Tuesday Open Thread | 2017 Oscar Nominated : Moonlight


Moonlight is the little movie that could. About a year and a half ago, the only people talking about Moonlight were Black film geeks. I heard about it from Shadow and Act.

I haven’t seen Moonlight, but everyone that I’ve talked to who has seen it raves about it.

It’s the story of a young Black gay child and his journey to adulthood. From all the reviews, it is a piece of Black humanity rarely seen in film.

Moonlight has received EIGHT Oscar Nominations:
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali
Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris
Best Director: Barry Jenkins
Best Original Score: Nicholas Britell
Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Best Cinematography: James Laxton
Best Film Editing: Nat Sanders, Joi McMillon


This image released by A24 Films shows Alex Hibbert, left, and Mahershala Ali in a scene from the film, "Moonlight."  The film is  a poetic coming-of-age tale told across three chapters about a young gay black kid growing up in a poor, drug-ridden neighborhood of Miami. (David Bornfriend/A24 via AP)

This image released by A24 Films shows Alex Hibbert, left, and Mahershala Ali in a scene from the film, “Moonlight.” The film is a poetic coming-of-age tale told across three chapters about a young gay black kid growing up in a poor, drug-ridden neighborhood of Miami. (David Bornfriend/A24 via AP)

An excerpt from a review:

A Critic at Large October 24, 2016 Issue
“Moonlight” Undoes Our Expectations
By avoiding the overblown clichés so often used to represent black American life in film, Barry Jenkins has created something achingly alive.
By Hilton Als

Did I ever imagine, during my anxious, closeted childhood, that I’d live long enough to see a movie like “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s brilliant, achingly alive new work about black queerness? Did any gay man who came of age, as I did, in the era of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and AIDS, think he’d survive to see a version of his life told onscreen with such knowledge, unpredictability, and grace? Based on a story by the gay black playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney—Jenkins himself is not gay—the film is virtuosic in part because of Jenkins’s eye and in part because of the tale it tells, which begins in nineteen-eighties Miami.

Four white Miami-Dade police officers have beaten a young black man to death and been acquitted of manslaughter, setting off riots in the city’s black enclaves—Liberty City, Overtown, and elsewhere. It’s hard for a man of color walking those sun-bleached streets not to watch his back or feel that his days are numbered. That’s how Juan (the beautiful Mahershala Ali) carries himself—defensively, warily. He’s a dope dealer, so there’s that, too. He may be a boss on the streets—his black do-rag is his crown—but he’s intelligent enough to know that he’s expendable, that real power doesn’t belong to men like him. Crack is spreading through the city like a fever. Stepping out of his car, Juan asks a cranky drug runner what’s up. (Jenkins and his ardent cinematographer, James Laxton, film the car as if it were a kind of enclosed throne.) Juan, his mouth fixed in a pout—sometimes he sucks on his tongue, as if it were a pacifier—doesn’t take his eyes off the street. He can’t afford to; this situation, any situation, could be changed in an instant by a gun or a knife.

In this world, which is framed by the violence to come—because it will come—Juan sees a skinny kid running, his backpack flapping behind him. He’s being pursued by a group of boys, and he ducks into a condemned building to escape. Juan follows, entering through a blasted-out window, a symbol, perhaps, of the ruin left by the riots. Inside, in a dark, silent space, the kid stares at Juan, and Juan stares at the kid. There’s a kind of mirroring going on. Maybe Juan is looking at his past while the boy looks up at a future he didn’t know he could have. It’s a disorienting scene, not so much because of what happens as because of what doesn’t happen. Throughout the movie, Jenkins avoids what I call Negro hyperbole—the overblown clichés that are so often used to represent black American life. For instance, Juan doesn’t take that runaway kid under his wing in order to pimp him out and turn him into a drug runner; instead, he brings him home to feed him, nourish him.


An article about the playwright:

Moonlight’s writer Tarell Alvin McCraney: ‘the story needed to be out there’

As his film goes head to head with La La Land for Oscar glory, the playwright tells how growing up in the Miami projects inspired his view of America

There have been a few moments in his life, Tarell Alvin McCraney tells me, when he has felt like he’s hit the clock in a game of chess, and stopped the world turning.

The first of these moments occurred when he was six or seven years old and had been away for the weekend from his mother’s home in Liberty City, a low-rise housing project in north Miami. Home at the time was not only where his mother lived but also where her boyfriend, Blue, lived. McCraney was small for his age, and bullied at school for being different, for being silent, for not being into sports. He would be beaten, called “faggot” before he knew what that word meant. In the emotional absence of his own father, Blue was the first man in his life who really looked out for him, the first man he could look up to. Blue taught him to ride a bike, took him to the ocean, held him as he learned to swim, made him feel like he might have a place in the world after all. Blue was also a drug dealer, but in Liberty City in 1987 that wasn’t unusual.

When McCraney got home that weekend, though, he knew something was different. His mother, who had by then started on a downward path into crack cocaine addiction, was alone.

“Where’s Blue?” he recalls asking her, as if it were yesterday. “He’s gone,” his mother said.


“Blue’s been shot and killed.”

McCraney had a dozen other questions about the how, where and why, but as he was asking them, he recalls, he was all the time thinking something else. He was thinking: “This is something you have to remember. This is a very strong lesson for you. The good things in your life are not always. If you go away for the weekend, if you don’t pay proper attention, you will come back and they won’t be here.” As he says this now, he slaps his hand down lightly on the table between us and halts the imaginary chess clock.

We are sitting at a schoolyard bench in the Miami sun a few blocks and three decades away from that childhood memory. The bench is in the grounds of Liberty City’s African Heritage arts centre, a prominent neighbourhood landmark, built with all the civil rights optimism of 1975. As a boy, McCraney came here every day in the summer holidays, and often after school to avoid the harassment and beatings he got if he walked his usual route home through Liberty Square. He took classes here in dance, visual art, music, acting and writing. “You couldn’t sign up to one thing, you had to sign up to everything,” he says, with his easy laugh. These days he comes back to teach on some of those courses himself (he is also, in his more visible public life, newly installed chair of the playwriting programme at Yale University). It was here that he started writing about the chaos of his life in order to begin to make some dramatic sense of it. And it was here, in that sense, that he began his journey to Moonlight, the extraordinary autobiographical film that a couple of days before we meet has been deservedly nominated for eight Oscars, including best picture.


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49 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | 2017 Oscar Nominated : Moonlight

  1. Liza says:


    Seattle Wells Fargo boycott must catch on across U.S.
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, February 3, 2017, 2:00 PM

    On Wednesday, Seattle became the first major city in the country to vote to divest its funds from Wells Fargo. This is a huge deal and a major victory for the divestment movement — maybe the largest yet. Backed by some amazing local grassroots activists, the Seattle City Council Thursday proposed a bill to move its $3 billion account out of Wells Fargo and into a bank that does not fund the Dakota Access Pipeline or private prisons. This vote, which was approved by a majority of the members of the city council, is one of the largest consumer blowbacks that Wells Fargo has ever experienced. While the full city council will hold another procedural vote on the matter Monday, it is widely expected to pass.

    More than ever, at a time when it’s increasingly easy to feel powerless, we must tell businesses, leaders and governments that we will remove our money if they do not do right by us. What Seattle voted to do on Wednesday is sending shockwaves through the banking industry. For pretty much their entire existence, banks have gotten away with taking our business, holding our money and charging us fees while simultaneously funding our oppression. People have had enough.

    If you fund our oppression, if you fund injustice, or if you are willfully silent in the face of those things, people are organizing to defund you and find banks, businesses and financial institutions that will openly agree to humane values and principles.


    • Liza says:

      There is immense power in divestiture. And as part of an overall strategy to halt the oppressive Trump/Bannon/GOP agenda, it is a hell of a lot more effective than begging them to behave as decent human beings.

      There’s lots of money in blue states.

  2. Ametia says:

    Well, Trump voters/supporters, how do you like your new President Steve Bannon, now?

  3. rikyrah says:

    Kevonstage commenting on 44’s vacation



  4. rikyrah says:


    Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on SNL is My New Favorite Thing
    Awesomely Luvvie — February 6, 2017

    The administration of Tangerine Voldemort are doing one good thing: giving us ample material for jokes. In fact, they’re making SNL great again, because those writers are now having a field day with Habanero Hitler and his Troop of Trifling Troglodytes. Everyone who works closely with him is a bumbling idiot. But that’s because he’s a raving dumbass himself. It’s like the worst game of “follow the leader.”

    The latest episode had a surprise appearance by Melissa McCarthy, who is one of my comedy sheroes. She made me fall in love with her even more with this skit of her playing press secretary Sean Spicer.

  5. rikyrah says:

    White House leak reveals how staff manipulated Trump to get him to approve failed Yemen raid

    Source: RawStory

    07 FEB 2017 AT 09:40 ET

    The one way a White House staffer can get President Donald Trump to do what they want is by telling him that President Barack Obama would never have done it, a new report reveals.

    According to the Independent, an anonymous staffer leaked that the way military leaders were able to urge Trump to act on the failed Yemen raid was by telling him Obama didn’t want to do it.

    General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, were reportedly able to persuade Trump to move forward by claiming Obama would never have been so bold to actually go through with it.

    The military action was in the works for months prior to Trump taking over but Obama advisors didn’t want to do the raid until it was a moonless night.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Switchboard actually jammed by “Alternative People.”


    Kellyanne Conway believes liberals jamming Capitol Hill switchboard are not ‘real people’: report

    Source: RawStory

    07 FEB 2017 AT 10:22 ET


    According to Capitol Hill staffers, citizens opposing Betsy DeVos’ nomination have flooded the Capitol Hill switchboard with a record 1.5 million calls a day.


    Politico reported that Conway dismissed the callers during a meeting with lawmakers on Monday.

    During Monday’s morning meeting, Conway, multiple sources said, shrugged off the concerns from thousands of people jamming phone lines critical of Trump’s Cabinet nominees, explaining that she’s more worried about her own “RPI” or “Real Person Impact” meter.

    “She basically said the people jamming up the phones don’t matter to this White House,” one Republican senator’s communication director reportedly said. “That this administration just cares about what matters to ‘real people.’”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Keeping America White!!!

    GOP Senators To Intro Bill That Could Curb Number Of Green Cards

    Source: Talking Points Memo

    Published FEBRUARY 7, 2017, 8:37 AM EDT

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) will introduce a bill on Tuesday that would limit who could sponsor an immigrant to receive a green card, Politico reported Tuesday morning.

    Currently, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor family members to obtain green cards, but this bill would only allow someone’s spouse or child who is an unmarried minor to sponsor them for a green card, according to Politico. The bill would also allow for children to bring over elderly parents, per Politico.

    The legislation would also limit the refugee program to 50,000 people per year and eliminate the diversity lottery, which sets aside 50,000 visas each year to citizens from countries from which few people immigrate to the U.S., per Politico.

    Cotton’s office told Politico that the bill would reduce legal immigration by about 40 percent in the first year of implementation and by 50 percent over ten years.

  8. Liza says:

    Moving forward, for the next year, I won't spend a single second of my time asking Trump, or the Republican House or Senate FOR A DAMN THING— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 7, 2017


    • Liza says:

      Fifty GOP Senators line up for Trump, bow to the billionaires and the bought and paid for Senate, proving they will gladly carry Trump’s slop jar. What a pack of losers and haters of democracy.

  9. Liza says:

    How Senators Voted on Betsy DeVos
    By THE NEW YORK TIMES FEB. 7, 2017

    The Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary. For the first time in Senate history, Vice President Mike Pence voted to break the tie in a confirmation vote. Read our story for more details, or view the full list of Senate confirmation votes.


  10. Liza says:

    Posted by Rep Raul Grijalva
    Feb 7, 2017
    Source: Facebook

    Raul M. Grijalva
    1 hr ·
    “Betsy DeVos’s confirmation marks a new low in the Republican Party’s drive to dismantle public education. Ms. DeVos made it clear during her Senate testimony that she does not understand crucial debates within the field of education; she cannot differentiate between federal, state and local education policies; she lacks the understanding needed to comply with federal civil rights laws; and she cannot grasp the financial struggles working families have with affordable childcare and the astronomical cost of higher education.

    Very few cabinet nominees in history have proven themselves to be this incompetent in the field they seek to lead. And of those examples, DeVos stands alone in being confirmed despite her flaws.

    So here’s a question every American should ask: at what point would Ms. DeVos have disqualified herself for the GOP? What red line could she have crossed when she’s already proven herself ignorant of the subject matter, and lacks any experience running a government agency? Add to that the years DeVos spent undermining public education in favor of privatized schools for the rich to profit from, and the answer becomes crystal clear: never. Whether Republicans cast this party-line vote to drive a final nail into the coffin of public education, or whether they did it because DeVos is a billionaire heiress who has been contributing to their campaigns for years, the fact remains that they were never going to be deterred.

    The victims of Ms. DeVos’s tenure will be children who have no ability to fight back. But the impact will scar our society as a whole, stunting our ability to accomplish great feats and solidifying the United States as a two tier society: those born into a family that can afford a high-quality education, and everyone else. This is not a vision for American greatness. This is a moment our society will come to regret.

    As a senior member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I will work every day to hold Ms. DeVos accountable to our children. I will join Democrats in opposing any effort to undermine the integrity of our public schools, and I will demand answers for any policy that does not lead our country towards ensuring all students, regardless of their backgrounds, can earn the high-quality education they deserve.”

    • Liza says:

      ALL of the victims of this latest disaster are people not old enough to vote and who are in no way responsible for the election of Trump.

    • Liza says:

      Y’all, this is just going to be one disaster after another until we somehow turn the tide.

      It’s really just a question of how much damage they do until they’re gone.

  11. Liza says:

    We’re screwed until 2018. And the screwing stops in 2018 only if we start working on midterm elections fast and furiously right now.

  12. Hey, everyone!

    My daughter’s friend’s little boy has been diagnosed with leukemia. It’s so heartbreaking. Jackson will be in and out of the hospital for chemo therapy. Please help this family out with whatever you can. I’m asking our 3ChicsPolitico friends, commenters, readers and followers to help save Jackson’s life. This includes you too our international following community. Please help give this little boy a chance to live.




  13. Liza says:

    Ajit Pai Rolls Back Net Neutrality & Consumer Protections
    HEADLINES FEB 06, 2017

    Trump’s newly appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, has begun to attack net neutrality rules and other consumer protections. In a series of actions last week, Pai blocked nine companies from providing affordable high-speed internet to low-income families, withdrew the FCC’s support from an effort to curb the exorbitant cost of phone calls from prison, and said he disagrees with the 2015 decision to regulate the internet like a public utility.


  14. Liza says:

    Ordinary Americans carried out inhumane acts for Trump

    A week ago, men and women went to work at airports around the United States as they always do. They showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, perhaps dropped off their kids at school. Then they reported to their jobs as federal government employees, where, according to news reports, one of them handcuffed a 5-year-old child, separated him from his mother and detained him alone for several hours at Dulles airport.

    At least one other federal employee at Dulles reportedly detained a woman who was traveling with her two children, both U.S. citizens, for 20 hours without food. A relative says the mother was handcuffed (even when she went to the bathroom) and threatened with deportation to Somalia.

    At Kennedy Airport, still other federal employees detained and handcuffed a 65-year-old woman traveling from Qatar to visit her son, who is a U.S. citizen and serviceman stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. The woman was held for more than 33 hours, according to the New York Times, and denied use of a wheelchair.

    The men and women who work for the federal government completed these and other tasks and then returned to their families, where perhaps they had dinner and read stories to their children before bedtime.


  15. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Trial Date Set For Tulsa Officer Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Man”

    “TULSA, Okla. (AP) – A white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year will go to trial May 8…

    “…Prosecutors say Shelby acted unreasonably because [Terence] Crutcher wasn’t armed or combative when she approached him after his SUV broke down, and that he obeyed commands to raise his hands.”

  16. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Security Guard Fatally Shoots Unarmed Man Playing Pokemon Go”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone😐😐😐

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Rikyrah & Everyone.

      Rikyrah, thanks so much for highlighting theses wonderfully profound film.

      I’ve seen Moonlight 3 times! So much LOVE in this film.

      Highly recommend folk go see it.

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