Past Film/Video | Contemporary Screen | Classics | Series & Festivals


(Barry Jenkins, 2016) 

Preceded by Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, 1989) 
Introduced by Marcus Morris, artist and Cinéseries cofounder

A composite image of two stills from Moonlight and Looking for Langston.

Our Tender Masculinity series begins with two acclaimed films about the intersections of intimacy, queerness, race, and manhood.

Barry Jenkins’s award-winning coming-of-age tale Moonlight follows Chiron, a sensitive gay Black youth navigating homophobia and violence in Miami. With sensual cinematography and powerful performances, the film reveals many of the damaging effects patriarchy and social expectations have on men themselves. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s deft screenplay exposes the wounds Chiron accumulates during his childhood and adolescence as well as the work required to move beyond them, making space for true tenderness and vulnerability. Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes give standout performances as Chiron, alongside André Holland, Janelle Monáe, and Mahershala Ali. The film’s accolades include Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Ali. (111 mins., DCP)

Made during the height of the AIDS epidemic, Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston is a dreamy black-and-white meditation on the queer Black experience, with Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance of the early 20th century serving as iconic touchstones. The film channels Hughes and his artistic and social milieu, adding the voice of James Baldwin and the poetry of Essex Hemphill to create links to the contemporary moment. This lush collage unveils the pain of being silenced and ostracized for who you are while tenderly displaying love between Black men. Julien is a past Wexner Center Artist Residency Award recipient, visiting the center in 1996. (45 mins., DCP) 

See the complete Tender Masculinity lineup.

Left to right: Moonlight, courtesy of A24; Looking for Langston, courtesy of Strand Releasing.

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"As much a marvel of observation as of ideas, of substance as of style, of intimacy as of reserve."
Richard Brody, the New Yorker, on Moonlight

About the speaker

Marcus Morris chevron-down chevron-up

Marcus Morris is a multidisciplinary artist and image maker whose work centers queerness and performance. He is a founder and co-organizer of Cinéseries, an experimental film program led by Ohio State graduate students that shows monthly at the Wexner Center for the Arts. In addition, he is developing a project focused on his Black queer Appalachian identity called Elegance Is Refusal.

National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Humanities

Rohauer Collection Foundation

Ohio Department of Development
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ohio Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Nancy Kramer
Ohio State Energy Partners
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection
Larry and Donna James
Bruce and Joy Soll
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Film/Video