Jess + Moss

Institute History


In this beautiful creation evoking haunting qualities of memory and mystery, two iconic figures—Jess, an adolescent girl, and Moss, a younger boy—seem to occupy the center of a slowly unfolding narrative. They languish in a rural home and the farmlands nearby, play-act scenes of domesticity, and chat about whatever comes into their heads (age, death, sex.) However, emotionally charged moments replace sustained dramatic action as our understanding (and fascination) develops by accretion, observing interactions both tender and violent.
Director Clay Jeter delicately imposes a complex assemblage of ways of looking and listening; planes of focus, select pieces of music, and expert sound engineering call attention to cryptic, but suggestive, details as interludes displaying natural phenomena (leaves, rainfall, even microorganisms) underline the children’s role as agents of nature’s power. The film creates a world whose mundane elements swell to bursting and demonstrates the power of cinema to turn the inside out.

— Shannon Kelley

Screening Details

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