BLACK VOICES
12/15/2018 08:18 pm ET

Barry Jenkins Is Speechless Over Video Blending 'Beale Street' Score With 1898 Film

The 1898 film, "Something Good - Negro Kiss," is believed to have the earliest depiction of black intimacy on-screen.

Barry Jenkins said he was at a loss for words after someone combined the score from his new film “If Beale Street Could Talk” with a newly uncovered silent 1898 film that celebrated black intimacy on-screen. 

“Something Good – Negro Kiss” was selected to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress earlier this week. The less than 30-second clip, featuring actors Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown, was recently brought to light by University of Southern California archivist Dino Everett and University of Chicago professor Allyson Nadia Field. The film was produced by Selig Polyscope Company, according to the Library. 

It is believed to be the earliest depiction of black intimacy on-screen, the Library stated. 

On Thursday, Twitter user and attorney Kyle A.B., shared a video combining the score from “Beale Street” with the 1898 film. The creation touched the hearts of many on social media, including the likes of Jenkins, Viola Davis and Nicholas Britell, who produced the score for “Beale Street.”

“A friend texted this to me,” the “Beale Street” director wrote on Twitter. “I... Words fail me.”

Britell also praised the creation.

″I cannot even begin to express how profoundly humbling this is,” he tweeted. 

Kyle A.B. told HuffPost via Twitter that he believes the two films, “Beale Street” and “Something Good,” have a “mirror relationship.”

″‘Good’ represents the earliest, cinematic depiction of African-American love and ‘Beale Street’ represents the latest,” he said. 

“By connecting ‘Beale Street’s’ score to ‘Something Good,’ I tried to build a bridge back in time, to a point 120 years ago, to show that black love has always been prestigious and beautiful,” he continued. 

Seeing Jenkins, his favorite director, so moved by his creation felt “amazing,” Kyle A.B. added. He also praised Britell for composing “one of the best scores in the history of cinema.” 

Everett told his students at USC that “Something Good” was “one of the most important films” he’s come across, according to the University of Chicago News website. 

“It is really striking to me, as a historian who works on race and cinema, to think that this kind of artifact could have existed in 1898,” Field said according to the university. “It’s really a remarkable artifact and discovery.”

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