Girl To Know: Julia Ling Kelleher

Girl to know: Julia Ling Kelleher // DNAMAG

Photo credit: @jolsondiaz

Written by Alexandria Yip

Julia Ling Kelleher creates unique vlog-type videos and short creative films while incorporating animations into her projects. Nostalgia and flashbacks manifest themselves into Kelleher’s work, and there is an obvious sixties-style influence behind her vision of the world. Short films titled “Dear Diary” and “Jason asks Julia to the Semi-formal” demonstrate the truly intimate perception Kelleher puts into her films. Although they are often quite short- one or two minutes, the filmmaker fully captures what she needs to say in this brief period of time lost in the lens that is Julia’s daydream.

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Kelleher’s persona makes for an intriguing character and sets the premise for the tone throughout her work. She embodies a consistent personality in each in her films- playful, youthful, and slightly melancholy. The music for Kelleher’s short films are always soft piano ballads that contribute to her character. Even the dreamy, lo-fi style of cinematography her work is marked by reflects a part of Julia’s psyche.

photo credit: @westonjamespalmer

Kelleher self-stars in her videos and narrates them as if she is reading her diary. Clips of her dancing, brushing her teeth, and cuddling with her snail named Charles are some scenes you get a glimpse of while watching her films. A few of her works are done in more of a vlog style- namely “Rachel Cobb & Julia Ling & NYC” and “My 17th Year”; but even these have an artistic flair that cannot be mistaken for any other Youtuber’s day-in-the-life video. The filmmaker includes playful doodles throughout the videos and uses a scrawled cursive to subtitle the films to enhance them to be even more diary-like. 

Not only is Kelleher exclusive to making vlogs; she also directs more abstract concept videos that are motif based and feature unconventional items that are aesthetic and open to interpretation. “Baby Don’t Cry” involves a sullen Julia sipping on a mystical pink elixir and swaying to Helen Shapiro’s jazzy song ou Don’t Kno. One of Kelleher’s more expressive films is “GONE”, which opens with a moody Julia on the couch opening up the blinds to see a new day just as the film cuts to a shot of Julia dancing outside. “GONE” is possibly a subtle nod to depression with it’s underlying symbolism.

Aside from her self-starred role in her films, a glance at Kelleher’s uniquely styled “About” page on her website tells much about her- she is playful, creative, and unafraid to express her intimate, artistic vision.


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