Part of SFFILM at the Drive-In
Medicine for Melancholy
Preceded by pre-recorded introduction by director Barry Jenkins!
After hooking up at a party, Jo (Tracey Heggins) considers her alcohol-fueled one-night stand with Micah (Wyatt Cenac) history, but he is eager to explore the possibility of a deeper connection. Their intimacy grows, along with an air of pensive reflection as each challenges the other’s assumptions, core beliefs, and sense of identity. Gorgeously shot in muted tones on the streets of San Francisco, through neighborhoods ranging from the tony Marina to the gritty Tenderloin, Barry Jenkins’ (Moonlight) debut feature begins as a bittersweet, erotic romance between near strangers and evolves into a complex tale with wider implications. The couple’s visit to the Museum of the African Diaspora becomes richly ironic, especially for Micah, who is only too aware of the ongoing African American exodus from the city. As they wander around town, their conversation encompasses the personal and political, touching on issues of race, class, assimilation, and gentrification that seems exceedingly relevant 12 years later.
“[T]his brief interlude between two strangers without much in common—at least not so much as Micah would like to think—is mostly a breezy affair whose looseness has a rather French feel. That’s underlined by James Laxton’s handsome photography (color muted to near-B&W), some offbeat editing gambits, a soundtrack full of interestingly off-kilter indie pop, and the nicely chosen nonstandard San Francisco locations that capture some of the city’s flavor as residents experience it.” –Dennis Harvey, Variety
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Director Barry Jenkins
Producer Justin Barber
Writer Barry Jenkins
Editor Nat Sanders
Cinematographer James Laxton
Music Mondo Boys
Cast Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins
Print Source IFC