Happy Monday, everyone. I hope MLK day 2017 is treating you well. I thought I’d take my Monday Musings space and write briefly about a few of the movies I’ve seen lately.
On the 26th, we saw Fences. My first experience with August Wilson was in my undergraduate Black Literature class. Actually, that’s not true. Reading Fences in college was the first time I knew of August Wilson, the playwright. My first real introduction to August Wilson was the made-for-TV adaptation of one of his other plays, The Piano Lesson starring Charles S. Dutton and Alfre Woodard. (I loved this movie, by the way.)
The one thing I really want to say about Fences is that Viola Davis held it down. I can’t think of anyone who could have played the role better than she did.
As a community building event, our local PFLAG bought about half the house at the indie theatre’s showing of Moonlight. Such a great movie about toxic masculinity, but that’s not what I want to talk about. T tells me that someone she knows asked why the director chose to have the same person play Juan as the adult Chiron. When she says this I’m thinking, “I know this movie is black as hell, but seriously?”
I loved how Chiron’s transformation – when he got out of jail he built himself up hard – didn’t prohibit him from being vulnerable with his childhood friend. I can imagine how hard said vulnerability must have been. And then that final shot. I can’t even.
And then T, A and I went to see Hidden Figures. (I almost typed Hidden Fences.) I’m curious about whether or not the white savior moment (the busting down of the “Colored Ladies Restroom” sign) really happened. Great movie. Here’s the funny part. When we walked out of the movie, A goes something along the lines of, “Did you see that Chiron was in this movie?” I was confused for a moment until I realized he was making a joke about the guy’s comment about Moonlight.
Did you see any of these films? What did you think?
I’ve only seen Fences so far. I thought Viola was amazing and Denzel did his best work to date. Moonlight hasn’t come to theater anywhere near me so I’m bummed, but I’ll just rent it from Direct TV or something when I can. I am looking forward to seeing Hidden Figures in the next couple weeks. My mom asked the same question about that scene after she saw it in a commercial for the movie. She thinks they added it just to make White people feel better.
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