The third act was the least fleshed out of the tryptich. I think the character logic flaws that you spoke to are probably a result of a few things. The main one I'd venture to say is that Barry wrote the script. Even though the source material was written by a gay Black man, Barry's lens is different and may not have been able to focus on those nuances. Also, I think he may have been a little reticent about gay sex scenes. Probably several reasons behind that.
Best Posts in Thread: CA Podcast #58 - The "Moonlight" Episode
I will also say masculintiy can definitely be a performance. But people have this assumption that any dude can hit the gym and grow a beard and suddenly become masculine. Or that a dude can put on hot pants and sing Britney Spears and become feminine. Yes those are societal definitions, but that doesn't change the nature of the person.
A feminine dude is going to be feminine no matter what he wears. A masculune dude is going to be masculine no matter what he wears. It's noticeable. It's behaviors and mannerisms.
Can you imagine someone like the Rock singing Britney Spears? He would be doing a feminine performance, but he would still be innately masculine. Likewise, do y'all remember Chris Crocker? The "leave Britney alone" kid? He's actually a stereotypically attractive dude now. He has facial hair, obviously goes to the gym. But to me he's still a noticeably feminine dude. You can just....tell.
My point being, I don't think Chiron would have been able to pull off the masculintiy so well as an adult if he wasn't already "masculine of center." If he had always been this feminine dude, I would not have found his transition into adulthood believable at all.
Okay I listened to the podcast and I will reiterate what I said earlier. I do think his bullying was based on a critique of masculinity. But, not because he was definitely effeminate. As kids, Kevin tells Chiron that he needs to be hard and not let dudes bully him. They then engage in wrestling. Kevin then says, "See, I knew you weren't soft." That to me is a very specific depiction of how masculinity is supposed to operate for all black boys in that particular community. So because Chiron wasn't quick to basically beat up other kids and rough house, he immediately fell outside of those masculine norms and was labeled a "faggot."
As far as the dance scene is concerned, I didn't see his movement as particularly any different than any of the other kids dancing around him, male or female. (I plan to watch the movie again, so I'll double check) I think it was moreso about his enjoyment of it. Aside from his short conversation with Kevin, that seemed to show the only time where he was happy being a kid.
And if we want to talk about realistic depictions, which is what the filmmakers were definitely going for, it doesn't make sense for Chiron to transition from this effeminate little kid to this masculine adult. Let's be real. Effeminate kids are still going to have those same effeminate traits as adults. Even if it becomes more subtle. Chiron isn't limp wristed as an adult. But he still has some of the same character traits he did as a kid that led to his bullying. He's still quiet. He's still reserved. That shows continuity and that he's the same person. He may dress differently. But that's something that's easily changed and more believable. But it's more difficult to change your mannerisms and who you are internally.
I'm not saying that they shouldn't have portrayed Little as an effeminate little kid. But I don't think that was the overall intention of the filmmaker. It was more subtle. They wanted to show how even slightly going outside of strict gender norms, is enough to label you as gay.
Brehs, we present to you a new episode of the CYPHER AVENUE PODCAST where you’ll hear us give updates, engage in heated topic debates, interviewing interesting homosexual men of color and us verbally adding on to the articles posted on the website. The episodes will be available in four ways: You can listen to them on the site, watch on YouTube, download a MP3 version or subscribe to us on iTunes or YouTube for automatic updates!
In this podcast, Cypher Avenue co-founders Octavius Williams and Nick Delmacy give a SPOILER-FREE review of the new critically acclaimed LGBT film, “Moonlight.” Then (at the 33:30 mark), they dive into spoilers to have a deep dive discussion of the film as well as tell never-before-told stories about their own lives dealing with Bullies and their Sexuality when they were teenagers.
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