Still Life is a poignant, quixotic tale of life, love and the afterlife. Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession, John May (Eddie Marsan) is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized, John must up his efforts on his final case, taking him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last. Written by
The song played at the Greek left-handed bouzouki player's funeral (second in order at the start of the movie) is Misirlou, a song of numerous covers and versions in discography, famously appearing in the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, amongst others. See more »
Some movies have as their purpose to excite, to amaze, to intrigue or to provoke laughter. Others are there to make you think and feel and care. Still life is one of those. Although it is described in the promos as a comedy/drama it is not. It is a gentle and moving visual elegy for human beings. The plot has been well described by other reviewers on IMDb. A seemingly solitary middle-aged man goes about his punctilious duties of researching contacts and connections of people who have died all alone.What made this movie so particularly different and affecting for me was the punctilious and affectionate attention to detail by the director. This detail is in both the fine nuances of the performances, particularly by Eddie Marsan playing the lead character, John May and in the visual richness such as the buildings in which people live and work and the photographs that John May finds and carefully works through. The photograph researcher for the movie alone deserves an Oscar. The interiors and exteriors of buildings, with such things as the rooms in which people have lived and died are so evocative and realistic it is hard to believe it is not a documentary at times. All these glimpses are perfectly paced in the slow flowing narrative which proceeds to involve us and then move us to smiles and tears, caring about all the people in the story except the horrible boss. Through the subject matter of aloneness, estrangement, kindness, friendship and lost love Pasolini has given us an experience to be cherished.
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