Starting this Friday, May 1st, In A Dream will be playing at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It’s run continues at the Ritz At the Bourse in Philadelphia as well and the Zagars will be doing a Q&A at the 7:20pm showing on Saturday, May 2nd. Go see it.
An now, an excerpt from a recent review of the film from Reverse Shot:
By his own admission, Zagar the Elder’s project is one of turning “the city of Philadelphia, PA, USA, into a labyrinthine mosaic museum that incorporates all my varied knowledge and skills,” and he does so through an astonishing collage of paint, tile, mirrors, language, color, portraiture, abstraction, architecture, and bricolage. Zagar’s work is autobiography writ large onto buildings owned, rented, or inhabited by him and his wife Julia in their home city. And throughout In a Dream, we watch the artist at work—it is one of the great films about artistic process, both physical and psychical—constructing his massive, varicolored maze, which partly documents his life: the sexual abuse he suffered as a boy, his institutionalization, his love for his wife, the birth of his sons, and beyond. It is a life story to be read and decoded from broad strokes of color, thick swatches of plaster and intricate pixel-patterns of ceramic and glass.
In its own way, too, Jeremiah Zagar’s film is a grand gesture, an exercise in epic biography that explodes the intimate details of Isaiah’s life and its effects on his family onto the screen. But unlike so many recent documentaries about artists and their work, or indeed so many recent documentaries about families and their perhaps inadvertent dysfunction, Jeremiah brings to his subject the kind of loving skepticism that seemingly only a son could have. To be sure, he documents and follows his father’s work, holding a mirror to his process of artmaking and self-mythologization, echoing his father’s fascination with “giganticness” with bold animations of Isaiah’s work, cinematography in nearly every format imaginable, and an intricate sense of montage, which recalls nothing less than the mosaic, maze-like complexity of Roeg’s Don’t Look Now.