Clapping for the Wrong Reasons is a short film Donald Glover wrote and executive produced. That’s about all we’ve got — we don’t know why it exists, what the context is, who the mysterious woman played by a porn star is, or why that’s the title. And yet it’s stunningly watchable, somber and visually luscious in equal portions. It plays like we’d imagine a laid-back day in the life of Childish Gambino to be, but the music-lessness hints that this might be more of a one-off passion project than a promo for the rap career.
Some highlights: Donald Glover’s humongous fridge, one half full only of San Pellegrino; Donald jumping into a lagoon-like pool with his phone in his pocket and no cares in his heart; Donald hearing out Danielle Fishel’s dreams while she picks lemons (head to the 12:30 mark); Donald showering sadly (18:30); Donald having a campfire heart-to-heart; Chance the Rapper and Trinidad Jame$ playing Connect Four. Gambino and Community fans might not find much trace of the things they already dig about Glover, but anyone who feels like watching a muted, mysterious 25-minute movie will likely be mesmerized, possibly confused, and definitely grossed at the part where the blood shows up. For all its opacity, Clapping is a short film that feels whole. (And it was shot on actual film, so, cool.)