24th Athens International Film Festival

Jess + Moss

In Clay Jeter’s debut, there’s nothing more than what’s on the title: moments of 18-year-old Jess with her 12-year-old cousin Moss, as they’re spending a leisurely summer in the Kentucky countryside, spending their idle days in derelict houses, deserted woods and vast fields. The recordings on an old cassette recorder serve as the narration, as the dialogue between the two extraordinary performers is rare, as well as sparse. We understand completely, however, the minor tensions created between them or the love brimming at certain moments. Jeter’s agitated camera treats the immobile objects and the restless leads as if they were material for a wonderfully retro photo album, but his auteur sensitivity invests this portrait with the vulnerable freshness of youth, instead of the soulless sensation of a photo collection. And if anyone thinks that this is too embellished to be true, it means they get what the poet was trying to say: sometimes, beauty is hard to resist.


Jess + Moss by NyxtesPremieras

Director: Clay Jeter

Screenwriter: Clay Jeter, Debra Jeter, Will Basanta, Isaac Hagy

DoP: Will Basanta, Clay Jeter

Editor: Isaac Hagy

Principal Cast: Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers

Country: USA

Year: 2011

Running Time: 82'

Language: English