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The Living Wake (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  8 June 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 724 users   Metascore: 37/100
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A dark comedy which chronicles the final day in the life of self-proclaimed artist and genius, K. Roth Binew. Binew is a dreamer who elevates his drab and somewhat pitiful existence into a ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
K. Roth Binew
Lampert Binew
Diane Kagan ...
Caleb Wentworth ...
Young K. Roth
Sam Goldfarb ...
K. Roth's Doctor
Ben Duhl ...
Stephen Brian Jones ...
Peter Paton ...
Old Man
Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine ...
Passerby Man


A dark comedy which chronicles the final day in the life of self-proclaimed artist and genius, K. Roth Binew. Binew is a dreamer who elevates his drab and somewhat pitiful existence into a personal mythology. For his final day K. Roth Binew enlists his best friend, the unrecognized poet and biographer Mills Joquin to chronicle his final hours. Mills Joquin drives Binew around town on a bicycle-powered rickshaw. As the eccentric duo go about their day, Binew hands out invitations to his final party, a living wake, where Binew will do a short performance before dropping dead on the spot. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

artist | black comedy | See All (2) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual material

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 June 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czuwanie przed koncem  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,821 (USA) (14 May 2010)


$12,055 (USA) (16 July 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Mills: Oh, majestic goat. Die quietly on your stake, and trust your throat will bleat on our plates. Oh,majestic goat. have faith your surrender will sate our tummy-boats, will feed out luncheon splendor. Oh, Majestic goat.
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User Reviews

A unique experience unlike anything you will see this year!
3 April 2010 | by (Culver City, California) – See all my reviews

I've been following this film since its inception and have been proud to watch it slowly go from festival to festival and finally get a release. I managed to catch this several years ago, I believe around 2006 or 2007. Recently I noticed it getting release and a lot more attention, and I could be more happy or proud. The film really is great. It's unique and quirky and Mike O'Connell brings his unique humor to it, and it's even quite touching. I won't say this is for everyone, but all film should strive to do what this did and create a unique and original experience.

K. Roth Binew is a self proclaimed genius artist who has just discovered he has a very limited time to live. To go out with a bang, he decides to return to his hometown to reconcile with family, face his enemies one last time, and finally be laid to rest after a living wake. To help him, he enlists his aid and friend Mills, who leads him around on a bicycle powered rickshaw.

As mentioned, this is not your average comedy. Mike O'Connell leads the viewer around from one point to another, taking care of whatever business he desires, be it trying to get some of his self published books placed in the local library or facing his parents one last time. And the character of Binew is as puffy and conceited as you might expect from a self-titled proclaimed genius. But the experience of Binew's life is so unique that it's quite entertaining. And Jessie Eisenberg is such a great foil to Binew's craziness, as a fairly level headed character, that one of the joys of the film is seeing the two interact. But, what works so well here is the films heart. These characters are very well crafted in more than just their uniqueness. You can tell a real passion was placed into them. It is in the quieter moments that you find the films worth. There is even a moment at the end that is cause for tears, but I won't spoil that here.

Again, this won't be everyone's cup of tea. The script was partly written by O'Connell, who crafts a unique brand of humor. Anyone who is not into it, probably will be a little turned off by the character created. But, in his writing, he crafts a complex figure. We've seen these kinds of characters before, misunderstood artists whose unique look and way of life is their charm. But even for such a story, this is a unique take. A good example is the musical number thrown in a little over halfway through the film. While this might seem out of place, it fits in very well with Binew's character, whom one could imagine bursting into song at any given point simply because he feels like it and believes it adds something to life. Such is K. Roth Binew.

Sol Tyson handles the film well. He never makes a point at showing us just how ridiculous things are. He simply treats it as life. The film is also colorfully filmed and the choice of location is quite enjoyable. I really can't complain about much of anything in the film. It's an enjoyable journey through the final day of one very unique individual.

I don't expect the majority of people to enjoy this film. It certainly isn't a film built for mass audiences, and one can only hope that the majority of people watching WOULD enjoy it. However, I found this to be a fantastic experience and think that anyone who can see it and is looking for a comedy wholly different from anything you'll see this year should run to the theater and catch it while you can.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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