Monday, September 12, 2016

TIFF Talk 2016: Laurie, "Moonlight"

Name: Laurie from Toronto

The Film: Moonlight (USA)

What's it about?

It's a coming of age film -- but that description doesn't do it justice -- about a young boy growing up in Miami who is discovering his same sex attraction. He's trying to really carve out a place for himself in this landscape that is plague by a variety definitions of masculinity that don't really reflect who he is. He doesn't do that alone. He has a mentor in the form of a man who befriends him. Interestingly, that character is only in the movie in the first act, but it really lays the groundwork for helping the boy understand that no one else can define you. Life is about finding your way and defining yourself.

Did you like it?

The film is beautifully done. Each chapter is divided according to names that other people have given him: Little, Chiron and Black. Throughout each act, director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) has managed to put a spotlight on a real pivotal moment in each stage of the character's life. Together with the music, score and cinematography, it came together like an exquisite piece of art.

[You don't often see black characters like this in film]. They're vulnerable and real. I hope that audiences respond to it with compassion. The fact that Jenkins uses silence to communicate what's going on in the interior life of the character, I think speaks volumes and speaks directly to the heart of the audience.


Laurie is a writer and director. Check out her video blog, Human Frequency Docs, to see her short vignettes. "I call them street documentaries," she describes. "I talk to people about whatever they want to talk to me about, and then I link their stories to underscore that we're all kind of having one conversation."

Follow Laurie on Instagram.

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