Dog of My Dreams

This contemporary Bestiary is a subversive investigation into the relationships between girls and dogs. Its a love poem to the dog, as told by a medley of images, texts and voices from Piero di Cosimo to Joan Baez to Enid Blyton to Virginia Woolf to the girl next door.

In a series of staged tableaux recreated from the paintings and prints of Piero di Cosimo, Paula Rego and Gustav Doré, these girls have intimate encounters with dogs whilst grown women tell their stories of childhood pets, family malaise and repressed sexual tensions. The eroticised language of the relationships between girls (and women) and their dogs in the texts of Enid Blyton, Virginia Wolf and Claude Cénac is juxtaposed with images from the film maker’s archive of found photographs and children’s book illustrations to present a challenging essay on the anthropomorphic gaze, family dysfunction and childhood sexuality.

Resolutely personal and imaginative …colour-rich, witty and suggestive.
Gareth Evans, Time Out

Roz Mortimer takes us on a fairy-tale journey into the latently perverted world of the love between small girls and dogs.
Anna Jacobsen, Feminale Film Festival, Cologne

Screenings & Comment

Selected festivals

London Film Festival, UK. 2001 – Premiere
Brief Encounters International Short Film Festival, Bristol, UK. 2001
EMAF, European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck, Germany. 2002
International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany. 2002
Arcipelago International Festival of Films and New Images, Rome, Italy. 2002
Odense International Film Festival, Denmark. 2002
Mecal, 5th International Short Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain. 2002
Feminale Film Festival, Cologne, Germany
. 2002
Viper, International Festival for Film, Video and New Media, Switzerland. 2002
Pink Film Days, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2002
Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Festival for Expanded Media, Stuttgart Germany. 2002
Directora, International Womens’ Film Festival, Neurenberg, Germany. 2003
COURTisane, short film festival, Ghent, Belgium. 2003
Mecal, 10th Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes de Barcelona. Spain. 2007

Other Screenings

Experiments in Moving Image, London. 01/04
Filmbar, Hildeseim, Germany. 11/05
Suffragette City, The Spare Room Gallery, London. 07/08
The Animal Gaze, Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Berlin. 03/09
Tier-Perspektiven (Animal Perspectives), George-Kolbe Museum, Berlin. 06/09
Tier-Werden Mensch-Werden, NGBK, Berlin. 06/09

Touring Programmes

‘Urban Visionaries’ British Film Institute National Touring programme
National Museum of Film and TV, Bradford; 
Metro Cinema, London; 
Ritzy Cinema, London; 
Hull Screen; Hull Time based Arts; 
Manchester Cornerhouse; 
Dartington Barn; 
Now Festival, Broadway Media Centre, Nottingham; 
Glasgow Film Theatre; 
Liverpool Fact Centre; 
Message to Man Film Festival, St Petersburg, Russia.

European Media Arts Festival International Video Touring Programme 2002
Eisner Museum, Milwaukee, USA;  
Goethe-Institut, Chicago, USA;  
KoKi, Freiburg, Germany;  
Kino 46, Bremen, Germany; 
Goethe-Institut, Guadalajara, Mexico; 
Caixa Forum, Barcelona, Spain; 
Premier Plans, Angers, France; 
Goethe-Institut, Danzig, Poland; 
Goethe-Institut, Warsaw, Poland; 
Goethe-Institut, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Gallery Exhibition

‘Living in This Mess’ group exhibition. Morley Gallery, London. 2003
‘Staged’ Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK. 2004
‘The Animal Gaze’, Unit 2 Gallery, London. 2008

Theatrical release

Ritzy Cinema, London April 12-26 2002

Comment

Resolutely personal and imaginative … colour-rich, witty and suggestive
Gareth Evans, Time Out

Roz Mortimer takes us on a fairy-tale journey into the latently perverted world of the love between small girls and dogs.
Anna Jacobsen, Feminale Film Festival, Cologne

DOG of MY DREAMS is [a] documentary style, love poem to the dog. Cineast and artist Roz Mortimer shows how little girls form very intimate and exclusive emotional bonds with their four legged friends. Mortimer has been fascinated for years with female sexuality and previous films related women with worms, tadpoles and snails (sic), mostly revolving around desire and sensuality instead of sex. The implicit eroticism in DOG OF MY DREAMS (“his soft rosy tongue came darting out between his white teeth”) shows that children also are sensual creatures, an idea still ignored by society.
Over backgrounds of words and images from Piero di Cosimo to Joan Baez (“Old Blue”) to Virginia Woolf, women tell about their youthful experiences with their dogs, problems with the family and sexual repression. These beautiful dogs in turn take the role of child (in a great scene the girl shaves the hairs of her dog and imitates a grownup) and victim (the girl urinates in the dog-basket, not only a sexual reference, but also an expression of the position of power). Virginal angel hair, anthropomorphic eye contact and wonderfully beautiful choreographies make DOG OF MY DREAMS as simple as complex, a surprisingly warm picture.
Julie Decabooter, FILM magazine, Belgium, July 2002

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