CAAMFest 2013: Dead Dad

Dead Dad (“The pefect goodbye doesn’t exist.”), directed by (as well as co-written by)  Ken Adachi, was another film that I saw a DVD screener for after CAAMFest was over – one of many films I would have liked to have seen with a live studio audience. The film is about a:

“… three adult children reunited by their father’s unexpected death, and the slow, faltering steps they take to become a family again. Tall and calm but a bit off the beat, drummer Russell Sawtelle (Kyle Arrington) stayed near home to care for his ailing father, and now must organize his funeral. Having left town years ago, his more organized adopted brother Alex (Lucas K. Peterson) and even-more-scattered little sister Jane (Jenni Melear) return for the ceremonies, and soon the threesome are back in childhood mode, goofing off and laughing, then fighting over what to do next. Meanwhile, their father’s ashes still wait in the living room, in a cookie jar converted into a half-assed urn.”

Without going into my own personal details at all, I have to say that I could relate to the storyline on many different levels. Dead Dad was very well written with great dialogue. I thought all the characters were very believable, where the actors portraying the siblings articulated and expressed very real and raw feelings of loss and the complicated feelings towards each other and their recently passed father. Added to that the background music and score along with the overall terrific production value for an independent film, I enjoyed the film quite a bit.  From a review on IMDB, I was surprised that the film was made on shoestring budget of $25,000 (then again, the story does take place in modern day Los Angeles). This was Adachi‘s first full feature length film that he directed, and with this success, I hope to see more films from him in the future.


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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