The Documentary Is Called ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’ — but Is He Really?

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Effectively, it looks as if the oldsters within the movie trade actually need to make us all cry about older males who’re dropping their recollections. Between the trailers for Supernova and The Father, we have been already bawling, however now add the documentary Dick Johnson Is Useless to the record and we’re positive to be an absolute mess.

Is Dick Johnson nonetheless alive?

Sure, the documentary is named Dick Johnson Is Useless, however Dick Johnson additionally seems within the trailer for it, so he’s clearly alive (or no less than was whereas filming the documentary). Should you’re not conversant in the premise of the movie, we’ll begin with a quick synopsis.

Award-winning filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has determined to make a documentary in contrast to something you’ve in all probability ever seen earlier than. It’s all about her dad, Dick Johnson. Dick is a retired medical psychiatrist who has dementia. All through the documentary, Kirsten phases imaginative and fantastical situations wherein her dad might die — and her dad performs alongside and acts in them. “She kills me. A number of occasions,” Dick says within the movie’s trailer. And, yeah. That just about sums it up.

The movie acts as an exploration of life, dying, humor, and our capacity to generally course of all of this stuff with the assistance of instruments we entry by movie itself. It’s a mix of truth and fiction and, in the end, a love letter from a daughter to her dad. And sure, it’s going to make you cry. Lots.

OK. So. It appears bizarre to incorporate a spoiler alert about somebody’s precise, actual life, however when there’s a movie surrounding the very thought of their dying … nicely, it looks as if the factor we ought to do. So that is that. If you wish to know whether or not Dick Johnson continues to be — at this very minute — alive, maintain studying. Should you’d slightly discover out by watching an exquisite and unhappy and touching documentary, cease studying and watch Dick Johnson Is Useless on Netflix (it’s streaming there now).

On the finish of the movie, audiences see Dick’s funeral. It’s a staged funeral as a result of Dick was nonetheless alive whereas it was filmed, however the feelings we see on the display screen are very a lot actual. The staged funeral gives Dick’s mates (in addition to Kirsten herself) a strategy to mourn a person who’s technically nonetheless alive, although who’s slowly disappearing earlier than their eyes.

Supply: Netflix

Kirsten’s authentic plan was to movie two funerals for the documentary. “I assumed that the funeral we had filmed can be the primary funeral, after which we’d movie his actual funeral when he actually died,” she instructed EW. “However as quickly as we had finished that funeral, I used to be like, ‘Oh, that is finished, that is actual, and they’re mourning him.'” Finally, Kirsten determined to incorporate solely the staged funeral within the movie.

On the time of this writing, Dick Johnson continues to be alive, although his household made the very tough determination to maneuver him right into a dementia care facility. However as exhausting because it has been for Kirsten and her household, she says that her dad is doing OK, contemplating. “Dad’s loving it there, and he is taking part within the rollout of the movie by way of Zoom. So it is a lot the identical. He’s himself regardless of the obstacles of this second in time, I’d say.”

Hopefully that satisfies your curiosity about Dick’s present state, however actually, it’s best to simply go forward and watch the movie. It’s an hour and a half lengthy, and it is streaming on Netflix now.

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About the author


Derek is the great gaming geek for longer than he cares to admit and love everything about the gaming world. He is connected with tech work from the last five years and always loves to learn and writer new about the current technology. You can mail him @ derek@rexweyler.com.

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