Review: ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins delivers ‘Underground Railroad’ – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-14 13:26:45 –

Judging from the first two episodes of Barry Jenkins’s “Subway”, we’re on a powerful ride by a master conductor that traces the history of the film.

Barry Jenkins is today’s most intriguing filmmaker, directing a series of art masterpieces in Moonlight (2016) and If Beale Street Could Lovers (2018).

Jenkins is currently directing the 10-episode miniseries Underground Railroad, which will appear on Amazon Prime Video this Friday. Judging from the first two episodes, we are on a powerful ride by a master conductor that traces the history of the film.

Based on Colton Whitehead’s 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the story follows a black slave named Cola (aka Bessie) trying to escape bondage in Georgia.Underground Railroads historically described a network of hidden routes mapped to slaves released by abolitionists, but Shaw explained that. Actually Railroad.

Viewers need to fully understand that this is not a simple inspirational story like Cynthia Erivo’s Harriet Tubman in Harriet (2019). Rather, it combines the tragic history of “Roots” (1977) with the social commentary of “Watchmen” (2019), and even hints of magical realism like “The Polar Express” (2004). Isn’t it wild?

Our sympathetic vessel is the actress Thuso Mbedu (MTV’s “Shuga”), born in apartheid, South Africa in 1991. When she was pulled from the house, “I was born in this room! My mom was born in this room!” When she shouted “No, no,” her cadence was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” I remember Billy Vivid from “Flying Over” (1975).

The cast concludes with Aaron Pierre (“Old”), a fellow of the runaway slave Caesar. William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”) as a love concern royal. Joel Edgerton (“love”) as the ridgeway of the sinister slave catcher. Child star Chase Dillon (“That Damn Michael Choi”), as a precocious buddy Homer, lifted his little finger and drank tea like a little Uncle Tom.

This adult-child pairing is a refreshing villain combo after decades of evil plantation owners as foil. What’s more, the faces of Michael Fassbender leaning on the slave’s head like the pillars of the fence in “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and the slaves in “Django Unchained” (2012) are bloody. It is impossible for Edgerton to top Leonardo DiCaprio, who wipes his hands.

Still, leave yourself to the same type of brutal images of “Roots” (1977) and “12 Years a Slave” (2013). Jenkins shows that the public square is lined with whiplash black bodies. There is a reason why Amazon contains warnings. “This episode contains a violent scene. We recommend the viewer’s discretion.”

Thankfully, Jenkins is clever about it, starting with a lyrical shot of a slave who often falls like a “sunken place” that looks like light from another angle at the end of the tunnel. The intro also shows a bloody mother burying her placenta, a slave running across the field in reverse slow motion, and a loving mother backlit by heavenly sunlight.

Cinematographer James Laxton (“Moonlight”) helps Jenkins go beyond just a “clean” composition. The shining sun puts slave owners sick and visually suggests God’s intervention to “let go of my people.” Indeed, learning to see can convey a lot at the visual level. Really look, In the image.

The most powerful is the scene where the aforementioned cola was pulled from home. Jenkins’ camera dolls backwards from the doorway and pauses for a long time on the villain’s dominant shoulder. Then they return in to see fellow slaves scraping blood off the floor, and the sound of their rags crosses the floorboard to reach a pitch of heat.

Jenkins once told WTOP His filmmaking motto is “walk loudly in the character’s shoes,” using every ounce of visual and auditory aesthetics to guide the audience into the character’s emotional state. This includes the unforgettable violin of composer Nicholas Britell, covered with the intentionally anachronistic “BOB” lyrics of the outcast. “You can’t stop the train.”

To conclude Episode 1 (“Georgia”), it is here that Jenkins articulates the mission of the audience. “If you want to see what this country is, you have to get on the rails. If you look out at speed, you can see the real face of America.”

Its face is revealed in Episode 2 (“South Carolina”), where Coke and Caesar appear to be living a free life among whites who claim to be “different.” But these doctors and teachers are destructively oppressive. In short, the museum curator tells Coke: Show them what it really was. For us, by us. FUBU! “

The entire theme of Episode 2 is summarized in Caesar’s Lamentation. “Unless you thrive in a white vision, n *** er must not thrive.” This expects the white gatekeepers of Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy assimilated fit, as well as the character It also applies to modern politics, sports and entertainment.

What will future episodes symbolically reveal about America as the train heads further north? The remaining eight episodes are one of the most competitive Emmy Awards races in the Best Limited series with The Queen’s Gambit, Small Ax, and WandaVision, each worthy of a win. I can’t wait to be. Other years.

Like the other superficial TVs, they all ride on the Polar Express. Jenkins is creating something deeper in a way that only his only vision can do.

Listen to a chat with Barry Jenkins on the new podcast “Beyond fame.”

Review: ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins delivers ‘Underground Railroad’ Source link Review: ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins delivers ‘Underground Railroad’

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