Directed by Cherisse Gray
Split screen: on the left a woman with a cone around her neck, standing in front of the Hollywood sign, crying as she stares out into the distance. On the right, a clearing in a public park as viewed from above. Is this what the woman is staring down towards? It doesn’t matter. To the audience, the connection of the two images is absolute, rendered ever more so by the lack of cuts throughout the film.
As a narrator begins to tell us a subtitled story about stray dogs in Ecuador, we’re given yet another confounding clue. In what language is she speaking? It doesn’t sound like Spanish, so why Ecuador? How do stray dogs connect to either of the images on screen?
Director Cherisse Gray specializes in absurd juxtaposition, connecting two or more seemingly disparate elements--images, sounds, voices--to create meaning out of the meaningless. In Deeply Christian Dogs, I am in love with the camera, Gray builds to a sort of crescendo, during which the voiceover cuts out and the sound of a helicopter grows louder and louder in tandem with a score that feels torn from a new age self help conference.
And then it all cuts out and the voiceover begins again. A sign, that mourning moves like waves and has no rhyme or reason. That maybe, in order to know what something means, you first have to know how it feels.
Review By David Lombroso
You can find more of Cherisse Gray’s work on Vimeo.
Deeply Christian Dogs, I am in love with the camera was selected and screened for our VOL. 001 Series, September 26th, 2018