One of our greatest fears about growing older is becoming irrelevant. There’s this belief that our best days came during our youth, and as we get older, we grasp tightly to the past with a death grip. This is the theme behind director Shu Zhu’s short film, Moth.
Christine (Jeanie Lim) is an Asian-American actress, who is about to commit Hollywood’s worst sin…aging. Moth opens with Christine’s acting chops on full display during an audition in front of a casting director. Her performance is excellent, they say, but then again, this is Hollywood.
Christine works tirelessly to prolong her career. It helps that her new movie, Blue Mistress, is having a red-carpet event that night. At the very least, it should help her branding. From the red-carpet to auditions, the pursuit of the next role is taking its toll on Christine and her family. She is deteriorating inside, and only she is the one who doesn’t see it.
“She is deteriorating inside, and only she is the one who doesn’t see it.”
Written by director Zhu and co-writer G. Wilson, the 17-minute short film does many things right. First, it gets directly to the point, showing us just enough of the consequences of Christine’s career and personal choices to know she’s slowly heading in the wrong direction. Jeanie Lim’s performance subtly shows Christine’s life in decline without going over the top and naturally leads to her final moment of weakness.
Second, Zhu shows us Christine’s struggles. The keyword is “show.” There’s no explanation, no exposition, no one rambling on about feelings. Zhu tells his story all in moving pictures. It’s all communicated in Lim’s performance and aided by each location from the audition room to her ex-husband’s home to the after-hours nightclub. It’s efficient, tight, and effective.
I don’t want to say anything about the last moments of Moth, but the fantasy ending works as the final punctuation to Christine’s story.
"…is about to commit Hollywood’s worst sin…aging."