents, the latter falsely accused by a racist cop and a matching justice system of a rape he cannot have committed. the way, Jenkins, fresh off his Oscar triumph Moonlight, juxtaposes the two realities, the harsh one of racist America and the too-good-to-be-true variety of young love, so extraordinary and fragile when you happen to be black, invokes the same sense of poetic transcendence coupled with unapologetic realism that made Moonlight  such a miracle. Like James Baldwin’s must-read book, the film intertwines both levels: the now in patient, matter-of-fact, quietly framed images exuding a kindness that comes from accepting reality, the same acceptance Tish’s family has learned and translates into a stubbornness that cannot fail to move; and the then, drenched in warmer, more fuzzy colours, driven by the dream-like music of Nicholas Brittell, that seems to be suspended somewhere in the in-between of love, and a gently dynamic imagery with camera zooming in, hovering above and around entangling its objects in a loving gaze that borders on the dream-like.

Image: ©Tatum Mangus Annapurna Pictures DCM

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Black and Blue

Film review: Moonlight (Director: Barry Jenkins)

By Sascha Krieger

In the moonlight, all black boys look blue. A drug dealer repeats this sentence, heard as a child from an old lady, to a young, shy, bullied boy. At the end of the film, we see the boy, in the moonlight at the beach, looking back at us, shining blue. Between this unfolds what was rightly – though clumsily – named the year’s best film at the 2017 Academy Awards. Moonlight tells the story of a black boy who starts out as „Little“, a tiny, shy, silent, soft-seeming boy bullied by his peers. Hiding in a drug hole, he is discovered by a dealer, Juan, who becomes an unlikely surrogate father while the drugs he sells the boy’s mother begin to destroy any home the boy has had. This is part one. Part two is called „Chiron“, the boy’s real name. Now a teenager but more an outsider than ever he experiences the pangs of being different, struggles with a broken home and his blossoming sexuality which only confirms to him that he’s not like the rest. At the end he makes a choice that brings him to part three, „Black“, the name he once rejected and now adopts. It’s the name of a tough drug dealer with a drug dealer’s muscle, a drug dealer’s style, a drug dealer’s car. A man who’s conforming to role models he sees around him, to a dominating interpretation of masculinity, to what he has learned is what a man is supposed to be like. A man who’s become what he thinks the world wants him to be. A man who seems to have forgotten who he is.

Bild: © A24 / DCM

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