Byron Shah

Animal Love (2011, Mollie Jones)

Animal Love is a future story. Selma Blair and Jeremy Davies meet through an anonymous hookup service–writer-director Jones implies most of the ground situation, with ads standing in for an explanation of the service. He’s allergic to animals, she’s a pet owner. Complications ensue.

The short runs about fifteen minutes without credits but feels much faster because, once it gets going, one doesn’t want it to end. As a director, Jones has these wonderfully moving shots. It’s quiet and calm as the camera adjusts itself on its subject, like the viewer is going too fast and needs to calm down.

As a writer, Jones writes this beautiful sparse dialogue. She’s got great actors. The film’s unimaginable without Blair and Davies. His panic and unsureness, her boldness–Jones gives Blair a couple great acting moments.

It’s an excellent little film. Great music, wondrous photography from Byron Shah.

Jones’s awesome.

3/3Highly Recommended


Written and directed by Mollie Jones; director of photography, Byron Shah; edited by David Greenspan; production designer, David Magid; produced by Jones and Matthew I. Goldberg.

Starring Selma Blair (Sorrel) and Jeremy Davies (Paul).

Debutante (1998, Mollie Jones)

Debutante isn’t perfect. There’s some awesome sound design, but director (and editor) Jones pushes it a little to carry over into other scenes. It works a little bit, but not always.

So it isn’t perfect.

Otherwise, it’s probably perfect.

Selma Blair plays the protagonist, who probably has the least lines in the short. She’s got a bad set of parents and runs off to a party. Maybe. The narrative’s a little fractured. One actually has to go on costume design to determine the chain of events.

The exact chronology doesn’t matter as much as Blair’s performance. She’s amazing, even when silent, and Jones’s direction. Debutante is a beautifully made little film. Jones turns up the volume and still manages to be subtly profound. I think it’s a student film, which is even more impressive.

Great photography from Byron Shah, nice supporting turns from Theresa Tilly and Josh Hartnett.

It’s fantastic.

3/3Highly Recommended


Written, produced, edited and directed by Mollie Jones; director of photography, Byron Shah; edited by Halina Siwolop.

Starring Selma Blair (Nan), Meghann Haldeman (Carla), Josh Hartnett (Bill), Theresa Tilly (Mother) and Steve Tom (Father).

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