Short Film: Jodie Mack’s Lilly
Images of memory dance across the screen in Jodie Mack‘s experimental animated short film Lilly. Snapshot negatives, in both strip form and pinwheel form like they used to do way back when, flit across the screen until finally letting us get close enough to make out some of the images. But, does the story told on the soundtrack match up to what we’re seeing?
People take snapshots with their home cameras to have a tangible memory of the past. But, of what are we taking all these pictures? We take the pictures of the times we want to remember: The good times, the happy times, the momentous times, the remarkable times.
An un-Photoshopped picture may not tell a lie, but they never end up telling the whole story. Lilly, the elderly woman whom we can take as the narrator of this film, tells a pretty sad tale about a WWII tragedy she had to endure. Yet, its clear from the negatives we can glimpse that that event was not recorded on film. Snapshots of tragedy are usually taken by a stranger to the events.
The negatives we see, which we can assume are owned by Lilly, are of casual events and, as she remarks verbally, “You have to remember the good times.” To any viewer of the film, the events caught on film may seem innocuous or even banal — we all have these same snapshots in our family albums just with the people in our own lives. Yet, to Lilly these are a source of immeasurable joy, the happy events to remember in abundance; and the un-photographed tragedy to be remembered in scarcity.