If I Am Your Mirror – a film by Garrett DeHart
“I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” – Edgar Allen Poe, Tell Tale Heart
But as Poe’s delusional mad-man, and Garrett DeHart’s “psychologically scarred” Civil War vet both know subconsciously –that pale blue eye is just the tip of the iceberg. If I Am Your Mirror, DeHart’s homage to Poe’s classic tale of horror is a visually stunning, breathtaking descent through unrelenting madness into utter despair. Based on Poe’s classic horror story,“Tell Tale Heart”, If I Am Your Mirror, is a work of art. Haunting, hypnotic, horrific, this film will take your breath away.
The film is set in a jail cell, just after the end of the Civil War – where our Civil War vet, played by the late Larry Holden (Batman Begins, Memento) awaits his execution at the gallows pole. Holden, in one of his last film appearances before his untimely death, puts on a hyper-real performance of man who has been pushed over the edge by the murder of his wife, and both participation in and witnessing of unspeakable acts of war.
We first encounter Holden’s character lying on a hardwood floor: face bloodied, clutching something to his chest, and being savagely kicked by who we later learn are members of a posse – hell-bent for justice – and we immediately root for him, even as we are guided by his memories through his tour of duty in utter anguish. And when his memories bring us to face to face with the Civil War vet’s nemesis – the evil one-eyed preacher who becomes the vet’s target for (highly deserved) retribution – we cringe, knowing that the vet has sealed a horrible fate.
DeHart’s film – a project he completed for his MA thesis in the GSU Film program – was an enormous undertaking. And thanks to the collaborative efforts of GSU grad students as well as Inspired by the Tell-Tale Heart, DeHart absolutely succeeds in his goal: to create a live action film that looks like an animated early Romantic oil painting.
And, Shane Morton http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com/uploads/2011/shane_morton.php was the make-up/effects genius who helped DeHart and his crew to pull off that goal. I can’t say this enough – visually stunning.
DeHart considered continuing the collaborative effort through the post-production, but ultimately decided to jump into post-production on his own – an immense undertaking but one which was rewarding and which produced absolutely brilliant results. Still, DeHart can’t seem to shower enough praise on the actors and crew who were in his words, “amazing.”
So, what’s next for Dehart? “I’ve got a few small things going right now, some doc projects, and some shoots for the Dracula rock opera and the Zombie Apocalypse, but I’m kicking around some ideas for my next film. It will be live action. The animation was fun but I’d like to work on something a bit less time consuming on the post side.” In the meantime, DeHart hopes to use If I Was Your Mirror as a catalyst for meeting other filmmakers and artists, and for starting new projects. And in the meantime, you must check out this intensely haunting short. You’d be mad not to.
Make sure to also check out “Behind the Scenes – A Tell Tale Heart” http://vimeo.com/14595669