Dum Dum Girls – Are You Okay (Short Film)
by Steven Spoerl
It’s probably fair to say that when most people woke up today, they didn’t think they’d be watching a Dum Dum Girls short film written and conceptualized by Bret Easton Ellis that eclipsed 11 minutes. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a large section of the people who pay attention to those kinds of things- and we’re all the better for it. There’s a compelling vagueness to the film itself (which includes some gorgeous additional score work from Tamaryn and Drew McDowell), that centers around a rich psychologically-involved narrative. Brewer is at the helm of the strikingly visual Are You Okay and throws in characteristically seductive flourishes throughout.
After an intense opening sequence that establishes Dum Dum Girls’ lead personality Dee Dee Penny as a patient in a therapy session (after an evocative opening shot of a desolate landscape that pans outwards over the sound of heavy breathing) who’s challenged to recreate an imaginary double of herself. As Penny goes deeper into the task, fully embracing all of its set parameters, Are You Okay begins to mount a sense of dread. Charles Ray’s postmodern Two Boys art piece is used masterfully throughout, intensifying the feeling of disorientation.
“Are You Okay?” winds up being the film’s centerpiece- and rightfully so, as this is ostensibly a showcase to serve the song (one of Too True‘s stronger highlights). The goth-noir tendencies are perfectly suited to the progressing tension that’s so present throughout the entirety of Are You Okay. While the song itself does lend a new dynamic to the film, it’s the introduction and epilogue pieces that drive the song to noticeably greater heights. All in all, it’s a gorgeous piece of multidimensional art that ignores the limitations of traditional formatting. As a result, it’s one of the most compelling things to have been unveiled in the artist/video category this year. Watch it below and get treated to some world-class cinematography and surprisingly exceptional acting.