Beautiful and devastating.
I love being in the hands of a good film-maker – one who understands the power of, and what can be done with, its elements: from understanding and eliciting what actors are capable of, to letting the camera linger long enough to really absorb every nuance from their performances; from cutting only just when we’ve savoured the myriad messages within each shot, to sound design that regulates the viewer’s pulse.
And yet, for such heavy subject matter, the film-making here has an incredibly light touch, choosing to look long at and linger on the people and scenes until their beauty becomes intoxicating. It’s a ’90s art house film in its themes, storytelling and film-making style.
The performances are all beautiful, and tenderly captured by James Laxton‘s breathtaking cinematography (more on that at the very end of this entry).
I wonder how this movie would play in the kind of neighbourhoods it’s set in – whether progressiveness in mainstream cinema culture actually affects the neighbourhoods, the schools, the people in this story?
“Listening, watching, reacting and feeling”: Cinematographer James Laxton talks to TIFF about using available light and eye levels to create the stunning intimacy in Moonlight:
In this profile on Cooke Optics TV Spotlight, Laxton reveals how each third of the film is distinguished by its own colour grade and unique LUT:
- Laxton, along with colorist Alex Bickel, talks about the exceptional look of the film with IndieWire.
- James Laxton reveals the influence of the work of photographers such as Earlie Hudnall Jr. on the lensing of Moonlight (via Fstoppers / Cinematographer James Laxton talks to TIFF)