Thursday, October 15, 2020

MOVIE WEEKEND: DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last weekend on Netflix Streaming I watched a documentary that I loved. Actually, we're talkin' LOVED! It's called Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020 PG-13).  I laughed and I cried over this chronicle by filmmaker Kirsten Johnson that celebrates the life of her beloved father, Dr. Dick Johnson, while she helps him––and probably helps herself at the same time––prepare for his death.

Dr. Johnson was a long-time Seattle psychiatrist until dementia forced him into retirement. He's also a widower: Kirsten's mother died from Alzheimer's Disease (and I swear to God the next time I hear someone say Altimer's . . . well, I don't know what I'll do). 

When it was no longer safe for him to live alone, Kirsten helped him move to New York City to live with her and her two children. But she also came up with an idea to ease her anxiety over losing him and to help him get used to the idea of dying: "Dad, what if we make a movie where we kill you over and over again until you really die? And he laughed."

Using a filmmaker's techniques, Kirsten comes up with inventive ways to "kill" her dad. With ineffable good humor, Dick Johnson plays along. He even suggests: "You can euthanize me."

I'd love to tell you everything that happens in this documentary, but then I'd be a party pooper. Instead, I recommend that you see it for yourself as soon as you can. 

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

27 comments:

  1. I will have to check this out, especially since Mom died not from Dementia, but it was part of her/ our lives.

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  2. I will have to check it out. Thank you.

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  3. Hadn't heard of this. Added it to my streaming list. I searched and counted--showed up in spot 87. I can't move anything in my list since 2020 started. Netflix and I are not the BFFs we used to be. :(

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  4. Oh thanks for the recommendation. It sounds exceptional. Isn’t it Old Timer’s that everyone says? And, yes, I hate that, too!

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    1. The original joke, as far as I know, was Old Timer's. But then it morphed into some people thinking it's Altimer's. When I worked in a nursing home, a lot of the staff members said Altimer's. Another one that drove me nuts is "prostrate cancer." Yes. Registered nurses said prostrate.

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  5. I do want to see this film since my mom had Vascular Dementia and I just realized how close we came to having the house burned down. I knew before but my hubby and I joked about it which is a coping mechanism. When I noticed her hair was burned and saw her desk with ashes everywhere and burnt paper in the sink, I was pissed that she fell asleep while smoking and the cigarette lit her hair which woke her up. At least she still knew what to do, at that point. She could have died when she kept walking even though her pants fell to the ground. My hubby said his eyes needed to be burned out if his head. Yes, I so agree about how people can not say Alzheimer’s

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    1. Birgit, I love seeing you, but are you not blogging anymore, or have I screwed up my reading list? I haven't seen anything by you in quite some time. And Rick Watson seems to have disappeared. He blogged every single day. That was quite a situation with your mom.

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    2. Sadly Rick Watson has died. Jilda is struggling without him.

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    3. OH NO! Thank you for telling me, EC. I've been very fond of him for a long time.

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    4. As I was. I loved his daily posts and miss him. And my heart aches for and with Jilda.

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    5. Oh no I am blogging! I am mainly doing my weekly movie theme but I have posted my card making although not as much as I wanted. Yes, Rick passed away and I am sorry you just learn about this now. I was In Shock. https://createdbybb.blogapot.ca.

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    6. Thank you, Birgit. You aren't in my reading list anymore. I don't know why, but I'll find a way to get you back.

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  6. I must say, this sounds intriguing! I'll have to see if our Canadian Netflix has it.

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  7. I ***LOVED*** this movie. Its combination of the all too real with fantasy was original and compelling. A work of love if ever there was.

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  8. My husband will slip into his Appalachian roots and say Altimers. I try to gently correct it because it drives me crazy too.

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    1. X said, Where's it at? That sent me over the edge.

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  9. Now I must see if I have Netflix streaming.

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    1. If you don't, you can get a free trial and watch some good movies.

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  10. Sounds very interesting, Janie. I will check to see if it's available on Netflix in Canada. Thanks!

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