Fifth about The Seventh

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Dick Johnson Is Dead: what a concept this is. While some parts of Kirsten Johnson’s documentary can be borderline cringe-inducing, the whole is dominated by a sincere and touching love letter to the eponymous man. The father-daughter relationship is so caring, so wholesome, that one can see why they would want to record some of his late years; even if spending time together was the only reason to make this film, it was worth it. Editor Nels Bangerter mixes candid moments of father and daughter together and conversations with friends and acquaintances with some staged sequences (as well as “making-of” images of those); the first set works quite well, the second is more hit-and-miss. Mr. Johnson was game for all the staged death sequences (in fact, he is one of the sweetest characters to grace a screen in a long time), and the process of having those made is interesting to watch, the black humour of those feel disconnected with the rest.

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