Death of the Critic

Sunday Candy: A Short Film - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich


I’m a huge fan of
Chance the Rapper. His mixtape Acid Rap will always hold a special place in my heart. So last year when he announced his project with The Social Experiment, I was a little bit excited, to say the least. And then this song came out, and something just clicked. “Sunday Candy” is just delightful to listen to. Chance’s voice blazes through a feel good song with a wonderful backup from the talented Social Experiment.

When the music video came out I was even more blown away. I don’t watch a lot of music videos, but even then this one stuck out to me. First of all, the song itself is amazing, which we already knew, but everything else, from the sets, to the costumes, to the choreography, to the cinematography leaves this as a very special experience for the viewer.

The video opens with a shot of a spotlight on a curtain, highlighting “Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment”. As the curtain pulls back we see Donnie himself, smiling at the camera as he wiggles his bowtie goofily, dressed in a red striped shirt and an apron. He’s a worker in a shop, and the set behind him reveals a woman working behind a counter while three men sit at a table -- which is actually two benches next to a wall with a table painted on it.

These goofy and lighthearted touches fit in with the themes of the song as the opening notes play and we see Chance appear on set, popping out from behind a low wall as he starts to dreamily dance and stagger his way across stage. It’s a performance, to say the least, as the camera follows his every movement. It’s well choreographed while at the same time feeling natural and evolutionary, like it was unplanned.


The reason for this is that the entire video is shot to appear as if it is just a single shot, a la
Birdman. This gives a sense of flow and naturalness to the video that normally does not exist within the medium, and as he moves through the evolving set, the lack of cuts adds a sense of whimsy to the transition. They are acknowledged by not being acknowledged, and noticing that they are happening only helps to build up the sense of wonder within the song.

What’s even more impressive is that sometimes you can hear his voice ring out over the music. He’s singing along, not just letting the track play over the performance and that’s awesome as the set constantly shifts behind him. The camera always focuses on the young man as he moves, and the changes in the background just feel like a part of the whole spectacle of the show. Just like scene changes in theater they are going on constantly, but here your attention can’t help but be drawn to the shifting of the scene.

Social Experiment doesn’t call this a music video. They call it a short film. And I think it’s a great way to talk about it. From the way in which the costumes are changing and the sets are changing to the way in which the others interact with Chance as he moves through the set. It gives a sense of a fully realized performance. It isn’t a story, it is an experience, like something you might see in an independent theater.

And that’s really goddamn cool.

This title was reviewed before the inception of our current review system and as such is not scored. We still stand by the content of our old reviews.

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Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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