22 January 2009

Medicine for Melancholy

Written & Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Full credits from IMDb

Writer-director Barry Jenkins’ “don’t call it Mumblecore!” debut examines the black hipster in a vanillafying San Francisco. Micah (Wyatt Cenac) and Jo’ (Tracey Heggins), of the city’s meager seven percent black population, have a one-night stand that reluctantly grows into a two-night affair. Lollygagging, à la Before Sunrise, through Frisco the Morning After, they wander (or bike) between apartments, museums, cafés, carousels and discothèques, usually chatting about gentrification and African-American identity. Too often that dialogue smacks of college-freshman outrage — “who gives a shit about what society thinks?” — and stale insight, though its identity-crisis concerns and sense of injustice are well-intentioned.

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