Childish Gambino dropped the video of the year right before he debuted his new song on Saturday Night Live last week. ‘This is America,’ a jarring but somehow catchy blend of gospel and trap, is a good song but a fantastic short film, one that has blown up the internet to the tune of 50 million views as of this writing.
Tackling gun violence, police brutality, Jim Crow, social media, black culture and a hundred other things, this is the video that launched a thousand think pieces, and I can’t pretend to be qualified to come up with one of my own. I’d rather let the video speak for itself.
Next up in my 2017 film recap is a group of films I’m labelling ‘Awards Contenders.’ These movies are either winning or at least in the conversation for the various critics prizes, Golden Globes, SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA, Oscars and you get the idea.
Studios often hold these award-bait movies until the very end of the year, so I still have quite a few to catch up on, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Steven Spielberg’s The Post, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name.
Donald Glover is a TV god, as his stint on Community and auteurship of Atlanta make clear.
I find Childish Gambino more of a mixed bag. I adored his first full-length album, Camp, but couldn’t get through his second, Because the Internet. I like what I’ve heard of “Awaken, My Love!” so far and need to check it out in full.
A few years back, people started arguing about whether television had surpassed feature films in quality. I’ll offer that the debate is over and TV won in a knockout.
While most year-end movie lists circle around the same batch of films, you’ll find TV lists that don’t overlap at all. I can name a dozen TV shows I’ve never seen that have shown up at or near the top of critics’ year-end lists, along with a dozen more I watch regularly.
This early track by Childish Gambino is the reason Rap Genius was invented. Check out the annotation of these lyrics on that website to fully appreciate all of the double and triple meanings Donald Glover is stacking up here.
In terms of music, beat and delivery this track isn’t much to write home about but I love his ability to turn a phrase.
WordPress provides a pretty slick metrics platform considering it’s a free service.
I can tell that between 80-100 people look at my blog every day (and I thought it was just five family members!) and those visitors look at an average of just under two pages per visit. Interestingly, about half of those visits come from countries other than the United States.
I’m not big in Japan, but I’m pretty popular in the UK.
Next up in this week’s summer catch-up are some thoughts on the 2012 Emmy nominations.
I’ve chosen a track from Childish Gambino’s 2011 album Camp as my accompaniment because Gambino is the alter ego of actor Donald Glover, an actor on NBC’s Community, one of the shows I believe was wrongly shut out of the major nominations.