Director's Cut of Donald Glover's short film 'Clapping For The Wrong Reasons' short film (24 min.)
Last night, Donald Glover released his short film, Clapping For The Wrong Reasons, of which he teased last week to my personal intrigue, amongst many others'. I unfortunately haven't found the time between then and now to sit with the film just yet, but I really want to give it its proper attention being a big fan of all of Glover's work on TV, as a writer, and of course as Childish Gambino. I'll update this when I do, however.
The short film has a variety of castmates including Danielle Fishel (best known as 90s crush Topanga from Boy Meets World), Flying Lotus, Trinidad James, Chicago's own Chance The Rapper, and porn star Abella Anderson. Emphasis on variety. As a supplement to the short film, check out this hilarious run-down, which Glover co-signed on Twitter, juxtaposing the pool party Glover throws in Clapping For The Wrong Reasons to the pool party Nelly throws in the 2004 video "My Place".
I got a chance to sit down with the short film today and first off... yes! I loved it. It reminded me of a Wes Anderson movie with of course a Childish Gambino twist. The way it was shot (one still camera with people walking in and out of the frame), the serious tone, the dry humor at times — it was all great. All the while, I was looking to figure out what was going on and maintaining patience that I would know by the very end.
My conclusion: Glover was portraying an exaggerated day in the life, having made it, hanging out with famous friends, and making music — but seemingly lost without a purpose for much of it. The day was more about finding about himself and the struggles of doing that. The title of Clapping For The Wrong Reasons could have multiple layers like his success and money not finding him true happiness and a commentary on society, juxtaposing themes like hard work vs. laziness and meaningless sex vs. deep conversations. It's almost as if Glover is a personification of those, bouncing from one side to the other throughout the film. The recursive ending (stay tuned through the end credits) gives the film an added perspective as well: it depicted one day, and then ending how it began indicates that the next day is quite the same, as I interpret that as Glover being caught in this abyss of happiness and emptiness. It's certainly a head-scratcher and there are some dark and open-ended scenes that are ambiguous enough for the viewer to draw their own conclusions. What's yours?
- "Then he's probably in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere." is how I'm going to respond to anyone who asks me where so and so is
- Chance The Rapper vs. Trinidad James in Connect 4 is right up there with Beyonce vs. Kanye. Fantastic!
- This verse that Gambino spits alongside Flying Lotus is pretty awesome. Would be an experience to hear this on a record down the line... I'll end on this...
Mouth to a Pellegrino, bottle color of envy, who the fuck is Gambino, I hand a waitress a benji to act like she never met me. I'm saying though, they want the game changed when your shit on the radio. Fruit was so hanging low, I didn't even bother, she tryna lad Obama's, she learned from her mama.
I don't blame her, I tame her, give her something to visualize
On my couch watching DVR'd "American Dad".
Man those new Celine bags are so to die for
I'm in that Porsche on Prozac, them suicide doors
Watch her walk as the death becomes her, cause Mrs. Tarantino kill bills, no wonder.
My heaven is the present, so maybe this is it.
Pray to God every night to make me believe he exists.
Drink a fifth of vodka, I don't need no sponsor,
heard a preacher holler, make him hold these souls.