For I Am Dead

Synopsis:

In late-1800s Europe, Oscar, a wealthy but lonely middle-aged man who has lived a decadent, extravagant life in a chateau filled with wine, courtesans and opium, confesses love to his gardener Jude before he dies of his excesses.


Our Review:

Patricia Delso Lucas has undertaken an arduous task in her attempt to portray story about unrequited love, self-acceptance and the limits of a sane mind. Oscar is burdened with the task of unfolding from centuries of social conditioning, oppression and ignorance associated with identity crisis. The performances are commendable, in particular Oscar and his mother. The dynamic between their characters felt authentic. This film plays with reality and death in such a unique way.


Director Biography - Patricia Delso Lucas

Patricia Delso Lucas is an independent screenwriter, film director and cinematographer who earned her MFA in Film Directing at the Skillset Screen Academy in Scotland. She was born in Madrid, Spain and is currently based in Brussels, Belgium. Her graduation work was nominated for the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award in 2010. Then, she participated in various international workshops focused on directing narrative films at NYU, at Sundance Shorts Lab, at Cineuropa.org, at the Prague Film School, at London Film School and at the Maine Media Workshops. She also studied cinematography at the Global Cinematography Institute in Los Angeles. Her work ranges from narrative drama to dark comedy to audiovisual poems and documentaries. The stories she feels drawn to writing and directing are heavily character-driven, and the audiovisual world she builds around them often has a thin line between the real and the surreal.


Director Statement

“A period piece, 18 minutes. A dark, surreal drama. A story about unrequited love, self-acceptance and the limits of the sane mind.” With the script of For I Am Dead, I wanted to show the personal and social struggle to accept the nature of who an individual is, when his/her desires or choices do not correspond to the majority. In this particular case, Oscar is fighting with his repressed homosexuality, but this is just one of many possible incarnations portraying this dilemma. I chose to set the story at this moment in time, the late 1800s, with the intention to accentuate the fact that these kinds of questions, although they have progressed, are still relevant today. Will belonging to a minority ultimately end in tragedy? This story can be extended to any situation of identity repression: Oscar being a victim of a time, an ideology, of himself; Jude being the response to him, in the form of love or hate. Seen through the eyes of Oscar, the character of Jude embraces a duality between the kind and respectful young man he really is and the devil, the grotesque deformation Oscar projects onto him as a result of his tortured soul. The unusual use of sound in the film, going in and out of sync at times - as well as a few jump cuts - emphasize Jude's duality and highlight Oscar's loss of sanity, as he is no longer able to tell what's real and unreal. Despite his wealth and status, Oscar was never able to buy people’s minds, not even his own. What I want to show with this film is what happens inside of a person when they are brutally denied the freedom to choose who they are, the right to define how they want to live. In this story, Oscar finds relief from his anguish the moment he confesses his love to Jude, but he is rejected and the price he pays is death. In any case and despite the consequences, this permission to be yourself should start from within. -Patricia Delso Lucas


Credits


  • Patricia Delso Lucas Director The Burial, Like a Sunflower in July, The Scream of the Grouper, Perdóname, Lola

  • Patricia Delso Lucas Writer The Moon Is Falling, Like a Sunflower in July, The Scream of the Grouper, Perdóname, Lola

  • Patricia Delso Lucas Producer The Burial, Just to Call You Dad, Perdóname, Lola

  • Al Nazemian Producer Ode to Passion, Bourek, Park 51

  • Al Nazemian Key Cast "Oscar (+ voiceover narration)" Damages, Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods, House of Cards, Limitless, Billlions, Teknolust, Zenith, A Walk Among the Tombstones

  • Riggsby Lane Key Cast "Jude" Snow Kissed, In the Name of Prudence, Creature in the Woods

  • Madeleine Fletcher Key Cast "Maid" Professor T, L’Opéra, Before We Die

  • Laura Lahera Key Cast "Mother " Baraki

  • Eszter Popp Key Cast "Courtesan " The Chapel, The Scream of the Grouper, L'assureur

  • Indira Garcia Key Cast "Courtesan " Ce soir, on mange froid

  • Dominika Podczaska Cinematography Pauza, U pisci a mari, National Geographic

  • Tom Bourgeois Original Score Enfants des Pierres, Après l’usine, Créatures, Echoes

  • Patricia Delso Lucas Production Design & Art Direction

  • David Ferral Sound Design

  • Miguel Peñaranda Olmeda Costume Design


Specifications

  • Project Type: Short

  • Runtime: 18 minutes 19 seconds

  • Completion Date: November 5, 2021

  • Production Budget: 20,000 EUR

  • Country of Origin: Belgium

  • Country of Filming: Belgium

  • Language: English

  • Shooting Format: Digital (Arri Alexa)

  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: No

  • Student Project: No



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