SINS OF THE FATHER
Paying homage to Charles’ Laughton’s 1955 masterpiece Night of the Hunter, filmmaker Deco Dawson retells the chilling tale as if through the eye of a child. Recreating vignettes of key, iconic scenes from the movie using children’s models and miniatures, in camera trick effects, 16mm footage of abandoned farm houses and a meticulously crafted sound design, Deco Dawson has created a collage film that wholly captures the eerie doom of the original, in an uncompromising, re-imagined, retelling of the Night of the Hunter.
The film was a commission for The Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal. In celebration of FNC’s 40th anniversary, the festival invited ten filmmakers from across Canada to create a 1-4 minute film celebrating filmmaking and the festival’s long standing commitment to new cinema.
Each of the invited films was screened on a different day during the festival and was screened before every film in every cinema on that day.
Sins of the Father screened 10 times on Saturday October 15th, 2011 before such films as Melancholia and The Turin Horse. The film was seen by over 2500 people that day.
The Night of the Hunter is one of Deco Dawson’s favourite films of all time. Night of the Hunter is truly a film out of place, incorporating many passe cinematic styles, while telling a depression era tale in 1956, not a hot combination for the time.
Deco Dawson built all of the miniatures for Sins of the Father, except for the movie theatre, which was built by Sharon A. Johnson for a previous film, but was never used.
The miniatures were shot on a DSLR, Deco Dawson’s first foray into HD filmmaking.
The S16mm footage of the abandoned farm houses was shot in Southern Manitoba in the summer of 2011. The footage was hand processed by filmmaker Mike Maryniuk.