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The Miami-made film Moonlight (2016) won Academy Awards as best picture and best screenplay. Moonlight was also produced independently by an African American filmmaker who grew up in the housing projects in Liberty City, based on a play written by a playwright who grew up in the same projects about a young gay man coming of age in the same environment. The film was shot on digital cameras, and you will most likely be watching it streaming digitally.

This week, write at least 3 paragraphs (250-500 words) analyzing Singin’ in the Rain, addressing PLOT, FORM, and CULTURE.

PLOT: The classic Hollywood plot opens with an equilibrium, then there is disruption of that equilibrium, and at the end of the film there is a new equilibrium. Identify the equilibrium/disruption/new equilibrium in Moonlight.

FORM: Discuss the technical and artistic achievements of Moonlight in one or two key scenes. Good candidates might be the scene where Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches young Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert) to swim or where teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders) meets up with Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) on the beach —  or your favorite scene. But choose one or two scenes and go into depth about how the shot composition, shot type, camera movement, editing, lighting and other technical aspects create the mood or express the emotion of the scene. Refer back to chapter 3 in the textbook and the videos from the first module for a refresher.

CULTURE: Discuss how Moonlight both reflected and shaped attitudes about young urban men in the United States. How does the film support or subvert stereotypes about black masculinity? How does this film differ in the kind of story it tells from earlier Hollywood film?

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