The Film Comment Podcast: Kirsten Johnson on Dick Johnson Is Dead
This week we have been recording at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, talking about the highlights in its film lineup. One of the most anticipated movies there was the new film from Kirsten Johnson. Johnson’s first feature was the incredible Cameraperson, assembled partly from images she shot while working as a cinematographer on other films. Her new feature is called Dick Johnson Is Dead, and it’s innovative in a different way. It’s a portrait of her father and her relationship with him as he faces the challenges of growing old. But part of how Johnson expresses this coping process is through staged scenes, sometimes showing her father in heaven, sometimes having imaginary accidents. The result brings us closer to both the filmmaker and her father and to the inevitable horizon of mortality. At Sundance, after the film’s premiere, Film Comment Assistant Editor Devika Girish sat down with Johnson for a fascinating discussion of Dick Johnson Is Dead.