Watch ‘Moonlight’ Director and Self-Respecting Cinephile Barry Jenkins Pillage the Criterion Closet

     February 1, 2017


If you had the opportunity to take home as many Criterion Collection DVDs as you wanted, what would you do? Well, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is here to show you how to do it right. Jenkins is in the midst of an early career high, landed countless critical awards and 8 Oscar nominations for Moonlight, but raiding the Criterion closet has got to be one of the best perks yet… and I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Moonlight gets a Criterion release of its own.

Every once in a while, Criterion invites filmmakers to their Closet of Cinema to discuss the films therein and take home some titles of their choosing. In the past, Edgar Wright, Nicholas Winding Refn, and Mike Leigh have all had their go, even Charlotte Rampling gave it a turn with Andrew Haig.


Image via A24

As for his picks, Jenkins calls John Cassavetes‘ Five Films collection “foundational” for empathy, both in the films themselves and for what the actors are going through. “There’s a film school in this box set.” Jenkins points out Mathieu Kassovitz‘s La Haine as the film that was the film to watch when he was in film school. He also singles out Lynne Ramsay‘s Ratcatcher as the first Criterion he ever owned, saying he used filmmaking techniques he learned about from an interview on that DVD in Moonlight — in particular, mixing nonprofessional actors into the cast.

“I definitely should not take any more,” he said, in awe of his haul. “My grandma would be pissed right now.” You do you, Barry, because for those of us who live vicariously through these closet raids, you just delivered the goods. Watch Jenkins hoard DVDs and celebrate cinema below.

Here’s Criterion’s final tally of Jenkins’ score:

Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander

Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy

Andrew Haigh’s Weekend

John Cassavetes: Five Films

Krzysztof Kie?lowski’s Dekalog

Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine

Joel Coen’s Blood Simple

Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl

Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding

Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher

David Gordon Green’s George Washington

Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon

The Essential Jacques Demy

The Complete Jacques Tati

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