I have to absolutely honest. Most of the time, I don’t understand art films, especially performance art. Just give me a nice narrative and don’t force me to think about the deeper meaning of a red apple on a black and white checkerboard background. I suppose though there comes this moment when I just have to sit back and experience whatever is placed in front of you.
From performance artist Patrick Moser comes The Dressing. On a secluded beach is a creature best described as a man with a yellow “Pac-Man” head made of cardboard and yellow duct tape and its child, a six-inch action figure with a yellow “Pac-Man” head made of cardboard and yellow duct tape. Early in this 15-minute short, the child is eaten by a four-footed yellow reptile made of cardboard and yellow duct tape. It’s up to the parent to rescue the child and in a brutal, barbaric way.
“…the child is eaten by a four-footed yellow reptile made of cardboard and yellow duct tape.”
I should note that the title, The Dressing, refers to the preparation of a hunted animal carcass by removing its innards before cooking or skinning. This short really starts to be weird right after the confrontation between the parent and reptile. I mean it gets really weird. Weird like, “What the hell am I watching?” I can’t describe it, but I was drawn in and mesmerized.
After my screening, the two who played the creatures, Moser and his son Jackson, explained this is an allegory of parenting. I mean, I guess. The Dressing is crazy, amazing, weird, and worth fifteen minutes of your time.
The Dressing (2019) Written and directed by Patrick Moser. Starring Patrick Moser, Chris Moser. The Dressing made its World Premiere at the 2019 Palm Springs ShortFest.
8.5 out of 10 stars