Your Brother. Remember?
9, 10, 11, 13/05 – 20:30
12/05 – 22:00
EN > NL / FR
As kids growing up in Maine, Zachary Oberzan and his older brother Gator used to make home videos parodying scenes from Hollywood movies such as Jean-Claude Van Damme’s karate blockbuster Kickboxer and the cult snuff movie Faces of Death . Fast forward twenty years, and they’re back at it, in a series of “before” and “after” featurettes. Through their subtle mix of home video, Hollywood film footage and live performance, the audience will discover the brothers’ relationship. One of them became a reputable actor who earns his living on stage and on screen. The other hit the rocks and did some time in prison, where he saw acting as the “art of manipulation”. The question is: could things have turned out otherwise? To what extent do their lives differ? Who is most real or sincere in his performance: the one who acts on stage, or the one who applies his art in real life? And what if our heroes turn out to be tragic figures in real life?
Conceived, directed, edited
& performed by
Gator Oberzan on video
Zachary & Gator Oberzan
& tour manager
Light, sound & video technician
Jan Stelma, Mark Yeoman, brut Wien, Peter Nigrini, Nicole Schuchardt, Laurie Palmer, Lauren Wissot, Nature Theater of Oklahoma & Jean-Claude Van Damme
Co-produced and developed
in residency at
Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival/Grand Theater Groningen, and brut Wien
Your brother. Remember?
I thought a lot about what to say to explain this piece. I was going to try to write something that sounded artistic and intelligent. But writing about it now would spoil its magic for me. So I asked my brother Gator to write about the experience of making the piece, and I knew that this would ultimately be just as informative as anything I could concoct. Fittingly, he was trying really hard to come off of methadone the week he wrote this. I think it gave him something to focus on, which is very helpful in those circumstances. He sent me a four page hand-written letter. I've reproduced it exactly below.
I. One of many versions of our lives pertaining to film
It breaks down like this. My parents divorced. My brother and I
reacted differently to it. I became Rebellious he became withdrawn. In
fact it seems to me we were like that even before the divorce. But
nevertheless we fought a lot. Sometimes it got violent. For that I am
ashamed. Anyway my rebellion took me down a certain path.
My withdrawn brother on the other hand seemed to develope a routine which kept him assleep during most of The Day but during the rest of the day He spent teaching himself Guitar and how to sing. Then evenings he would spend at the local Duncan Donuts crooning to Drunkards. He has tanacity and when he doesn't, I have it for him because he took that voice and took that Guitar and achieved so much more with self taught abilities than anyone ever could have thought possible
Up to this point my brother and I had one experience that fit us together like puzzle pieces. As he entered high school, he became very involved in filming, Back when a video camera was the size of a suitcase and took a VHS tape. I was graduating from high school but at the same time was currently recovering from a car accident an was very interested in what Zack was doing. I loved pretending to be other people. I had done so much of it up to that point.
So far as to the fitting 2-gether like puzzle pieces, his sense of humor was like mine if it was funny to him it was funny to me. If it was a bad film to him it was a bad film to me
He could see through all the fake, forced acting in a scene and that maybe the director should of shot the scene one way instead shot it some other way. It's just, I aggreed with every idea he had on what a film should be. Obviously there may have been a few differences but so little that we were in agreement within seconds. So we loved to sit and watch movies All the time making checklists in our minds as to what could have been better. But there were things we thought were great like when Jean Claude Va Damme first realizes in "kickbor" that he must fight "The ancient way" those intense yet baffled eyes. god what a scene.
Anyway wee decided to create our virsions of a few of our Favorites. Number one on the list of coarse was "Kickboxer" starring JCVD the other "Faces of Death" A movie we felt could honor and help Dr. Francis S. Gross Justify his Daring adventures treck into the world of the faces of Death
II. PANKakes Stakes Hamburgurs & Fries
That was the best time I've ever had with my brother but along time had gone by.
Zack was doing so well in NY I tried to keep my head above water personally training private clientes I was finding direction maturing I suppose. Enough to feel happy for my brother and what he was doing and what a great job he was doing as an actor in NY I told everybody. I'd tell him the same thing if he ever called home depressed I could explane to him that he can learn to controll his deppression, to toss it asside as if it wasn't real. You are moving forward remember that. I just needed to get through his present situation. When something else came up, I found the right answers he needed to insure his forward momentum.
Anyway Zack calls me up one day and wants to know if I'll help him on a project He's pondering of coarse I will. I Loved all tha stuff 20 yrs ago. So whats the project. He says OH it's gonna be a re-make of all we did 20 years ago.
So he explained it to me I was Excited but aside from what fun it would be to do another movie, I was so EXcited to see my brother again
It had been some time since we had been able to be together let allown doiing the same thing that I felt brought is together originaly
So he came and we started tight away. He insisted we (as often as possible) wore the same clothes we wore when we did the original. It was Quite tedius at times fitting into clothes from 20 yrs ago when I had gained over 100 pounds since. And he was addement we stick to the Dialoge in the 20 yr. old footage so what was once an improvised Dialogue had become the Script for the recreations.
I felt like the movie brought out more emotion in me, as it was kind of showing what had been going on in my life durring the last 20 or so years so we chose which glorious moments to highlight I wanted to do it in a kind of reenactment form with songs I wrote and Zack Fine tuned so we could take advantage of Zacks superb musical ability. I believe we summed up my life with a couple drug overdoes a trip to jail and in on set drug withdrawal. I just know after Doing this and learning more from my brother about the business, I hope everyday I can get a job acting, directing, anything. Especialy w/ my Brother remember
Gator OberzanBack to top
Zachary Oberzan (°1974) is a member of the Nature Theatre of Oklahoma. With this New York based collective, he has created and performed a long series of productions all across the globe, including the one man’s show Rambo Solo (2009). In 2009 he also finished his debut feature Flooding with Love for the Kid , an adaptation of the Rambo story that was shot entirely at Oberzan’s own Manhattan apartment and in which he plays all 26 roles himself. The film was shown at various festivals in New York and across Europe. Zachary Oberzan also released two albums as a musician. In 2010 he will perform with the Wooster Group and he is preparing a collaboration with the Dutch theatre group Kassys.Back to top