Spike Jonze has still not announced any new feature filmmaking efforts since the release of his Oscar winner “Her” in 2013, so fans will just have to settle for this surprise two-minute short film at the moment. Jonze released his new short, “The New Normal,” earlier this week in partnership with the cannabis company MedMen. The short finds Jonze advocating for marijuana legalization by retelling American history through the progression of cannabis in the country.
Per the synopsis from MedMen: “The commercial chronicles society’s evolving perceptions of the plant, from pre-prohibition to the modern industry of today. While looking back through America’s history, from George Washington’s hemp farm, to Reefer Madness propaganda, ‘The New Normal’ takes the audience on a journey through the injustices of the past and a hopeful view for the future.”
Jonze had some impressive collaborators on the film, including Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (“Selma,” “Arrival”). “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams has a brief cameo in the film, while production designer James Chinlund (“The Lion King”) was also on board.
In addition to the commercial, MedMen announced that Jonze is creating a short documentary with filmmaker Molly Schiot that was shot on set and “explores the themes of the short film in more detail.” Jonze and the crew consulted with an inclusive group of cannabis users prior to the making of the short, including veterans who have found cannabis as a way to treat themselves, former law enforcement, formerly incarcerated drug offenders, and young entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
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Watch Jonze’s “The New Normal” in the video below.