by Jeff SCHER
2008 / color / sound / 1S / 3' 00

Great cemeteries feel like worlds unto themselves. A kind of theme park of the departed where everyday life is left behind at the gate. There is a certain mood that overtakes you while visiting.
You are simultaneously overwhelmed by the sense of being surrounded by the dead and seduced by the beauty of the place. It creates a special flavor of melancholy, the inevitable feels present, and one's own life feels all the more fleeting as in Memento Mori, "Remember that you are mortal."

The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where this was filmed, is home to approximately 600,000 former (or permanent) New Yorkers and it was a very popular tourist attraction in the 19th Century. Wherever you turn, you are confronted by bigger than life angels, huge pillars topped with stone carved urns or orbs representing departed souls, and countless carved headstones and elaborate mausoleums (many bigger than apartments I've lived in). Confronted by so many lives that have been lived, speaking to you in memorial marble and granite, the sense of history is overwhelming. It is a stunningly beautiful oasis of timeless green and Victorian dreams of eternity in the heart of Brooklyn. Only the passing planes remind you which century you're in.

It was my intention to try and capture that special cemetery mood with this film in the form and spirit of a Danse Macabre. Shay Lynch composed the haunting score in this spirit. I wanted my cast to consist exclusively of the memorial statuary. The over the top quality of these realistic representations of grief and faith ultimately seduced me into making this Halloween Valentine to them. - jeff scher


distribution format Digital file on server
screen 4/3 (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound sound
rental fee 20,00 €