Barry Jenkins Recalls How Best Picture Snafu Was Even More Dramatic in Miami

A cosmic, almost unbelievable broadcast interruption

Moonlight director guests on NYT's Still Processing podcast.
Headshot of Richard Horgan

It will be a while before New York Times podcast Still Processing has a better-matched guest. Because this week, culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham welcomed Barry Jenkins, who is still processing the worst Best Picture presentation of all time.

We’re now exactly two months past that briefest of Feb. 26 moments when La La Land towered in Hollywood as the best of 2016. Coincidentally, the Damien Chazelle musical is out today on DVD and Blu-ray. During the podcast, the Moonlight writer-director starts by touching on video footage of an Oscars-watch party held at Miami’s African Heritage Cultural Arts Center:

“For whatever reason, they said ‘La La Land!’ and the [Cultural Center] feed cut out. Because they were projecting a screen, outdoors, in the projects. The feed cut out!”

“And you see people get up, and they’re just going about their way, because the thought is, ‘Of course. That’s the way the world is. They teased us. We thought we got all this far, to the mountaintop, but there’s no way we’re actually going to get to the top of the mountain.'”

“And then the feed cuts back in, and it’s just the card–Moonlight. People go nuts. It’s frozen on the card Moonlight. And then it goes black…”

This is the first major interview Jenkins has done since the immediate aftermath of the Academy Awards. He confirms, verbatim, that he is indeed “still processing.” He also has a funny answer when Morris presses a bit further and asks Jenkins to describe exactly what he did in those immediate first few moments after La La Land was announced as Best Picture.

Previously on Fishbowl:
Bob Dylan Perfectly Punctuates Moonlight-La La Land Best Picture Snafu

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.