Experiencing Interruptions?

Lucy Palustris: The Dinner Party

“I love him who works and invents to build a house for the Overhuman and prepare for it earth and animal and plant." "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" Friedrich Nietzsche

The film creeps into issues of the Anthropocene while moving deeper into the psychological landscape of Lucy Palustris, the artist’s alter-ego. A solitary woman in the wetlands of southern Ontario, Lucy is a manifestation of our human psyche and our animal selves. Her role is ambiguous: Is she an agency of care, a psychologically (de)-stabilizing force or an intrusive presence? Illogical associations convey the strangeness and intensity of a dream. Disjuncture and incongruity colour the protagonist’s actions and costume within her surroundings, revealing the beauty and brutality of a degraded landscape and our transient existence within it. The film attempts to uncover something about who we are and how we have come to a tipping point of crisis. Fecundity, violence and death interweave. A call for restitution plays out like a Sisyphean gesture where tenacity and futility reign.

A subplot speaks to notions of gender, race and class. Costume performance plays to the stereotype of the middle-class white woman, while simultaneously subverting it. Trying to make sense of Hollywood film stereotypes embodied by her mother’s generation, the character both subverts and holds to ‘norms’ of a seemingly bygone era, lingering in her consciousness and, more generally, remaining pervasive today.

Writer/Director/Performance - Patricia Coates

  • Patricia Coates
    Director
  • Patricia Coates
    Writer
  • Patricia Coates
    Producer
  • Patricia Coates
    Key Cast
    "Lucy Palustris"
  • Sung Min Bae
    Cinematographer
    Reset, Stillwater, Situation, Off Sync, Where are we, Two Islands,
  • Project Type:
    Experimental
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    Other
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital ScreeningFormat:2KDCP
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Künstlerhaus Bethanien: Solo exhibition, "The Madness and the Mess"
    Berlin
    Germany
    February 28, 2019
    European Premiere
  • Art Gallery of Windsor, "The Living River Project, Exhibition"
    Windsor
    Canada
    October 18, 2019
    North American Premiere
  • Druk International Film Festival (DIFF)
    Paro
    Bhutan
    October 19, 2019
    Outstanding Achievement
  • South Film and Arts Academy Festival
    Rancagua
    Chile
    January 19, 2020
    South American
    Official Selection
  • South Film and Arts Academy Festival
    Rancagua
    Chile
    January 16, 2020
    Sound Design; Honorable Mention in a Short Film
  • Best Art Video, South Film and Arts Academy Festival
    Rancagua
    Chile
    January 16, 2020
    Best Art Video
  • YouFilmFest
    Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
    United States
    April 2, 2022
    Official Selection
  • YouFilmFest
    Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
    United States
    April 2, 2022
    Best Experimental Film
  • Masters of Cinema
    Rome
    Italy
    May 7, 2022
    Best Eco Work
  • Art Stream International Film Festival
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    June 11, 2022
    Best Eco Work
  • Fox International Film Festival
    Rome
    Italy
    June 28, 2022
    Honourable Mention: Best Eco Work; Official Selection
  • Stockholm Gold Awards International Film Festival SGAIFF
    Stockholm
    Sweden
    August 21, 2022
  • 8 & HalFilm Awards
    Rome
    Italy
    July 11, 2022
    Best Inspirational Film; Official Selection
  • Golden Lemur International Film Festival GlIFF
    Lisbon
    Portugal
    July 4, 2022
    Best ECO Work; Official Selection
  • Golden Lemur International Film Festival GlIFF
    Lisbon
    Portugal
    July 4, 2022
    Best Symbolic Film; Official Selection
  • New York Neorealism Film Awards.
    Rome
    Italy
    August 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Florence Film Awards
    Florence
    Italy
    August 5, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Sweet Democracy Film Awards
    Cannes
    France
    August 10, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Your Way International Film Festival
    Valletta
    Malta
    August 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Snow Leopard International Film Festival
    Madrid
    Spain
    August 10, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Florence Film Awards
    Florence
    Italy
    August 5, 2022
    Honourable Mention; Experimental Film
  • Your Way International Film Festival
    Valletta
    Malta
    August 17, 2022
    Honourable Mention; Best ECO Film
  • Arrow International Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    September 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Grand New York Film Awards
    New York City
    United States
    September 10, 2022
    Best ECO Work
  • Zagreb International Film Festival
    Zagreb
    Croatia
    November 30, 2022
    Honourable Mention; Experimental Film Category.
  • Tokyo International Short Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    December 3, 2022
    Honourable Mention; Women Empowerment Category.
  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    December 25, 2022
    Honourable Mention; Female Empowerment Category.
  • Madrid International Short Film Festival
    Madrid
    Spain
    January 9, 2023
    Honourable Mention: Experimental Films; Official Selection
  • Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    January 27, 2023
    Best Actress; Official Selection
  • Japan International Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    February 3, 2023
    Women Empowerment; Official Selection
  • 8 & Halfilm Awards: WINNERS SPECIAL EVENT IN DUBAI FOURTH EDITION
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    February 10, 2023
    Best Inspirational Film; Official Selection
  • kalakari film fest
    Indore
    India
    March 25, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Golden Giraffe International Film Festival
    Nice
    France
    March 1, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Star International Film Festival
    Florence
    Italy
    March 26, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Seoul International Short Film Festival
    Seoul
    Korea, Republic of
    April 4, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Sofia International Film Festival
    Sofia
    Bulgaria
    April 30, 2023
    Best Eco Film; Official Selection
  • Film Language International Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    April 18, 2023
    Official Selection
  • International Film & Script Festival Lotus
    Athens
    Greece
    June 10, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Munich New Wave Short Film Festival
    Munich
    Germany
    August 3, 2023
    Best Environmental Film
  • French International Modern Film and Script Festival
    Paris
    France
    September 5, 2023
    Honourable Mention
  • Dialog Film Festival
    Cologne
    Germany
    November 8, 2023
    Honourable Mention Best ECO Film
  • Reel Harmony Film and Script Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    October 27, 2023
    Best ECO work
  • Odyssey Script and Film Festival
    Lisbon
    Portugal
    November 12, 2023
    Official Selection
  • CLIMAX Festival Internacional de Cinema Independiente 2023
    Madrid
    Spain
    December 5, 2023
    Outstanding Poetic Film; Semi-Finalist
  • SENSEI FilmFest
    Tokyo
    Japan
    August 21, 2024
    Best Experimental; Semi-Finalist
  • Nocturna Brooklyn Film Festival:
    Brooklyn
    United States
    November 27, 2024
    Best Experimental; Nominee
  • Cinema Carnival
    Pisa
    Italy
    March 15, 2025
    Official Selection
  • FilmHaus
    Berlin
    Germany
    October 30, 2024
    Semi_Finalist, Best Poetic Film
Distribution Information
  • Patricia Coates
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Patricia Coates

Patricia Coates is a multi-disciplinary artist working in film, installation and performance who explores the beauty and brutality of a degraded landscape and our transient existence within it. A call for restitution plays out like a Sisyphean gesture. Fecundity and death, care and violence are set against each other to create a psychic tension within the character Lucy Palustris, the artist’s alter-ego. The work probes issues of the Anthropocene while creeping into the physiological landscape of the persona. Lucy, a solitary woman in the landscape or built environment, manifests a conflicted relationship with the living world. Is she an agency of care, a de-stabilizing force, or a menacing presence? Ultimately, the artist attempts to uncover something about who we are as she addresses the question: How have we come to this tipping point of crisis? Lucy’s efforts are deliberate, tenacious though perhaps quixotic. Is her role (or the role of art itself) a necessary resistance or a futile intervention? There is a bit of Lucy in all of us: our complicity and our resilience. A tragic-comedic tone permeates her actions and her costume: A subplot speaks to notions of gender, race and class. Costume performance and the film medium itself pokes fun at the stereotype of the middle-class white woman; more specifically, Hollywood film stereotypes embodied by the artist’s mother’s generation. Lucy simultaneously clings to and subverts constructed notions of ‘norms’ that linger in her consciousness and, more generally, remain pervasive in today’ s society.
Coates has been awarded numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants supporting her international practice.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

To try to know or understand the world is futile. The writing of Camus is central: “That universal reason, practical or ethical, that determinism, those categories that explain everything are enough to make a decent man laugh.” Like Sisyphus, Lucy carries on.