Learn:1st World Problems is a satire exploring the narcissistic world of the creative industries, in this case fashion, uncovering not only the duplicitous traits needed to succeed but also the internal pressure to stay relevant. A slightly older Creative Director overhears her younger more edgy colleagues dismiss her new collection and her. In an impassioned push for creativity, originality and recognition the Director designs a new piece of work which will eventually be her downfall.
Originating as a music video for Canadian artist Kroy, director Jonathan Desbiens, known as Jodeb, takes Learn on a straighter narrative path than his previous music short film hybrids (Still in the Cage featuring music from Skrillex). He shows a deft hand at using music to inject energy and emotion while effectively holding it back to allow the dialogue to shine.
Another balance Jodeb strikes is in placing the film’s sympathy. The title suggests a contemptuous perspective of these characters, yet Jodeb explains his desire is to reveal the ‘absurdity’ of people obsessing over irrelevant problems with an understanding of ‘how pathetic, but profoundly human the quest for recognition and respect can sometimes become.’
The purely young female cast and the context of the fashion industry explores this quest through a specifically female and millennial perspective. Shot on 4:3 the film echoes the cool hipster polaroid photos flooding Instagram and the use of graphic subtitles in colloquial language (‘she is just too basic’) feels like a snapchat filter or a YouTube lyric video. The chic outfits and white minimalist warehouse reflects a cool world where real relationships are replaced by the struggle for success. With only a limited number of spaces for woman at the top of almost any industry this dog-eat-dog world behind conceited smiles strikes a pertinent tone.
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CAST: Karine Vanasse, Rose-Marie Perreault, Catherine Saindon, Aude Mathieu, Brontë Poiré-Prest, Lydia Wener
DIRECTOR: Jodeb (Jonathan Desbiens)
SYNOPSIS: A satirical short about a fashion Director whose quest for recognition takes a dark turn.