The steady evolution of Donald Glover’s career–from 30 Rock writer to stand-up comic to Community co-star to rapper Childish Gambino to captain of a Louis CK-like ship as writer/producer/star of his own forthcoming FX series, Atlanta–has been fun to watch. And amidst his high-profile projects (like last month’s Because The Internet, his second album as his rap alter-ego Childish Gambino), the one-man-media-empire has also been teaching himself how to direct.
Glover/Gambino had released his first short earlier this year, a longer, more nebulous effort called Clapping For The Wrong Reasons that was an extension of the 72-page screenplay he created as a companion to the album. The latest of his creative endeavors is a new short film, Chicken and Futility, which stars Glover as “The Kid” and two other actors (“Steve” and “Swank”) as “themselves.” The trio spend three minutes in a living room playing Xbox and musing about the things that really matter–namely, whether it’s okay to eat at Chick-Fil-A and why moths are so sad. It’s a funny, oddly poignant slice-of-life that fills out its three-minute runtime perfectly. There’s not a lot of substance here, but it lands its jokes effectively and then gets out, which is a good look for a short film. Details about his Atlanta series are still vague, (“I don’t really know what it is, I just know it’s going to be personal,” he told Vibe last year), but if this is an example of Glover’s personal vision, it’s pretty unique and funny.