Short Film: Run the Jewels/A.G. Rojas Collaboration, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F*ck)”
A.G. Rojas, who two years ago we put in our 25 New Faces list, directs this provocative video from Run the Jewels depicting a prolonged, punch-drunk, balletic street fight between a cop (Shea Whigham) and a young black man (Keith Stanfield). Without dialogue, and just through the subtleties of their choreographed movement, the piece moves away from realism and towards a theatrical space, adding new levels of complex meaning to the track’s outraged aggression. If you start watching, then make sure to watch until the end.
Explaining the clip, Rojas said: “When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country.
“It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity.”
Killer Mike of Run The Jewels added: “This video represents the futile and exhausting existence of a purgatory-like law enforcement system. There is no neat solution at the end because there is no neat solution in the real world. However, there is an opportunity for dialogue and to change the way communities are policed in (the USA).”