Dick Johnson Is Dead

  • 14 Nov - 20 Nov, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson has made a career of observing the world around her and capturing it for us to absorb in all its beauty, chaos, turmoil and tranquility. Her work as a director is short, but it impressively encapsulated her years of framing moments through a lens. With Dick Johnson is Dead, Johnson focuses on life closer to home as her father is diagnosed with dementia. In a testament to their close bond, Dick plays along when Kirsten proposes that staging his death in various unexpected ways would be a good way to prepare everyone who loves him for his eventual departure. Far too often, documentaries become stodgy, lifeless things; as they recount a subject or a life or a moment in history, the talking heads and archival footage parading across the screen with dreadful predictability. It's safe to say that Dick Johnson is Dead is very much not that kind of documentary. With her refined and well-earned understanding of shaping a story through images, Johnson's filmmaking isn't afraid to mix media and perspectives. As Johnson explores what it will mean to lose the father she's so incredibly close to, it's impossible not to think about the important people in our own lives, their stories and the precious time we have left with them.