Kirsten Dunst stars in "Aspirational," filmmaker Matthew Frost's latest wry commentary on the nature of celebrity in the connected age.
The two-and-a-half-minute clip, produced by Iconoclast for Vs. Magazine, finds Dunst accosted by a pair of teenage girls who hop out of their car upon recognizing the actress and start taking selfies with her. Dunst gives a spot-on deadpan performance. She tries to chat with her admirers and invites them to ask questions, but they're only interested in having her tag the pictures so they can enhance their own Internet "fame."
"'Aspirational' is when you reach out toward something not attainable quite yet but that could be maybe in the near future," Frost tells AllDayEveryDay. "It's not really related to the actual film necessarily, but you could say that the two girls are aspiring to be the most popular they can be through social media. It's more about what they can take from her that interests them the most: her celebrity and documenting themselves next to it gets them closer to their goal."
The film amplifies themes Frost has previously explored, notably in last year's "Scripted Content," one of several shorts he made for Vogue with actresses who appeared on the magazine's cover. In that film, a fan texts with a friend as he debates whether to surreptitiously snap a picture of Jessica Chastain, who's sitting next to him on a park bench.
"Aspirational" takes the same basic premise a step further. Here, the fans don't care a whit about respecting Dunst's privacy, and just snagging an image won't do. They believe that by sharing the smartphone screen with a movie star, even if it's just in a selfie, their own stock will rise.
Near the end of the clip, we're treated to an exchange that brings our preoccupation with notoriery (perceived or otherwise) into sharp focus. "I've got, like, 15 likes," one girl brags, and her pal breathlessly replies, "We're going to get so many random followers that we don't even know!"