Why Barry Jenkins Makes You Look in His ‘Beale Street’ Characters’ Eyes

  • The Wrap
Why Barry Jenkins Makes You Look in His ‘Beale Street’ Characters’ Eyes
Barry Jenkins wants to get personal. In his latest film, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the Oscar-winning director uses close-ups so the audience can stare directly into the eyes of his characters. By looking at the characters at their most vulnerable, the viewer can’t deny them their humanity. Audiences can begin to understand their emotion. Their pain. Their loss.

“Every now and then, if you have to look someone in the eye, you sit up,” Jenkins told TheWrap’s Steve Pond on Friday at a screening of “Beale Street,” Jenkins’ follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Moonlight.”

Adapted from the best-selling James Baldwin book of the same name, “If Beale Street Could Talk” follows the journey of a young Harlem couple in the ’70s with a perilous future. Stephan James plays sculptor Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt, a man thrown in jail after being put in a police lineup for a rape he didn’t commit.
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