The concept for Closet Picks is simple: visiting actors or filmmakers (or Marxist cultural critics) are taken to the tightly packed closet where the esteemed home video label Criterion keeps its extra Blu-rays and DVDs, and allowed to take whatever they want. The latest to run loose in this cinephile candy store is Barry Jenkins, whose film Moonlight (one of The A.V. Club’s favorites of 2016) was just nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay noms for Jenkins himself. The video was shot this past November, while Jenkins was visiting the label’s New York office to record a video about Wong Kar-Wai (which we also recommend checking out), and he seems to have helped himself to a suitcase worth of movies.
As with the other videos in the series, most of the fun comes from watching an artist nerd out about their favorite films. There are no shockers here: Jenkins likes his realism home-grown and poetic, and he takes some time to talk about the DVDs of Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and David Gordon Green’s George Washington. There’s no on-screen text to identify the films he plucks off the shelves, but we spotted, among others, Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (which he hopes to get autographed), Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s 10-part Dekalog, Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, and the classic John Cassavetes: Five Films box set, among many others.