Entertainment Moonlight's Barry Jenkins doesn't feel any Oscars pressure

12:40  12 january  2017
12:40  12 january  2017 Source:   BANG Showbiz

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' Moonlight ' director Barry Jenkins discusses the arc of his career to date and finding his voice as an artist. “It was one of the few times I felt legitimate pressure , when I was taking that year off.” With or without Oscars , Moonlight has already completed Jenkins ’ personal transformation, from a

“I remember halfway through my first viewing of the film, feeling that tinge of awe and envy I always feel when encountering a new and exciting cinematic voice,” he said. “The black cinema revolution had begun, and I’d be damned if I’d miss the train.” READ MORE: ‘ Moonlight ’ Review: Barry Jenkins Delivers a Mesmerizing Look at Black Life in America. READ MORE: How TIFF 2016 Rocked The Oscar Race: Why ‘ Moonlight ’ Glows, ‘Birth’ Struggles, and More Revelations.

Barry Jenkins © Bang Showbiz Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins doesn't feel under any pressure to win an Oscar for his movie 'Moonlight'.

The 37-year-old filmmaker is fancied to make the shortlist for the Best Director prize at the Academy Awards - which take place on February 26 - when the nominations are announced for his acclaimed drama and if he were to win he would become the first African American to take home the honour.

Despite the praise heaped upon his movie, Jenkins has no expectations about even being nominated and isn't thinking about the historical significance if he were to win.

In an interview with the new US edition of Esquire magazine, he said: "We can't safely assume anything. We shouldn't, we won't, and we can't. It's not because no black director has ever been worthy of being nominated for Best Director. That's just not the case. The same way Kathryn [Bigelow] is the first woman to win Best Director (for 'Hurt Locker'). She's certainly not the first woman to merit that distinction."

Golden Globes 2017: IBTimes UK predicts who will win big as award season officially kicks off

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The second feature from writer/director Barry Jenkins , coming almost eight years since his feature debut, Medicine For Melancholy, made the festival rounds and enjoyed a small release back in 2008, Moonlight not only avoids the sophomore slump, it makes his first film feel like a demo tape. I get the sense this movie will basically filled the void left by Nate Parker’ s Birth of a Nation (which I would be shocked if that got any consideration for the Oscars at this point).

READ MORE: ‘ Moonlight ’ Review: Barry Jenkins Delivers a Mesmerizing Look at Black Life in America. Told in three acts, “ Moonlight ” is a study of masculinity, sexuality and identity as seen through the coming of age of Chiron. Get the latest IndieWire alerts and newsletters delivered directly to your inbox. Subscribe. ‘Toni Erdmann’: How Maren Ade Made The Year’ s Boldest and Strangest Oscar Contender. On the director' s third feature, she relied on two superb theater actors to dig into characters it took five years to create.

In the Oscars 87 year history, only 14 men and women of colour have won Oscars for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress, including Denzel Washington who has two golden statuettes for his performances in 'Glory' and 'Training Day'.

Jenkins were to win he would be delighted but the cultural significance would be a bigger moment for the Academy than for him personally.

He explained: "What it would mean for me is very different from what it would mean for the Academy or what it would mean for this and that. The work I did was not engineered towards breaking down some barriers. But also, the barrier is not mine to break down. The barrier belongs to the Academy. That's all I'll say about that.

"I don't like to talk about that stuff at all - because it has nothing to do with the film. We made the film a year ago, and whether I'm nominated, the movie's nominated, whether we're nominated and we win or lose, it's not going to fundamentally change the film. I'll feel that way, whether we win, whether we're nominated, whether we're not. And I kind of have to. Because if I don't, I'm allowing these outside things to take possession of my thing, you know? Which is not acceptable."

Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs... Do film awards really matter? .
Whether you're into movies or not, when film award season rolls around every year, there's usually something that catches everyone's attention; be it a plethora of new talk show interviews for the celebrity lovers, thousands of different red carpet looks for the fashion folk or even actors commenting on social issues for the politics people. But when it comes to the actual accolades, do they really matter and are they indicative of a film's brilliance or success? It's no secret that movie fans devour award-related news from the arguably less prestigious Golden Globes to the Academy Awards. But for all the fun that comes out of the season, the best thing is undoubtedly that it brings audience attention to films that may not have so widely well received if not for those accolades. Many such pictures come to mind this year, like Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, about a young black man who struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By The Sea which explores themes such as grief and loss. Two fantastic films that have might have flown under the radar in our blockbuster-saturated world, but thanks to award acclaim, they've not gone unnoticed. Heck, even outings such as Damien Chazelle's La La Land - which seems very mainstream on the surface, with stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the forefront - might have got lost with its unconventional, old Hollywood style.

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