God Plays Baseball and Chess Incorrectly: Scriptnotes

On Tuesday April 4th, 2017, John August and Craig Mazin of Scriptnotes make notes of the correctness of certain details in script, covering three topics: God, chess, and baseball, and how they are dealt with in terms of screenwriting. The two also mentioned Aaron Sorkin and the mess that he found himself.

Apparently, Mr. Sorkin was quoted out of context in which he was speaking at the Writer’s Guild Association. “During [the conversation],” Craig Mazin begins, “the topic of diversity and under-representation of minority writers in Hollywood came up, and he was seemingly shocked of the idea that white male writers or directors would get free passes were other [minority] writers would not and he seemed flabbergasted by this” (August and Mazin 2017). Without going too much into the political and social of the issue, Aaron Sorkin was blasted on Twitter, as a victim of being too arrogant and of possessing the ever-so-mythical “white privateer” when asked how he could help, which was of genuine concern as opposed to the preconceived notion of arrogance. Mazin noted:

You know, in the room, his comments were recieved quiet well overall, and people were actually quiet heartened by his concerned… when you take it as an isolated comment and put it on Twitter, it does seem oblivious… Oblivion, is certainly not as bad as awareness and lack of care. It’s a weird time we live in where sometimes people are late to certain kinds of injustice and express a kind of concern and [a need to help] that is seen as a failure (Mazin and August 2017).

Mazin and August quickly establish a theme of benefit of the doubt,  and there was something that August said that spoke a hint of truth: “It raises the issue of benefit of the doubt… whether giving benefit of the doubt could make some of these things that seem outrageous a little bit more understandable” (Mazin and August 2017). A question that raised for them was: “Does an atheist/agnostic capitalize the “g” in the word God?” The answers they give are sound and reasonable. Mazin, an atheist, usually capitalizes the “g” only when speaking of God as a religious concept. So when someone asks “Do you believe in God?” Mazin would capitalize the “g”, whereas August noted that he would capitalize the “g” in some places and leave it lowercase in others, admitting an inconsistency. Ultimately, the two came to the conclusion, that it really doesn’t matter.

The second and third questions relate to accuracy. Specifically, chess and baseball, but to summarize what the two concluded to: if you are an expert, then simply go ahead and write what you know, the old connotation; however, understand that most people who are reading your script, are not experts in whatever you are writing about. They also spoke of accuracy, stating that while filmmakers attempt to do the best they can, people must always remember that things happen on set. An example that they mention is an episode of “The Office” where there are two bishops, both of which are on white squares, an impossible situation- Mazin and August note that while the director may have known this, in order to keep continuity, the pieces were left in place. Of course filmmakers attempt to be accurate in most things, but sometimes accuracy has to be sacrificed for numerous reasons, such as continuity or budget (Mazin and August 2017).

“The Ghost in the Shell”, which opened recently, has received backlash for whitewashing and to not being accurate to the original source material. However, it might be best for those people claiming such things to give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is going to be represented accurately, it is impossible. Social justice does not have a place in film, that is what Twitter is for.


Work Cited

Mazin, Chris, and John August. “294 – Getting the Details Wrong.” Audio blog post. Scriptnotes. N.p., 4 Apr. 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Box Office Follow Up (Part 2): China’s Box Office Suffers Due to a Dismal March

Despite “King Kong: Skull Island” and “Beauty and the Beast” delivering box office success overseas, China still suffered in March. Variety’s Patrick Frater reported on April 3rd, 2017 that China’s box office revenue for March was $488 million (RMB 3.37 billion) which is 9% lower than March of last year. Admissions were also down from last year, with March 2016 bringing in 109 million while March 2017 received 101 million (Frater 2017).

Frater notes one of the reasons is due to online-ticket sales, which since the beginning of the year have been calculated separately from the total box office, making March appear weaker than it was: “Removing those from the calculation… with an adjusted gross figure of RMB3.11 billion ($451 million)” (Frater 2017).

The first quarter of 2017 was calculated to be equal to that of the first quarter of 2016, but again, removing the online-ticket sales creates a drop, with “a year-on-year drop of 6%. In terms of ticket sales, the first quarter of 2017 saw 411 million admissions, down 2% from the 418 million in 2016” (Frater 2017).

Patrick Frater attributes this drop in sales to two main factors. Firstly, in mid-2016, China reduced the subsidies provided to consumers by competing online-ticket sellers (i.e. Fandango), this drove up ticket prices (Frater 2017). Secondly,  there was “a weak crop of films, both Hollywood and local, in 2016. In order to keep the turnstiles spinning, Chinese regulators allowed in far more Hollywood films than in previous years” (Frater 2017). Weaknesses for 2017 seem to lie in more domestic territory however, as only films released during Chinese New Year seem to have an impact so far.

While Wanda Cinemas president John Zeng attempted to sound optimistic at CinemaCon, saying  “that growth would normalize at 15-20% per year” (Frater 2017), China’s box office appears to be in stagnation; hopefully, what can occur is a miracle with the summer releases to bring the growth back up to make China, and consequently the United States’ studios, a larger profit.


Work Cited

Frater, Patrick. “Weak March Means China Box Office Recovery Is Not Yet in Sight.” Variety. N.p., 03 Apr. 2017. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Box Office Follow Up: “Beauty and the Beast” and “Kong: Skull Island”

Variety’s Dave McNary reported on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 that Disney’s live action remake, “Beauty and the Beast” amassed $207 million over its second weekend, making the total box office run of two weeks approximately $690 million.

Internationally, “Beauty and the Beast” grosses $119 million, followed closely by “Kong: Skull Isand” with $91 milion according to McNary, who states that the later film came out to be a big winner in China: “including $72.1 million in China for “Kong” with 13.9 million admissions from approximately 18,000 screens for a 71% share of the total box office and the second-biggest international opening in China this year after “Resident Evil” grossed a stunning $91 million” (McNary 2017).

This is good news for Legendary  Pictures, which just two weeks ago, was riding all of their hopes and dreams on “Kong”, well, it has paid off: ““Kong: Skull Island” has now taken in $258.6 million internationally and $133.5 million in the U.S for an impressive worldwide total of $392 million” (McNary 2017). This means that, in terms of box office, “Kong” has made a profit against its production budget of $185 million by doubling the returns. However, there could be many factors in this pursuit, resulting in either loss or gain at this point, as either result is fair game at this point, but we shall have to see how the numbers play out when the run is complete.

In terms of comparison, “Beauty” has trumped “Kong, surpassing it by $300 million, making “Beauty” among the top 100 of all time grossers, taking the 92nd spot. Disney noted that as of Sunday, March 25th, 2017, “Beauty and the Beast” is the fourth consecutive film to surpass the $600 million mark in terms of worldwide gross: “Doctor Strange” ($677,561,661), “Moana” ($617,080,355), and “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story” ($1,055,121,310) (McNary, BoxOfficeMojo 2017). If this is any indication that the Walt Disney Company is making smart business decisions, then perhaps nothing else is. Especially since over the weekend, Disney CEO Bob Iger extended his contract til 2019 (Masters 2017).

We’ll have to wait and see with Disney for how well the summer films will do. In terms of Legendary, hopefully “Kong” puts them in a more comfortable and easy state to push on and make something even more extraordinary in the coming years. Perhaps we shall see a resurgence in monster movies, at least, that’s the hope anyway.


Work Cited

“”Doctor Strange”, “Moana”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.” Box Office Mojo. N.p., 25 Mar. 2017. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

Masters, Kim, and Bill Condon. “Bill Condon on the challenges of adapting a ‘tale as old as time’” Audio blog post. The Business. KCRW, 25 Mar. 2017. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

McNary, Dave. “‘Beauty and the Beast’ Nears $700 Million Worldwide, ‘Kong’ Strong Overseas.” Variety. N.p., 26 Mar. 2017. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

 

 

In the Spirit of Howard Ashman: Bill Condon on “Beauty and the Beast”

Kim Masters interviewed Bill Condon, director of “Dreamgirls” (2006), who also directed the new adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) on Saturday, March 25th, 2017. Speaking on the film, Bill Condon noted how he wanted to make the remake in the spirit of the original lyricist of the 1991, Howard Ashman, who died before the premiere of the original animated film in March of 1991 due to AIDS:

“Here, you are dealing with something that is not only a classic, but something that is nearly perfect in the form that it’s in… and so that the original animated film was based on musical theater and live action…. [Howard] was this kind of guiding force for us, because he’s the one who came up with the objects who sing and dance, that hadn’t been there before he arrived” (Masters and Condon 2017).

Condon did not wish to make a shot for shot remake of the film, instead, he wanted to make a film that appeared realistic and felt real. The production design consisted of large sets, some of which took five minutes to cross, and the Wardrobe character, which was actually constructed, had pulleys and various traditional mechanisms similar to “Mary Poppins” (1964 Stevenson) (Masters and Condon 2017).

In terms of the “gay moment”, the widely publicized issue that spoke of Disney including a gay moment in the film, this sparked an international issue, with Russia outright banning the film but allowed it to be played to audiences 16 and over. “Malaysia demanded cuts to the film, which would eventually allow an uncensored version to a PG-13 rating. Obviously, this became a distraction from Disney’s point of view, as they had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the film and probably just as soon had avoided any further discussion of the controversy” (Masters and Condon 2017). Condon notes that he certainly did not intend for this to be an issue, and was originally intended to be a surprise. According to Condon, a reporter leaked the information without the full context resulting in the widely publicized news which lead to overreactions: “I feel that it’s a conversation that’s happening outside of the context of people having seen it… It’s turning animation into real life, and you try to get to the human aspects that make people behave the way they do and the story’s been around for three centuries* now and it keeps getting told and it’s about this basic thing of looking beneath the surface, and looking deeper and accepting people for who they are and if you’re going to make that in 2017, you have to been more inclusive…” (Masters and Condon 2017).

*To correct Condon, just for fun, the story of Beauty and the Beast can be dated back to 16th century Italy.

However, the problem that the remake has is that it is essentially a shot for shot remake of the 1991 film. It does Howard Ashman a wonderful service, but it attempts to make something, like the “gay moment” (which was hardly noticeable in the film to begin with) and turns it into nothing spectacular. While the film broke box office records and is a continuation of the new trend that the Disney Company is taking, the film has an interesting production history, even if the film itself is nothing groundbreaking, in terms of technological innovation, like the original was.


Work Cited

Masters, Kim, and Bill Condon. “Bill Condon on the challenges of adapting a ‘tale as old as time'” Audio blog post. The Business. KCRW, 25 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

 

The Problem with Superhero Films: James Margold on “Logan” and Franchise Fatigue

The one thing that Kim Masters and James Margold, director of “The Wolverine” (2013) and “Logan” (2017), talk about on March 18th’s episode of The Business, it was the point of franchise fatigue and the problem with superhero films, namely, it is too cookie-cutter and repetitive. Hugh Jackman, Margold notes, was “very reticent because there was a level of dissatisfaction, he felt that with a good number of the (X-Men) pictures, not so much that he didn’t like them, but that he was hitting doubles and triples” (Masters and Margold 2017).

Margold, who directed “The Wolverine”, feels that because he directed that film, it made “Logan” work so well. “I think that I came back with a similar sense of ambivalence, like Hugh, and I really was not excited about playing from the Bible as it were with the movie, and I was creatively frustrated in the sense that I was denied the chance to make a movie more in my normal bailiwick which is a straight dramatic film for adults” (Masters and Margold 2017). One of the first things Margold did was pitch to the studio that the film was to be rated R, and that Hugh Jackman took a paycut and the film was made for less. One of the films saving graces was “Deadpool” however, Margold notes that this pitch was before “Deadpool”‘s release and the aforementioned work was due to Jim Gianopulos, former head of Fox, Stacey Synder, and Emma Watts:

“I think you can’t steal from them, which is a very realistic human observation, which is that they have to sit through these bloated movies as well and I don’t think anybody with a human brain and ears and eyes is not starting to think that more is not more; and that adding more heroes, more characters, more effects, more sound, I don’t think it is more. Everyone is doing press so often that they can’t say what they feel, they’re just selling. But the fact is that the unspoken feeling is that this is a very weird trajectory we’re on. Everyone is spending more, less is coming back, the movies aren’t as good.” (Masters and Margold 2017).

James Margold notes that Marvel, Fox, Sony, and most of the studios are part of the problem, noting that most superhero films (aside from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Iron Man” which he points are the exceptions) are generally “not movies”: “They’re bloated exercises in two hour trailers for another movie they’re going to sell you in two years. There’s so many characters that each character gets an arc of about six and a half minutes, at best, and I’m not exaggerating. You take 120 minutes, you take 45 of it for action, what are you left with, divide it by six characters you have the character arc of Elmer Fudd in a Warner Brothers’ cartoon” (Masters and Margold 2017).

The problem with superhero films is  over-saturation and repetitiveness. The reason why I personally have been critical of the superhero genre lately is because of what Margold is saying. It’s repetitive, old, and tiresome to see the exact same film just with different protagonist and a slightly different antagonist (who all seem to have a fetish for putting big gaping hole with a beam of light in the sky). “Logan”, thankfully, breaks that model and will hopefully usher in a more character driven superhero film that is less eye-candy and more focused on an actual emotive response. The old saying of less is more applies here, hopefully studios will start to use it more effectively in the future.


Work Cited

Masters, Kim, and James Margold. “James Margold on “Logan” and Fighting Franchise Fatigue.” Audio blog post. The Business. KCRW, 18 Mar. 2017. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

 

“Beauty and the Beast” is a Box Office Success Because… Female Power?

Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday, March 20th, 2017 on the opening weekend box office of Disney’s newest film, “Beauty and the Beast”, which was a remake of the 1991 Academy Award winning film (Best Original Song). While the film itself is nothing spectacular, it is a remake of a film that masses are familiar with after all, familiarity might be its biggest strength (and it is).  McClintock states that the new film has “the seventh-biggest domestic opening weekend of all time” making it the largest box office start of all time for a PG rated film (McClintock 2017). As fantastic as this is, McClintock takes on a Feminist position, noting that the film is coming out when “Hollywood is under fire for not promoting more women both behind and in front of the camera” (McClintock 2017). The reason for the box office success, McClintock argues, is due to the familiarity with the property and that women came in droves to see the film:

“On Friday, females of all ages made up more than 70 percent of Beauty‘s audience, in line with Twilight and Hunger Games, according to comScore’s PostTrak, the industry leader…. The studio says for the weekend as a whole, females made up 60 percent of all ticket buyers, while males increased to 40 percent…” (McClintock 2017).

The film could possibly earn around $1 Billion at the worldwide box office, according to Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, who says that: “The movie is already a modern classic that in its original animated form was a touchstone movie for older audiences and became a beloved mainstay on home video for younger fans who could not wait to see Emma Watson personify the role of Belle in live-action form” (McClintock 2017).

While McClintock is correct in stating that females trumped men in terms of audience and that previous female targeted films like “The Hunger Games” series, “The Twilight” series and so on are box office successes due to the female demographic that is draws; and, while it is a great statement Dergarabedian made, the article completely disregards (without a single mention) of the family demographic. Most likely, those numbers include families with young girls – “Beauty and the Beast” is a great film for the family to see and it currently has no competition in terms of the family market, due to “The Lego Batman Movie” already having been out for a little more than a month. Instead, McCormick chose a more feminist approach and while it is agreeable to believe, it is extremely misleading.


Work Cited

McClintock, Pamela. “‘Beauty and the Beast’s’ Secret to Success: Female Power and Comfort.” The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Why Race Doesn’t Really Matter When Writing Scripts: Scriptnotes

On Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, Scriptnotes hosts John August and Craig Mazin tackle viewer questions and answer them to the best of their ability. Ranging in a variety of questions in regards to screenwriting, this podcast was generally focused on writing credits, the importance of an agent, and, what caught the eye the most, the portrayal of race and history in screenplays.

Several questions dealt with the issue. The first in the episode came from a Los Angeles viewer who asked: “I try to mindful of representation when describing characters in terms of race; however, in my current project, the characters races don’t play any significant role in the plot or interactions with other characters. They could be played by an actor of any color despite how I’ve described them. Is it better to describe the character in colorblind terms… or with racial implications?”

Upon answering this question, both hosts came up with similar answers, John noted that there will always be two competing ways of thinking – if the other characters are diverse, then it allows the reader to think of the main character as diverse and that a choice is a choice and that the writer made that specific choice for a reason or that it ultimately doesn’t matter (August and Mazin 2017). While Craig suggested making a list of people who could possibly fit the role as sometimes “it’s really more about age or gravitas and other things that are just more important than skin color. So I think it’s fair for you, especially if you’re writing a spec script, to include – here are some general ideas of who I was thinking when I doing this…” (August and Mazin 2017).

Later, Craig Mazin made an excellent point that is extremely important in writing scripts. “I think sometimes what ends up happening is people start to get nervous, and it’s white people that are getting nervous, let’s be clear about this, white writers get nervous (not all of them), but some of them about seeming racist or falling into some kind of trap, and so they overthink and they start to suddenly pepper the script with all of these racial descriptions to say ‘look at me, look at me, I’m not default white’ which is fine except that, you’re actually doing somewhat artificial at times” (August and Mazin 2017).

The most artificial thing a screenwriter can do, in my opinion, is to not be honest with yourself and to make a world inclusive for inclusivity’s sake. In other words, it is not progressive to have the television commercial with every single race on the planet represented because you want to be seen as a person who is inclusive. If this occurs, it may likely be seen as the opposite, that you are pandering to a specific group just to obtain a “non-racist card” as it were.

The problem that exists in screenwriting is that people are sometimes oversensitive when it comes to characters and their race. Is it nice to have people who are diverse, of course it is, but as Mazin points out “It doesn’t really matter” (August and Mazin 2017). This is not a Social Justice Course. It’s screenwriting and filmmaking. Let’s stop with the extreme politics and just write and make movies without the fear of being called a racist. It’s not always about race. It’s mostly about character and characters.


Work Cited

August, John, and Craig Mazin. “Scriptnotes: 292 – Question Time.” Audio blog post. Scriptnotes. N.p., 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

How Wang Jianlin May Have Killed the Chinese Film Market… and How “Kong: Skull Island” Could Save Us All

On March 14th, 2017, Variety’s Gene Maddaus and Brent Lang reported on a massive mistake left by China’s richest individual, Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, who failed to pick up Dick Clark Productions (DCP) and faces trouble with Legendary Entertainment. Last fall, the Wanda Group agreed to pick up Dick Clark Productions, which syndicates the Golden Globes and the “Rockin’ New Years Eve” program was passed up last week for $1 billion, but after huge box office (BO) losses from Legendary, the deal was not struck (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

The stunning reversal is a major embarrassment for Wang and puts his conquest of Hollywood, once seemingly inevitable, in grave doubt. It also raises broader concerns about the future of Chinese investments in the U.S. entertainment business…(Maddaus and Lang 2017).

While some suggest that the DCP acquisition price was too high, others point to second thoughts on Wang’s part due to DCP not having full rights to the award shows, simply the rights to produce them – but close sources find the second theory to be ridiculous due to Wang hold a cocktail party with the Hollywood Foregin Press, suggesting Wang’s knowledge of HPFA’s rights to the Globes (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

The problem, according to these sources, is a change in government policy, as Maddaus and Lang state: “Foreign investment by Chinese firms soared to record heights in 2016, but in November the government began to tighten the reins…. under the new rules, the conglomerate could not move its domestic capital overseas” (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

Legendary Entertainment, which had been bought by Wang last year for a brow-raising #3.5 billion, has struggled with BO returns – recent failures “Warcraft” and “The Great Wall” have left Wang sort of funds, thus resulting in not enough money to purchase DCP (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

Despite all of this however, there is hope in “Kong: Skull Island”, which so far, has boasted a fantastic box office return, within the first week alone taking up half of the film’s budget. “The film debuted to $142.6 million worldwide last weekend, a hefty result save for its $185 million production budget. It will need to do well overseas in order to wind up in the black” (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

While once a non-risk box office return, with these recent troubles, China may have to be given up for companies looking to make an overseas profit; as media analyst Hal Vogel pointed out: “The game is going to get tougher to raise money, Hollywood may not want to find another source of financing, but the market conditions may be such that they have no choice” (Maddaus and Lang 2017).

Perhaps it is time then, to consider another market to appeal to, I hear that Japan and South Korea are promising.


Work Cited

Maddaus, Gene, and Brent Lang. “After Dick Clark Productions Deal Fails to Close, What’s Next for Dalian Wanda?” Variety. N.p., 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. <http://variety.com/2017/film/news/wanda-dick-clark-productions-deal-failure-hollywood-1202007964/&gt;.

Michael de Luca Interview: Oscars Producer on the Best Picture Mistake

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017,  in an exclusive interview, Kim Masters of The Business spoke with Michael de Luca who produced “The Social Network” (Fincher 2010), “Moneyball” (Miller 2011), and “Captain Phillips” (Greengrass 2013), and worked with Jennifer Todd to produce the 89th Academy Awards which took place of February 26th, 2017.

Despite the mistakes made at the ceremony, Michael de Luca described the experience of the producing the ceremony as something that he would likely do again (Masters and de Luca 2017). When asked about what had happened with the Best Picture mistake, de Luca spoke of the moment and the feelings he had going through his head:

“…it was kind of like the Hinderburg report, I heard ‘oh my god, oh my god, he got the wrong envelope!’ and then it was slow motion, you perceive things slowly as your adrenaline rises and the cortisol floods your system and by then the course correction was in progress and I just kind of watched as everybody else has, the mistake was corrected” (Masters and de Luca 2017).

de Luca spoke of what should have happened at the ceremony, and notes that: “It’s one of those mistakes that everyone says ‘will never happen’… to tell you the truth, we didn’t in our wildest dreams think we had to have a conversation about what if the worst that could ever happen, happens, and even when someone brought up ‘what if this happens?’ everyone’s like, ‘don’t worry about it, there are protocols, it’s a foolproof system’. I think they said the same thing about the Titanic cornering on icebergs” (Masters and de Luca 2017).

The Oscars this year had historical moments and mistakes, but producer Michael de Luca seemed to be ecstatic about doing the show again next year. As for the Academy and the ties with the two accountants responsible for the Best Picture mistake, they are no longer working with the Academy but remain in their positions at  PricewaterhouseCooper.

Work Cited

“Oscars producer Michael De Luca on that fateful mistake.” Interview. Audio blog post. The Business. KCRW, 4 Mar. 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.

Consistent American Solidarity: Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins Interview with Variety

The 89th Academy Awards, which occurred on February 26th, 2017, was full of historic moments – the youngest director in eighty years won the Best Director award and the first LGBT film won Best Picture (and the wrong film was called out for said award), among other moments. However, in a moment of national division with politics and social issues that are often so readily available as weapons of conversation these days, there was a small moment that occurred on March 1st, 2017 that hopefully has an impact and allows the Nation to have consistent solidarity.

On March 1st, 2017, Best Director winner Damien Chazelle of “La La Land” and director of the Best Picture winner Barry Jenkins of “Moonlight” sat down and had an interview that was covered by Variety‘s Kristopher Tapley.

The two directors spoke of the Best Picture mistake (which Variety also covered here), Chazelle noted: “Everything looked so energized, I at first thought there was some kind of prank going on” (Tapley 2017). While Berry Jenkins already prepared an acceptance speech but had to shelve it, until he had to quickly take it back out again: ” When we were sitting there, and that dream of winning didn’t come true, I took it off the table. But then I had to very quickly get back into that place. And my first thought was to get to the stage to give Jordan a hug as quickly as possible” (Tapley 2017). That hug perhaps, may mark the beginning of the end of racial tensions, at least, that is the hope of one who is of wishful thinking. Both gentlemen displayed class and solidarity when speaking about their films, and past work, with Jenkins talking with praise on Chazelle’s first film, ““Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” which Chazelle notes that Jenkins, “immediately accessed my heart” (Tapley 2017). Both men saw at each other’s films respectively at Telluride last year and both of them took something special from each:

Jenkins saw “La La Land” at a screening later at Telluride and immediately felt a touch of homesickness when he saw his downtown Los Angeles apartment building featured in the film’s opening sequence.

“I hadn’t been to L.A. in, like, two months at that point. I had been traveling overseas,” he says. “It made me feel nostalgic for L.A., which I have never felt.”

Chazelle, meanwhile, was floored by “Moonlight,” just like the rest of the festival audience. “You could feel it,” says Chazelle. “It was so beautiful” (Tapley 2017).

To describe the interaction in three words: beauty, grace, humility. Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle irradiated with all three without any effort. Hopefully, it can begin an era of Hollywood that sets an example for the American people. Let politics be glossed over to the important issues of bringing America together and then, maybe America can be great for everyone regardless of politics.


Work Cited

Tapley, Kristopher. “Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins on That Oscars Shocker: The Morning-After Interview.” Variety. N.p., 1 Mar. 2017. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.