STILL LIFE -- it was a particularly cold, bleak winter's day -- and both of us were in tears by the film's amazing ending. As the lights came up, post-credits, the other fellow seemed taken aback. "Who is this Uberto Pasolini?" (the film's writer/director), he asked, and then quickly followed with, "Because nothing is his past history gives any indication that he could create this!"
The Full Monty nearly twenty years ago, and he was involved with a few other pleasant little movies along the way. Still Life is only his second film as writer/director -- after something called Machan which I have not seen -- but if he does nothing else in his entire life, this film is enough to ensure Pasolini's place (the filmmaker is shown at left) in the pantheon of movie greats. Why? Because he has taken a grand and important subject, death -- and thus life and its meaning, at least for those of us living in western society today -- and explored it in an immac-ulate, moving, insightful and profound manner. The result is a humble little film that works on every level, and that will leave you in a state of grace.
Eddie Marsan (shown above and below), who may here be giving his finest performance from a versatile flock of them, this strange and obsessive man may be the most memorable character you've met in several movie years.
Joanne Froggat, above and above, as a young woman who figures into the last case (she is, as usual, wonderfully compassionate and winning) and Andrew Buchan as May's immediate boss, who fills the bill perfectly as a man who understands the need for efficiency but has not an empathetic bone in his body.
Tribeca Film and running just 93 minutes, the movie opens this Friday at New York City's Quad Cinema and in Geneva, New York, at the Smith Center for the Arts. In the weeks to come it will open in another dozen cities around the country. Click here and then scroll down to see the list of playdates and theaters.