Essays · Movies

Short Film: Donald Glover Shows Off Communal Paradise in ‘Clapping For the Wrong Reasons’

By  · Published on August 16th, 2013

Why Watch? For the second day in a row we feature a Community star’s short film output. Yesterday it was Gillian Jacobs going dark, and today it’s Donald Glover being incredibly chill. Both are fascinating because of their style and content, but they’re also interesting in light of the kind of short work that the show’s actors were putting out just a few years ago.

Directed by Hiro Murai (the man behind music videos like Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”) and written by Glover, this airy short spends downtime with the actor (presumably as a fictionalized (or real?) version of his Childish Gambino alter-ego) as he floats through an expensive estate populated by other artists and happy hangers-on.

Filled with everyday moments that seem slightly odd, bits of in-progress rap and a few heart-to-heart stories, it’s a plotless narrative that feels like the pleasant version of the abyss staring back. It’s maybe mysterious, maybe philosophical, maybe referencing J.D. Salinger with its title, but it doesn’t really hang its hat on anything enough to be tagged for pretentiousness. There’s also – save for an unknown girl that shows up on the scene and a single moment of intense old school symbolism – no real conflict to speak of. It’s a gorgeous movie featuring a rare look into the calm zoo of creative wealth.

What Will It Cost? About 23 minutes.

A New Short Film Every Week Day

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.