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Still Life

The last case of a gentle man who arranges funerals for people who died without relatives leads him closer to his own passions than ever before.

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Mr. May is a meticulous and quiet middle-aged bachelor. He lives alone in a South London borough and every evening prepares the same dinner. On a professional level, he deals with people who are even lonelier than he is. May's job is to trace the next of kin of the borough’s unclaimed dead. Mr. May is a meticulous and utterly thorough civil servant. Much like a detective he searches for clues as to how the person lived, what his/her passions were, and tries to find any family or friends of the deceased. If he comes up empty-handed, he organises a dignified service and tries to personalise it in any way he can. He chooses the music, sometimes based on what records he finds at the home of the deceased, sometimes from his growing archive of funeral music from different cultures he himself has collected.
This laborious process of arranging funerals instead of cremations is a real headache for the district mayor, and Mr May is told he is being let go at the end of the month. He asks his boss if he can wrap up one last case on his own time and money: an alcoholic who was found dead in his armchair just around the corner from John May's council flat.
MR.MAY is a melancholic yet entertaining film about a man who reconstructs the lives of others and in the process nearly forgets to live his own life. In this way MR.MAY is a bit like an author of a forgotten and real life. His last case takes him further than he has ever been. A good film for a drizzly autumn day.

Tom Dorow

Credits

Original title: Still Life
Italien/Großbritannien 2013, 87 min
Language: English
Genre: Tragicomedy
Director: Uberto Pasolini
Author: Uberto Pasolini
DOP: Stefano Falivene
Montage: Gavin Buckley, Tracy Granger
Music: Rachel Portman
Distributor: Piffl Medien GmbH
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Joanne Froggatt, Karen Drury, Andrew Buchan, David Shaw Parker
FSK: oA
Release: 04.09.2014

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