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    Museum of Fine Arts Boston

    July 1st, 2009

    In A Dream screens five times from July 3rd to the 12th

    In A Dream opens this Friday, July 3rd at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We began this film while going to school in the area—Emerson College & Boston University—so it is exciting to finally show the film in town.

    The full screening schedule is below:
    Friday, July 3rd, 8pm (director, producer & subjects in attendence)
    Sunday, July 5th, 2pm
    Thursday, July 9th, 12:30pm
    Saturday, July 11th, 12pm
    Sunday, July 12th, 10:15am

    Buy tickets and then RSVP on Facebook.

    Gerald Peary’s Boston Phoenix review is out today.

    For seven years, Jeremiah Zagar has had the camera rolling as his hippie parents keep their symbiotic marriage afloat — though Isaiah, his fragile painter dad, teeters on the edge of lunacy. Julia, the doting wife, stands by while Isaiah, a bearded, red-eyed Old Testament prophet, sublimates his semi-madness into obsessive art.

    He’s pledged to transform South Philadelphia, the cheese-steak capital, into a mosaic-covered palace. So far, he’s rehabbed seven eroding buildings; they’re now, every inch, a bejeweled, broken-mirror mosaic land, basement to attic. Tourists go wild!

    All of this is weird but harmless, but then a house-wrecking young thing enters the picture. Zagar, the brave son, keeps filming as his bold, visionary dad turns out to have feet of clay. There are lots of filmmakers out there making documentaries about their parents. In a Dream is one of the most unusual, and most probing and honest.

    The reviewer is a filmmaker himself. Below is his trailer for For The Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Chicago Review

    June 29th, 2009

    A review from the Sun-Times by Bill Stamets:

    “In a Dream” is filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar’s documentary portrait of his father. Although the father scatters allusions to his muses and demons in his artworks, the son composes this poetic biopic with more legible through-lines about his passions. “In a Dream” reveals that Jeremiah inherited Isaiah’s aesthetic of delicacy. Both artists delight in small illuminating details.

    Instead of dwelling on his father’s career as an outsider artist, Zagar delivers an insider look into a past that includes boyhood sexual encounters with a fisherman, a suicide attempt and a stint in a mental hospital. Meanwhile, during the film’s six-year shoot, Zagar’s older brother goes into rehab. When their father reveals his infidelity, their mother kicks him out. “In a Dream” turns into a chronicle of a creative family in crisis.

    The film is still playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center. There are three days left! Go see it.

    Seattle, WA + AMC Film Critic

    June 11th, 2009

    Picture 2

    In A Dream opens tomorrow at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, WA. It plays all week and you can purchase tickets right here.

    The film was also reviewed today by Norm Schrager from AMC Film Critic. An excerpt:

    Like any incisive documentary filmmaker, Jeremiah is able to record the difficult and extract the unexpected. It’s a skill tougher than it seems, and keeps both audience and subjects on their toes. During an early interview, Isaiah blurts out information about a suicide attempt from roughly 40 years earlier. When his son gently digs deeper, dad admits he didn’t expect such a grave fact would appear so early in the process.

    Zagar’s strong approach is coupled with that zinger of a visual style (including original animation, by the way), and some spooky music by a pair of innovative guys called The Books. The whole thing is an artistic celebration of sorts — with the emotional pain that can come with dedication, and maybe a little madness.

    Read the entire article.

    St. Louis, MO & Bryn Mawr, PA

    May 15th, 2009

    After an incredibly successful one-off show at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, In A Dream has been invited back for more screenings starting today.

    In A Dream also plays this weekend in St. Louis, MO as part of the Webster University Film Series. It screens tonight, Saturday & Sunday @ 8pm.

    Salt Lake City & Key West

    May 8th, 2009

    In A Dream opens today at the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida. It will play all week at both theaters.

    An excerpt from Sean P. Means review in the Salt Lake City Tribune:

    Jeremiah Zagar — who directed and co-edited the film, and shot much of the internal family footage — doesn’t shy away from the tougher questions about his father’s past, his parents’ relationship, and his mother’s willingness to bury her own dreams to support her husband’s unique vision. And, yet, his camera never feels intrusive or unwelcome, because Jeremiah’s presence makes the viewer a part of the family.

    As troubled as the Zagars’ family life is, the other marvel of “In a Dream” is how Jeremiah captures his father’s mosaics. Father and son have a lot in common; both of them take the small pieces of a chaotic life and turn them into something beautiful.

    Jeremiah and Executive Producer Geralyn White Dreyfous were interviewed by the paper. A brief excerpt:

    “You knew you were in the presence of somebody really original — and a discovery,” Dreyfous said.

    Dreyfous, executive director of the Salt Lake City Film Center, is bringing Jeremiah to Salt Lake City for tonight’s premiere — part of a 16-city tour of the film, before it debuts on HBO in August.

    Read the entire article.

    Extended in Santa Fe + Podcast

    May 6th, 2009


    In A Dream‘s run has been extended in Santa Fe at the Center for Contemporary Arts until Thursday, May 14th. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time to check it out.

    Mary-Charlotte from Santa Fe Radio Café interviewed Jeremiah Zagar last week and their conversation aired on Monday. You can hear the whole interview here. It’s a good one.

    Showtimes in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    April 29th, 2009
    In A Dream opens in Santa, Fe!

    In A Dream opens in Santa Fe!

    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.

    Read the rest.

    Los Angeles + New Dates (Updated!)

    April 25th, 2009
    Playing All Week in Los Angeles, CA

    Playing All Week in Los Angeles, CA

    We wanted to thank everyone who came out for opening night in LA yesterday. The film will be here all week, tell your friends.

    We also have a number of new cities where you can see the film to announce (including an engagement at the Ritz Showcase in New Jersey that started yesterday!).

    The latest theatrical schedule is as follows:

    Landmark Ritz at the Bourse
    Philadelphia, PA
    Starting Friday, April 17th
    Extended through May 7th

    The Roxie
    San Francisco, CA
    Starting Friday, April 17th
    Extended through April 30th

    Procrastinator Theatre
    Bozeman, MT
    Thurs, April 23rd – Tues, April 28th

    Laemmle Music Hall
    Los Angeles, CA
    Starting Friday, April 24th

    Showcase at the Ritz Center
    Voorhees, NJ
    Starting Friday, April 24th

    Center for Contemporary Arts
    Santa Fe, NM
    Starting Friday, May 1st

    County Theater
    Doylestown, PA
    Monday, May 4th @ 7pm

    Bryn Mawr Film Institue
    Bryn Mawr, PA
    Tuesday, May 5th @ 7:30pm

    Ambler Theater
    Ambler, PA
    Thursday, May 7th @ 7pm

    Tower Theatre
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Starting Friday, May 8th

    Tropic Cinema
    Key West, FL
    Starting Friday, May 8th

    Webster University
    St. Louis, MO
    Friday, May 15th – Sunday, May 17th

    Northwest Film Forum
    Seattle, WA
    Starting Friday, June 12th

    ACME Screening Room / Nickelodeon Nights
    Lambertville, NJ
    Saturday, June 13th

    Museum of Fine Arts
    Houston, TX
    Friday, June 19th – Sunday, June 21st

    Gene Siskel Film Center
    Chicago, IL
    Starting Friday, June 26th

    Northwest Film Center
    Portland, OR
    Saturday, June 27th – Sunday, June 28th

    In A Dream opens in LA

    April 22nd, 2009
    Opens Friday, April 24th at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles

    Starts Friday, April 24th in Los Angeles

    IN A DREAM opens this Friday, April 24th in Los Angeles, CA at the Laemmle Music Hall. Director Jeremiah Zagar will be there for Q&A’s after the 7:20pm screenings and an introduction to the 9:45pm screenings on Friday and Saturday. Same goes for the 5:10 & 7:20 screenings on Sunday, April 26th.

    Plus, due to popular demand and your support, the film has been held over for one more week (at least) in Philly & San Francisco!


    April 16th, 2009

    In A Dream opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse in Philadelphia. The Inquirer featured director Jeremiah Zagar on the cover of the Magazine section for a story by Steven Rea called Family Film.

    An excerpt:

    NEW YORK – When Jeremiah Zagar was a chubby, awkward kid (his description – he’s neither anymore), he and his father, Isaiah, marched from their house on South Street to the Ritz to watch Terry Gilliam’s eye-popping fabulist fantasy, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

    Afterward, Jeremiah insisted they stay and watch it again. And again.

    Two decades and innumerous movie marathons later, Zagar has applied that same obsessive passion to his own films. In a Dream, his documentary feature debut, opens tomorrow at the Ritz at the Bourse after spending a year on the festival circuit, nabbing prizes from San Francisco to Woodstock, N.Y., Austin, Texas, to Philadelphia. In August, it premieres on HBO.

    Read the the whole article. And now an excerpt from the Inquirer review, also by Steven Rea:

    Isaiah Zagar’s art is all over Philadelphia’s South Street corridor. And his restless spirit – and painful secrets – are all over In a Dream, a stunning, deeply personal documentary portrait by the muralist’s youngest son, Jeremiah Zagar.

    Mixing old home movies, wonderful animated sequences derived from Isaiah’s art, and scenes of Isaiah at work, of Julia in agony, and of their eldest son, Zeke, grappling with his own demons, In a Dream captures a family in a state of implosion.

    The Zagars’ lives are laid bare, in broken bits, like the ceramic Isaiah uses for his art. And they come together in In a Dream in a mosaic of sadness and beauty, rage and insight.

    Jeremiah and his folks were also interviewed yesterday by Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY’s Radiotimes. You can hear the whole interview here.