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Tall Enough and The Short Films of Barry Jenkins

In an article by Esther Robinson in our upcoming Summer issue, Barry Jenkins speaks to the delicate work-work balance incurred by many a filmmaker — that is to say, what he does to financially support his filmmaking career, and how that job tends to detract from passion projects. Jenkins is fortunate enough that his particular day job, as ringleader of the production company Strike Anywhere, allows him to regularly create content, even if of the branded and not feature-length variety.

Over at Fandor, resident video essayist Kevin Lee takes a look at Strike Anywhere’s catalogue, and the work Jenkins has produced in the six years since Medicine for MelancholyA Young CoupleOne ShotChlorophyll and Remigration all figure, but my favorite is the prologue to Tall Enough, a 2009 short about a biracial couple, made for Bloomingdale’s of all places.

The layering of the sound design and visual textures within the first minute are as striking as anything you’d find in Jenkins’ longer form work, and perhaps all the more effective due to their concentration. Somewhat uniquely, it’s advertising that’s associative in its characterization of a product. There are no lingering shots of closets, creaseless clothes or beauty products: Jenkins is selling a brand through two people, and moreover, their humanity.

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