Medicine for Melancholy

LetterboxD review link

I caught up with Barry Jenkins debut film a few months after seeing Moonlight. Jenkins’ love of foreign films, especially films like Chungking Express, is both happily on display but also not overbearing in this film. The best example, in addition to the use of small, dingy, city apartments and the frenetic pace of city life, is the use of music. There are entire sequences in this film that are as affecting as any piece of literature I’ve read recently and all they contain are shots of dancing or biking around the city set to music.

Much like Ava Duvernay’s Middle of Nowhere, this early work by Jenkins, portends many later themes and patterns the director will perfect. The film, overall, is not nearly as heavy as Moonlight. But the basic building blocks for what made Moonlight so successful are all here.