A Certain Kind of Death

A Certain Kind of Death

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Photography: Blue Hadaegh, Grover Babcock
Editing: Blue Hadaegh, Grover Babcock
Color: Colour
Synopsis
A Certain Kind of Death is also a film about life after life. It does not, however, set out into black tunnels of life after death and floating souls; it examines the imprints of the dead in all things and rooms, their traces in the dust and in the air, the places where those, who suddenly are not any more, used to dwell. Another trace is their transformation into an official code, only a certain set of characters rounds off the end.

A couple of directors focused on the mechanics of the process through which a man disappears from the world forever. It is not just that he dies and the hygiene of the society dumps him like dust but after the body disappears, gradually everything what he was in things, which he considered to be his own, disappears, too. The enigmatic process of double disappearance is most visible in those situations where there is no way to continue the memory of the dead one, hence with people who die without taking notice of their so far close people. There is suddenly nobody who would attend to the last things of such a person; into parting with him step no emotions but the pure professionalism of people authorized by the society to take care of all the matters concerning the dead one as soon as possible.

Somebody finds a corpse, the police arrives, the doctor, the employees of the funeral service. Each of them inspects the body, officially differently deals with the dead one; it is the time between death and demise. The manner of death is being investigated, its time is being estimated, the removal of the body is being arranged, others are already writing up the property, counting the money, all of them together are shoving the dead one to the record of the complete erasure. The directors Hadaegh a Babcock depict this work hidden from the eyes of the living ones in refined scenes; the shooting emphasizes the peculiar quiet of the state without a person but still with his body, name, and things, the atmosphere, into which no hysteria of the relatives enters; only the slow and the more unavoidable vanishing remains. A tetrad of corpses, those peculiar things which are the protagonists of the film, concluded their stories in motionlessness.

While the bodies are being investigated, transported, turned inside out in the dissecting rooms, re—frozen, and in the end burnt and pulverized, while they are being transformed into a report text and register numbers, we can think who the dead ones, Ronald, Donald, Tommy, and an unidentified one, were. It is only from the heritage that we can deduct the possible structure of their lives. Just for a while though, until the things which can be sold will be taken over in an auction by the hands of another living lucky man.

Award: Sundance 03: Special Award of the Jury

- DEATH JUST AS ONE OF THE SIDES OF THE SOCIAL LIFE AS A WHOLE, NOT A SPECIFIC METAPHYSICAL EXPERIENCE - SOCIALIZATION OF THE CORPSE AND ITS PREPARATION FOR A SOCIAL ROLE, WHEN THE BODY CONFORMS TO THE SIGN BUT WHILE THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CELLS GOES THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION, THE SIGN REMAINS - THE WORK WITH THE CORPSE TAKES PLACE ON VARIOUS LEVELS AND ACCORDING TO THE FIXED RULES OF CONDUCTING PUBLIC AFFAIRS; BURYING IS THEN ONE FORM OF RULING - THE INDETERMINATENESS OF THE CORPSE: IT IS POSSIBLE TO FORCE IT TO YIELD THE SECRET OF THE END, HENCE TO OPEN, TAKE OUT THE PARTS, ENLARGE AND DESCRIBE THEM, EACH ORGAN CAN BE DISPLAYED ABOUT ITSELF AND ALL OF THEM CAN BE BURNT IN THE END, SCIENTIFIC EFFECTIVENESS IS AFTER ALL A WAY OF POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, BUT WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SHARE OF SACREDNESS WHICH IN CASE OF A CORPSE IS UNCONDITIONALLY VALID –

Photo Gallery

New Box Media Inc. / USA / grover@newboxmedia.com
 
Festival edition: 2003
Sections: Baedecker
Exhibition format: Beta SP

GODARD'S MEMORY IN JI.HLAVA

The author of the official spot is renowned director Jean-Luc Godard

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