Still Life and it brings to mind Carol Morley's 2011documentary Dreams Of Life, which concerns similar subject matter.
Here, like in Morley's film, there is an exploration about whether the community of the capital has broken down so much that when someone dies alone no one stops or cares. After 22 years of dedicated service, Mr May is let go by his callous boss Pratchett (Andrew Buchan), whose life view is "they are dead, they are not there, and they don’t care"- a view in stark opposition to that of the protagonist. With one case left to close, Mr May heads across the country tracking down the family of man whose few belongings include pictures of his presumed daughter. Before embarking on the journey we see him stood next to a statue of another deeply reflective man, John Betjeman, at King's Cross before a journey north. Inscribed beneath the statue are the words from Betjeman's Cornish Cliffs, "and in the shadowless unclouded glare, deep blue above us fades to a whiteness where, a misty sea-line meets the washed air." The ethereal tone of the poem echoes both the theme and tone of the film. You cannot stem the tide, just as you can't stop people from dying, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't care. Thanks to Marsan's considered and eloquent performance, and Pasolini's unabashedly sentimental approach to the subject matter, Still Life makes for a gentle, sombre, and reflective drama about finding life, even in death.
Joe Walsh | @JosephDAWalsh