love transcends all in marcus strickland’s “on my mind” short film
June 5, 2020
“We were all born into love, and of love, on a world formed of love … ” These are the words of Greg Tate that open up the remix of jazz saxophonist and Blue Note Records signee Marcus Strickland’s “On My Mind.” And in this moment of upheaval, when we are in search of spiritual sustenance to heal us and fuel us in the fight for justice and liberation, the song and the short film that accompanies it are right on time.
Directed and produced by Jennifer Galvin and Petra Richterová, and edited by Roberto García, the film gives us images of Black men who are whole, in love, in meditation, in fellowship, and in motion. Featuring the aforementioned Tate, Philly soul man Bilal, elite MC Pharoahe Monch, drummer E.J. Strickland, bassist Ben Williams, Marcus Strickland, and master dancer Storyboard P, the poetic imagery of these men is a palette cleansing depiction of living Black men in powerful contrast to the omnipresent imagery of violence against us.
The cinematography is striking and the music is soothing, enveloping, and comforting but what stirs the soul in this visual is the choreography of Storyboard P. Throughout, he defies space and perception making his presence seem almost otherworldly. But it’s when we get a tight shot of his face toward the end of the film that we see a man known for conveying ideas and expressing emotion with the contortions of his limbs begin to do the same with just his facial expressions. His description of himself as a “visual recording artist” is qualified here, his movements and expressions testament to love’s transcendence. Watching this 7-minute opus it is clear; love is the message.
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