Winner of Best Short Film Award at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival, FILM(dzama) rekindles the lost form of surrealist cinema made popular in the 1920’s by Dali/Bunel and Man Ray. Motivated by the sheer magic, humor and disobedience of visual artist Marcel Dzama’s work, Deco Dawson has created a stunningly original, entirely fictional biography of the artist.
After completing his first four FILM(s) in a series, Dawson set out to incorporate everything he had learned and developed from the earlier work and put it into FILM(dzama). Recognizable consistencies include:
the same opening FILM titlecard
a unique 1920’s style of cinematography
A finely tuned editing style of jump cuts and montage editing
the “peephole” theme
Repeated theme of a Doppelganger self.
The use of vaseline and iris cut outs on the lens.
The central repetitious action, in this case drawing,
(previously knitting, polishing, knot tying and mining)
The script was originally written for Marcel Dzama to play the part of “Marcel Dzama” however the part eventually went to Marcel’s father Maurice after scheduling difficulties arose.
The Film won the Best Short Film award at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival, and the Most Technically Innovative Film Award at the 2002 Ann Arbor Film Festival.
The costumes in the film were based on artwork by Marcel Dzama but were designed and expertly built by fellow Royal Art Lodge Members Drue Langlois, Myles Langlois and Jenny o. The costumes have appeared surprisingly in many Marcel Dzama magazine photoshoots since.
FILM(dzama) has screened in hundreds of film festivals worldwide since being released in 2001.
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF COPYWRITTEN MATERIAL
In the fall of 2008 it came to my attention that artist Marcel Dzama had been using a great deal of footage from my 2001 movie FILM(dzama) without permission or credit in a film/installation of his entitled The Lotus Eaters. From all accounts, the Lotus Eaters (19min) uses anywhere in the vicinity of 90% of footage from FILM(dzama), a 23minute film.
My lawyer sent Mr. Dzama a letter to Cease and Desist any future exhibitions of the work containing copywritten material. A secondary clause was added permitting the use of the film by Mr. Dzama, IF it were returned to its original edit, title, music and credits. Upon not receiving any objecting response after 30 days the Cease and Desist was considered in effect.
In March 2010 it was revealed to me that the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art was exhibiting “the Lotus Eaters” as part of a major exhibition on Marcel Dzama. After speaking with my lawyer a Cease and Desist was issued to the Museum, suggesting the Museum verify the claim and check the copy of FILM(dzama) they presently hold in their library archive. That afternoon, “The Lotus Eaters” was immediately pulled from the exhibition.
Please check here for a link to FILM(dzama) and The Lotus Eaters comparisons, incoming newspaper articles and the original press release concerning the issue.