He Was Once

Director: Mary Hestand
Screenwriters: Mary Hestand

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


This film takes the mythic quality of Davey and Goliath (the Art Clokey children’s claymation) and deconstructs it to subvert the original by adding a dark Oedipal subconscious. Davey and Goliath (his alter-ego talking dog) discover a bear, only to be smartly reprimanded and whipped by Davey’s righteous father for making up such nonsense.However, since He was Once is a radical morality tale, Davey is eventually vindicated. Visually brilliant, with jerky animation movement by live actors, lacquered hair, oversized ears and painted backdrops, this film is a cross between Blue Velvet and Gallery alum Superstar.

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

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