If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#51 Post by knives » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:11 am

It mostly comes up in the first act, but the events have a certain machismo to them that I found off putting. The way violence is portrayed for example comes across as going by who is stronger and more right. The film doesn't view that behavior as absurd.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#52 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:22 am

Can you offer an example? I’m struggling to think of what you could be referring to here.

dda1996a
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#53 Post by dda1996a » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:30 am

I'm guessing he's talking about the long families scene, but I still sturggle to understand what exactly is machismo about it

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knives
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#54 Post by knives » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:53 am

How the slapping of the mother is presented was a big example for me. In general I have a lot of problems with how that scene unfolded.

nitin
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#55 Post by nitin » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:30 am

Interesting, I have to admit that machismo as a description was far from my mind in that entire scene.

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mfunk9786
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#56 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:19 pm

Does representing that incident = the filmmaker or even the material endorsing it, though?

Nasir007
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#57 Post by Nasir007 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:31 pm

knives wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:54 pm
mfunk9786 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:10 pm
Image

Continuing to be incredibly excited for this.
This seems incredibly ironic now that I've seen the movie given the queer erasure it poses to Baldwin's voice not that that is anything new. Bladwin has a pretty unique voice as a black artist distanced from tradition due to queerness that gives his melodrama a unique sense. Jenkins continues to not be able to speak as a gay man which removes that distance. Had Jenkins leaned into that it would be a fine approach and something different from the book in possibly a great way. Instead, as Brian notes, he's desperate to maintain that distance. I think there are thematic reasons he wants to maintain that distance so as to connect the problems of this story to today rendering it zeitgeisty rather than getting lost with the characters, but what he replaces Baldwin's voice with seems to be a fear of melodrama that makes this a hetero, blandly atheist, masculine fest. Occasionally this can synthesize into great moments like the Atlanta guy's cameo which could have been it's own movie, but mostly just paints a weird aggressiveness that feels uncomfortable with itself. This is extremely obvious with Fonny's mother's ridiculous religiousity which Baldwin can paint with the nuanced view of someone who had loved it and learned to hate. Here though she's just this stupid and intolerant woman who no one likes and says dumb stuff. This is a film full of potential that it never reaches.
I agree with you on a fuzzy logic basis. Meaning I don't agree with your actual articulation, but I agree with some of what you are trying to convey.

There is a slight mish-mash of tones in the film. At some points, it is way too twee and precious, and at some points, it wants to be realistic and hardcore. I think Cahiers Du Cinema wrote that some of the sequences played liked Vogue commercials even though superficially we were supposed to believe that the characters were poor.

Just overall I got the sense of it being more style than substance but that is also my impression of Moonlight. Jenkins is an interesting film-maker. I get the sense he's self-censoring some of his natural impulses to fit into a mold that he has envisioned for himself and you get the resulting clash of tones in his work, more here than in Moonlight.

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knives
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Re: If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

#58 Post by knives » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:57 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:19 pm
Does representing that incident = the filmmaker or even the material endorsing it, though?
It's not representing the incident that I am having problems with, after all it features in the book I am venerating, but how it is represented which is a matter of the adaptation.

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