Magic for Beginners

Jesse McLean

2010 | 00:21:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Found Footage, Image Processing, Media Analysis, Television, Youth/Childhood

Magic for Beginners examines the mythologies found in fan culture, from longing to obsession to psychic connections. The need for such connections (whether real or imaginary) as well as the need for an emotional release that only fantasy can deliver is explored.

"Out of the blue, I bought my first television. I kept the TV on all the time."

— Andy Warhol

"Jesse McLean’s 20-minute video Magic for Beginners is an intermittently gripping, psychedelic montage revolving around childhood obsessions with Leonardo DiCaprio and the video game Tron."

— Ken Johnson, "Magic for Beginners", New York Times, August 11th, 2011

Pricing Information

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Prizes + Awards

1st Prize, Three Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburgh, Shorts Competition, 2010

Overkill Award, presented annually to a film or video artist whose work approaches extremes of incorrigibility, Images Film Festival, Toronto, 2011

Transmediale Festival, 2011


Venice Film Festival

Exhibitions + Festivals

Anthology Film Archives, Show & Tell, New York, NY, 2013

SAW Media Art Center, Red/White/Blue: New American Fringe Film and Video - 'Emotional Rescue: The Videos of Jesse McLean,' July 14, 2012

Antimatter Film Festival, 2011

Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2011

Dallas Videofest, 2011

Images Festival of Independent Film and Video, 2011

Venice Film Festival, 2010