Recently I was asked if the wildly lauded and multi-Oscar nominated film 'Moonlight' reminded me of my first film 'Blueprint.' With a ton of trepidation, I responded, "Yes."
Both 'Moonlight' and 'Blueprint' share and explore certain and similar narratives, aesthetic and imagery. However, 'Moonlight' director, Barry Jenkins, original text writer, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and I share very different experiences warehoused in familiar human vessels. At our most visual, we are African American. We are men. At our creative core, we have been reared, cultivated, educated, slain, and rendered invisible and uniquely marginalized, if our achievements are off of the sports grids. With this, it makes my, and maybe Barry's and Tarell's' storytelling and view of our shared world very special and quite nuanced.
As a filmmaker, 'Blueprint, was deliberately inspired by two (2) things. The first was the lack of images which unfolded my particular life scenario; and, secondly, Marlon Riggs' 'Tongues Untied', Kai Wai Wong's 'Happy Together,' Jenny Livingston's 'Paris Is Burning' and Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing.' I intepret, output and share with the world via my art, language and expression based on all of my days before today, all the way down to the shores of my ancestors' original departure.
So as I cheer on the filmmakers of 'Moonlght' from Director to Grip, I know 'Blueprint' is apart of the DNA and path into the Oscar spotlight and gold standard.