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"a poetic first feature"

        –Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

"gorgeously lush cinematography"   

        –Michael Dunaway, Paste Magazine

"a bracing jolt from the usual film experience"

        –Kirk Honneycut, The Hollywood Reporter

"a portrait of the freshness and vulnerability of youth"

        –David D'Arcy, Screen Daily

"this art cinema gem...conveys a magical place's timeless quality"

        –Robert Koehler, Variety

"a ghost of a story whispering its way through a sumptuous canvas"

        –Kim Voynar, Movie City News

"a perfect matching of visual artistry and groovy storytelling"

        –Marc Smirnoff, The Oxford American

"a mosaic of pieces that combine to form a quietly shattering whole"

        –Shane Danielsen, Indiewire

“Lazy days of a Southern summer seeped in kudzu collide with two young people's awareness of a disintegrated family in Clay Jeter's impressionist film

Jeter cinematically conveys the feeling of remembrances of times past while situating his young people in a present that celebrates summer

Will Basanta's and Jeter's lovingly rendered Super 16 cinematography plays a crucial role in conveying this magical place's timeless quality

Mark Stoeckinger's sound work is astonishing”

–Robert Koehler

“A rare experimental film that doesn't blow up in the lab.

Jeter has thought deeply about how best to convey the themes he wishes to express here -- themes about memory, longing and the power of the quotidian on a hot summer's day

Jess + Moss represents a bracing jolt from the usual film experience while at the same time lacking the pretension that accompanies so many experimental films.”

–Kirk Honeycutt

But my favorite (at Berlinale) was a tiny, almost handmade American indie, Clay Jeter's "Jess + Moss," which earned some good notices out of Sundance, and deserved every one of them.

Shot on about thirty different 16mm film stocks - some as much as a quarter-century old - the result managed to transcend mere gimmickry, becoming instead a mosaic of pieces that combined to form a quietly shattering whole

A dreamlike, impressionistic study of two kids...it gradually took on darker shades, as their relationship became more complex and ambiguous - a technique mirrored in the film's fractured visual style, its shrewd deployment of imagery against a meticulously detailed soundtrack.

By the end, tears were rolling down my cheeks, and my throat was dry. There was another film afterwards, but I didn't want to see it. How could it compare? I chose to end this year's Berlinale on a high note, engaged rather than indifferent, hopeful.

–Shane Danielsen

“a portrait of the freshness and the vulnerability of youth. The visual magic of Jess + Moss could give it a second life in museums

Bravura cinematography transforms the meandering tale of everyday boredom into a vivid collage of childhood and nature in Jess + Moss with Sarah Hagan resembling a young Brooke Shields or Paulina Porizkova... one of the lessons of Jess + Moss is that beauty is hard to resist.”

–David D'Arcy

“a strange and intoxicating indie”

“Jeter creates an elemental, post-apocalyptic aura throughout that feels uniquely his own

Lynchian vibes flow throughout Jess + Moss”

“A beguilingly languid collection of sense impressions

achingly sad and surpassingly lovely”

“a mesmerizing look into the loneliness and beauty of youth.”

“a beloved yet achingly painful memory”


“Sarah Hagan is intense and beautiful as Jess, while Austin Vickers fills Moss with a childlike charm and genuine heart”

“incredibly striking visual imagery”

“Jess + Moss is a heartfelt film full of stunning imagery and endearing performances”

“concerns the ineffable, mysterious power of memory itself

an experimental tone poem of a feature, which moves to the dreamy, meandering rhythm of summertime itself

wonderfully assembled by editor/producer Isaac Hagy

Like an unearthed lunchbox stuffed with trinkets and photographs, Jess + Moss is a tiny backyard treasure”