On the 2014 Images Festival in Toronto & Jesse McLean’s Just Like Us – These Girls on Film

On the 2014 Images Festival in Toronto & Jesse McLean’s Just Like Us

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These Girls On Film is quite excited to cover the 2014 Images Festival! We are dedicated to presenting the world to new perspectives on experimental, avant-gard, conceptual, and independent cinema. As a part of that, the Images Festival is a huge event, one that’s been a tradition for 27 years. In fact, it is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent moving image culture.

The point is: the question continues to be, “What is film? What constitutes film?” and we would like to continue that conversation by exposing a few of our favourites from this festival

Throughout the week of April 13-19th, we’ll be writing up a few films that have provoked us. The first one is a short by Jesse McLean called Just Like Us. It is part of the Remodeled Beyond Recognition shorts program:

JUST LIKE US by Jesse McLean

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write up by Jennifer Valencia

Just Like Us (2013) is an absorbing meditation on the mundane aspects of everyday life. While an unseen narrator provides personal anecdotes Jesse McLean juxtaposes familiar landscapes of parking lots and big box stores along side shots of celebrities going about their everyday lives in these spaces. The images of the celebrities are shown in such a way that they are reduced to ordinary people no more famous than you or I. The narrator says things like “They pick up supplies”, ‘They get caught in the rain”, and my favorite “They scream for ice cream”. The reality is that they do these things and yes they are like us in a way and this film studies but the piece is not necessarily about the idea of celebrities and their tangibility as regular people. That is a part of it but it is also about how the banality of certain aspects of all our lives are more than we think and this connects us all in a a very real way. The personal anecdotes the narrator provide are about these everyday spaces. The narrator shares intimate stories and observations about the Target parking lot or the BestBuy showing the viewer that these places are more than they appear. They are the places where the houses we grew up in once stood or the parking lots we once had a memorable moment in. The truth of the matter is that we are all the same, human beings, and we won’t always be young and beautiful nor will the celebrities. These mundane places where tedious aspects of our routine take place connect us and remind us of that.

Jesse_PicJesse McLean is a media artist whose research is motivated by a deep curiosity about human behavior and relationships, and is concerned with both the power and the failure of the mediated experience to bring people together. She has presented her work at museums, galleries, and film festivals worldwide.” More info: https://jessemclean.com/