Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Must Read After My Death

After his grandmother's death, Filmmaker Morgan Dews discovered a mass of audio recordings, home movies, photographs, and written journals detailing the turbulent lives of his grandmother's family in the 1960s. Using these materials, Dews has created a movie that the film's site says "affords fly-on-the-wall access to one family's struggles amid an America on the verge of dramatic transformation."

Thanks to Christian Sinclair for the link. (You're practically filling my blog this week!)

Most unusual are dictaphone recordings left by Dews' grandparents in which they offer shockingly honest comments about the state of their marriage and family. You can see some of that in the YouTube clip.

Also, you don't have to wait for this film to hit theaters or come to rental. If you're interested in Must Read After My Death, simply go to the film's website, and you can purchase a copy for play on your computer for only $2.99. Pretty neat.

I plan to watch it, although I haven't gotten around to it yet. And fair warning, I'm notoriously bad at actually watching movies that I plan to watch.


Gail Rae said...

Wow! Brave woman, leaving this extraordinary record for posterity. Despite the evidence in the clip of both partners' desolation, it's hard not to consider that anyone who makes and leaves such a hearty, unvarnished record isn't, as they record their misery, also fundamentally affirming life. I'm absolutely committed to watching this film online and, even though one of my computers is circa 2003 and the other circa 2005, the sample clip is excellent quality. I'm sure it won't appear where I live in a theater for quite awhile, if ever. However, I'm with you about my movie watching plans...I have, for instance, three movies that I ordered from Netflix in November...still sitting next to my television unwatched, one of which I've been planning on reviewing at my website!
I checked out the site. I notice that you can watch their films "as often as you like" for three days. Now I need to find three days in which I feel sure I'll be able to watch this over and over because "I know for sure" [Thanks Oprah] that I'll be wanting to watch it several times before my ticket expires!
Thanks for writing about this, Jessica!

Christian Sinclair, MD said...

cited there are more bloggers out there covering these issues compared to a year ago. I find I am missing the scoop on some issues, but it actually doesn't make me upset!

I agree Gail Rae this was a very brave thing to do. I have not rented it yet online, but plan to sometime this weekend. I am hoping to review it for Pallimed Arts sometime soon.

You made me laugh with the Netflix thing! I too have two movies but only from December!

Jessica Knapp said...

Well, okay, I'm feeling better about my Netflix procrastination now. Thanks guys!

I'm going on vacation this week, but I hope to get to this when I get back.

Love the Oprah quote, Gail.

And agreed Christian. If you felt out-of-the-loop about everything you didn't catch yourself, you'd drive yourself crazy. Best to just enjoy learning from other bloggers and be grateful for the community.

Gail Rae said...

Jessica, had to tell you, I just bought a ticket and watched this film; finally. It's 70-75 minutes long; I mention this in case anyone is putting off watching it because it may take a couple of uninterrupted hours.
The clip doesn't do it justice, nor does it adequately convey the extraordinary collage of home movies and voice recordings. Aside from offering the delicious feeling of eavesdropping on the lives of people, which I love to do, the composition is so thoughtful and subtly inspired I plan to watch the movie again at least once before my three days is up. As well, it contains a curiously and unexpectedly redemptive resolution. Finally, even the credit presentation is so well designed it's impossible not to read them; which is cool for me because I'm one of those people who stays in the theater and reads all the credits, no matter how painful the process.
The site had a bit of a server problem when I first attempted to purchase a ticket. I immediately contacted tech support and the problem was solved quickly. I mention this in case anyone else also encounters a server problem. Don't give up.