This Dream Shall Pass Too is a short film by New York-based artist Larry Vazeos. Through his own drawings and a frantic, musical montage style, Vazeos offers a dream-like yet raw interpretation of his father’s last hours. The artist shared the following thoughts regarding the autobiographical background of the piece:
“In September 2014, I had to go down to Florida cause my dad showed up there with Stage 4 cancer, which he didn’t even know he had. He’d been sick since June. He thought the whole time it was just a stomach virus or something. He’d been cleared of cancer in April. Fortunately, my cousin Jimmy encouraged my dad to leave Greece, where he lived, and go to America to see a doctor. He did. For 72 hours, this 79 year-old man with stage 4 cancer, that he didn’t even know he had, traveled alone from the tiny island of Paros to the US. First stop Athens, then Paris, then Detroit, next stop Tampa. On the last flight he wound up having a heart attack. When the plane landed, my sister picked him up and took him home; it was there that they realized he had had a heart attack. It was later that night that he learned he was really sick and that he should get his affairs in order. I asked him about all this when I got to Florida. I was blown away when he told me about his journey –blown away but not surprised. I said to him ‘Wow, Dad, you’re a real tough guy.’ He said: ‘You betcha I’m a tough guy.’
I showed this film to my mom a couple of weeks ago, and she asked me why everything was moving so fast. I made most of this sitting up nights in my sister’s living room, where my dad was sleeping and waiting to die. It was crazy, watching the life of this person I’d known my whole life coming to a close. Death is so sad. Poor guy couldn’t do anything –he couldn’t stand up, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t shit, nothing. He just laid there, turning from one side to the other, being driven up a wall by this unbearable itch that itched him almost non-stop from the inside out. It was so sad. It seems impossible that he’s gone and been gone for so long now, but that’s the way it goes, I suppose. All week long he’s been popping up in my dreams, and it’s been really nice seeing him again. We habitually avoided each other for most of my life, and I really regret that. About six years ago, he asked me in front of a bunch of people why I never visited him. I couldn’t say why, so instead I asked him how come he never called me. He said –and I believed him–: ‘I didn’t wanna bother you.’ To answer my mom’s question re: why’s everything moving so fast? Because everything moves so fast, Ma. I hate it.”
About the artist:
Larry Vazeos is an artist based in New York City. He is self-taught.