Folk songwriter Fred Neil said Karen Dalton "sure could sing the shit out of the blues," and Bob Dylan said she sang like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed. Dylan's description wouldn't be the last time this under-the-radar folk singer was likened to Lady Day. Like Holiday, Dalton's haunting croon completely transforms whatever folk, blues, or pop standard she sang.
Morgan Dews' Must Read After My Death is a startling, deeply intimate look into the domestic life of the filmmaker's grandmother, Allis. Made up entirely of home movies and recordings that Allis documented (privately, in therapy sessions, or trans-Atlantic with her husband Charley), the film is at times heartwarming, but more so horrifying, as Allis struggles against the stifling systemic and familial abuse as a 1960s housewife. The personal documentation and voiceovers make the experience of watching a family unravel all the more affecting.
The film is already receiving film festival prizes and rave reviews (the Village Voice said it "makes Revolutionary Road look like a tea party") from around the world. Morgan took the time to answer some of my questions about the movie and filmmaking process. Read on for the interview as well as your chance to watch the movie online for free!