Moonlight

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  • Moonlight

    I wanted to start a thread for this film. I saw it last week and I'm still thinking about it. Beautiful, gut-wrenching, deeply moving. The acting of just about everyone in the cast was inspired but especially Mahershala Ali and the actor who played Chiron as a teen. The writing and directing... wow. No words.

    Late Night Writer

  • #2
    Re: Moonlight

    Really excited to see this.
    "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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    • #3
      Re: Moonlight

      didn't really land emotionally with me. the bullying scenes are heartbreaking but like Brokeback Mountain, the central relationship is pretty bland and detached. gay characters don't need to always be martyrs for the sake of giving a story weight.

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      • #4
        Re: Moonlight

        Didn't see it as a gay martyr story at all, JoeBanks. For me that was only one element in a much larger social picture of poverty, race, drugs, lack of hopeful alternatives-- and the heartbreaking choices that a character of great sensitivity that finds no viable way to express his sensitivity is forced to make.

        Late Night Writer

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        • #5
          Re: Moonlight

          Finally managed to see this. My friend found it slow, and I agree that the long silences and pauses made it a little trying from time to time, but I personally felt transported, changed and entertained.

          Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
          didn't really land emotionally with me. the bullying scenes are heartbreaking but like Brokeback Mountain, the central relationship is pretty bland and detached. gay characters don't need to always be martyrs for the sake of giving a story weight.

          I'm not sure I saw martyrdom in the picture either, but it's an interesting suggestion. "Martyrdom - a display of feigned or exaggerated suffering to obtain sympathy or admiration."

          Insofar as the part about 'feigned or exaggerated suffering,' well, that would seem a stretch since the film was based on an autobiographical play, so I'm not sure we can assume the suffering was either feigned or exaggerated.

          In point of fact, I did feel sympathy for the character, but it was not related to his sexual orientation, but more for his utter loneliness. I am kinda getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it. As I got to the end, I kept thinking to myself, that in all my years, I never thought I'd see the day when I was aching so badly to see two men have a moment of intimacy. I found it immensely moving.

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          • #6
            Re: Moonlight

            Originally posted by SBdeb;947135I'm not sure I saw martyrdom in the picture either, but it's an interesting suggestion. "[I
            Martyrdom [/I]- a display of feigned or exaggerated suffering to obtain sympathy or admiration."

            Insofar as the part about 'feigned or exaggerated suffering,' well, that would seem a stretch since the film was based on an autobiographical play, so I'm not sure we can assume the suffering was either feigned or exaggerated.
            that's not the only definition of "martyr' e.g.

            : victim; especially : a great or constant sufferer <a martyr to asthma all his life - A. J. Cronin>

            this is not a novel criticism of Hollywood's portrayal of gay characters as victims

            http://variety.com/2015/voices/news/...es-1201529657/

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            • #7
              Re: Moonlight

              That may be true.

              Still, the leads in Moonlight do not end up "dying of AIDS, hate crimes or suicide, rather than riding off into the sunset with their partner." In fact, there was the distinct possibility of a happy ending.

              I feel compelled to ask: of the two gay characters in question, which in your opinion comes across as victimized [by the film's ending]?

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              • #8
                Re: Moonlight

                Originally posted by SBdeb View Post
                That may be true.

                Still, the leads in Moonlight do not end up "dying of AIDS, hate crimes or suicide, rather than riding off into the sunset with their partner." In fact, there was the distinct possibility of a happy ending.

                I feel compelled to ask: of the two gay characters in question, which in your opinion comes across as victimized [by the film's ending]?
                are you serious? the one who got the **** beat out him by the bullies in school.

                which isn't to say that it's not a searing and accurate depiction of the bullying (it completely is), and that such bullying isn't common to many gay persons growing up (it certainly is)

                but just as every important role for an African-American actor doesn't have to be a slave or a janitor or a domestic, i'd hope that the gay experience in film wouldn't be defined by how much abuse and suffering a character can be shown to endure -- even if they ultimately
                overcome it

                EDIT: unsurprisingly, Bret Easton Ellis verbalizes many of the victimization issues i had with Moonlight much better than i can:

                http://breteastonellis.com/notes-on-...nd-king-cobra/
                Last edited by JoeBanks; 02-26-2017, 09:54 PM. Reason: add link

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                • #9
                  Re: Moonlight

                  Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                  are you serious? the one who got the **** beat out him by the bullies in school.
                  To be a victim implies a certain mindset, would you agree? Perhaps anger, a desire for retribution or a feeling that the world owes you, woe-is-me, IDK. Didn't see this from either of the two leads at the end.

                  The hero was bullied but did not act like a victim, imho. The other character also endured abuse and humiliation, but I'm just not seeing how either of them acted like victims.

                  The cook seemed to be fairly self-actualized, and our hero appeared to be moving in that direction, and embracing a new future with potential for love and a comfort level with his identity. That's just the way I saw it.

                  And OMG! What happened tonight at the Oscars???

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                  • #10
                    Re: Moonlight

                    Originally posted by SBdeb View Post
                    To be a victim implies a certain mindset, would you agree? Perhaps anger, a desire for retribution or a feeling that the world owes you, woe-is-me, IDK. Didn't see this from either of the two leads at the end.
                    i would not agree. victimization has nothing to do with the object of the violence's mindset or own desires for revenge. nobody has to feel woe-is-me to be victimized by another

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                    • #11
                      Re: Moonlight

                      Fences would have been a far superior choice. Too many story issues with Moonlight. But alas, it's *the Oscars.*

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                      • #12
                        Re: Moonlight

                        ... Or Hidden Figures, or Hell or High Water

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                        • #13
                          Re: Moonlight

                          Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                          i would not agree. victimization has nothing to do with the object of the violence's mindset or own desires for revenge. nobody has to feel woe-is-me to be victimized by another
                          I have never thought about what a victim is or is not really (thus, the beauty of this type of debate and the forum that allows it). However, when I do consider it, I think that it typically is suggestive of two parties: that party doing the "victimizing" and the "victim:" The person who is scammed and the scammer. The bully and the one who receives their blows /words.

                          To me, one almost needs to take on the mantle of "victim"--to accept that label--to make it so.

                          When you receive the blows, when you get scammed, do you think that you have the ability to rise above that treatment? That you can find it in yourself to leave behind bitterness or regret and hold your head high? That's what I thought the cook did. He didn't seem to hold anyone accountable for his past but himself. He wasn't imo, blaming his neighborhood, those homophobic kids at school, society, or anyone for his misfortune.... And thus, he'll be equally free of giving anyone credit for his success. Likewise our hero seemed entirely devoid of self pity. In fact, it was his strength that I was struck by.

                          I'll have to watch it again with this discussion in mind.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Moonlight

                            Originally posted by SBdeb View Post
                            To me, one almost needs to take on the mantle of "victim"--to accept that label--to make it so.

                            When you receive the blows, when you get scammed, do you think that you have the ability to rise above that treatment? That you can find it in yourself to leave behind bitterness or regret and hold your head high? That's what I thought the cook did. He didn't seem to hold anyone accountable for his past but himself. He wasn't imo, blaming his neighborhood, those homophobic kids at school, society, or anyone for his misfortune.... And thus, he'll be equally free of giving anyone credit for his success. Likewise our hero seemed entirely devoid of self pity. In fact, it was his strength that I was struck by.
                            so by this standard, all of the slaves in America who had no opportunity to rise above their treatment, or the Jews who were gassed and burned in concentration camps with no chance to fight back weren't "victims"? dumb.

                            also, Black living a closeted life, fronting as a straight gangster when we saw the boy he was before he got the beat-down, isn't really "holding his head high." he's still living a lie

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                            • #15
                              Re: Moonlight

                              Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                              also, Black living a closeted life, fronting as a straight gangster when we saw the boy he was before he got the beat-down, isn't really "holding his head high." he's still living a lie
                              At the end, there is the strong suggestion that his life might take a different direction. His embracing his lover is symbolic of him finally embracing who he is. His lover's clear-eyed view of things is clearly exactly what [the hero] knew to be true. Note the hero went willingly--even hopefully--to meet the cook. When the cook, in his bold manner, calls out the hero, the hero doesn't fight it, complain, or dispute it to be true.

                              so by this standard, all of the slaves in America who had no opportunity to rise above their treatment, or the Jews who were gassed and burned in concentration camps with no chance to fight back weren't "victims"? dumb.
                              I'm suggesting that to be a victim implies certain things, amid them a mindset, and self-pity comes to mind. Say you get burglarized. You could cry over losing Grandma's jewels. You could spew hatred for the random druggies in your 'hood. You might become a vigilante and walk the streets or haunt pawn shops to get it back. You might rant and rave about poor policing or the stupid mayor who doesn't care about you. You might say 'I hated that crappy jewelry.' You might complain to your neighbors or fight with the insurance company. There are a number of actions and attitudes you could decide upon. Some of these are you embracing being a mere victim, and some of those are you become empowered.

                              Your example of slavery and the Holocaust offer great examples. It takes away none of the unfairness, horror, or injustice that these groups suffered by making a case that [Jewish people, African Americans] may not entirely appreciate or accept the title that they are victims. This may be semantics in regard to this discussion, however, but I suppose one might say that those who are killed--those type ofvictims--really have no ability to have a mindset of any sort (or to take any action) simply because they're dead.

                              Still, WTF do I know? I have only been the victim of my own clumsiness, poor fashion taste and bad cooking, so perhaps I'm full of sh*t. Thanks for your thoughtful conversation.

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