Dir. Paul Olding
“Grandma’s Funeral,” which premiered last week, is a wonderful and touching film. A mother and her two daughters discuss a relative who just died. They remember happier times spent playing dress-up. One of the daughters mentioned that if you said you enjoyed a particular dish, she would then make it again and again, thinking it was a favorite. Trouble occurs when the mother cannot unzip her skirt. Numerous attempts are made in order to get the skirt on, one funnier than the next, however in the end, the mother is able to work the zipper, and they finish dressing. The moment of laughter is over, and there is nothing left for them to do but attend the funeral.
The film’s strength was its simplicity. It was a brief moment shared between a mother and her daughters. The piece could best be described as a cinematic snapshot. The short film contained many aspects that people, especially women could relate to. There have been times when I have had an inability to undo a zipper, right before an event. I vividly remember sharing family stories and laughing before a funeral. There was an emotional honesty to the piece-it did not come off as forced or sappy. I felt like a fly on the wall, observing a private family moment.
One aspect of the film, which I particularly enjoyed, was the dramatic music, which played when the mother was unable to unzip her skirt. The music was similar to what would play in a horror film, just before something awful happens. While the music was serious, it added levity to the situation, because having difficulty with a zipper and monster attack are two extremely different situations. While I saw 13 films at the showcase, “Grandma’s Funeral” was my favorite, and deserves recognition.