Tuesday, April 26, 2022

For I Am Dead

In the late 19th century, a wealthy bachelor reflects on his barren emotional life while immersed in all the luxuries a man can buy. Courtesans, a maid and a gardener are at his beck and call well into the evening, and the mansion around him is stunning, but Oscar has never fulfilled his deepest desires. His feelings are repressed not just by him, but by others, because his secret passions run for Jude—the gardener—and same sex relationships are strictly verboten.  

Director Patricia Delso Lucas, who is based in Brussels, ignites these sentiments into a slow burn throughout For I Am Dead. Candlelight flickers in a vast room, cascading flames and light into an otherwise dim environment and bringing the facial expressions of everyone into haunting relief. Smoke from nearby fires drifts and rises. There is a looming, gothic sense of death here, as Oscar is both spiritually dead and physically dying. To mitigate the situation, he must confess his love right now. Then Jude enters the scene as the devil or an angel or both, beckoning, as if from the other side. 

So much is opaque and out of grasp, yet clearly felt, in this searing short film from Europe. You can watch the trailer here: For I Am Dead Trailer