In writer/director Patricia Delso Lucas’ short film, For I Am Dead, Al Nazemian plays Oscar. He is a man of privilege looking for something more in life. He can best be described as an aristocrat, but he really is a hedonist — given anything and everything that his heart desires. His life is all about his nightly dalliances with random courtesans. In voiceovers, we learn that Oscar despises himself, and even the relative ease with which he can have sex is unfulfilling.
When Jude (Riggsby Lane), the estate’s groundskeeper, enters the room, Oscar is immediately smitten by his stature and handsome good looks. Nothing else matters but Jude. But will Jude reciprocate in kind, or will he be the one thing Oscar cannot have?
“…Oscar despises himself, and even the relative ease with which he can have sex is unfulfilling.”
For I Am Dead is a lyrical tale about a man whose pursuit of every kind of pleasure imaginable has left him an empty, soulless man. Filmmaker Patricia Delso Lucas uniquely tells Oscar’s story. As the character philosophizes about life and love, the action of the scene around him conveys his emotion as he lies quiet and despondent. As the story progresses, the motion blurs between dreams and reality until Oscar finds himself in the center of the chaos. Pay close attention to the moment Jude reveals his “true self” and Nazemian’s very nuanced performance.
Where director Lucas succeeds is her ability to place us into the shoes of what should be an unlikable character. She allows us, the audience, to find sympathy and empathy for that character. For I Am Dead is cinematic poetry.