Sunday 13 January 2008

Step 2 (?) Allen Menasco

Watched as part of the 'Selection from the Collection Part 5' at the Phoenix Art Museum courtesy of No Festival Required.

This was a very powerful short film, only three minutes long but with more of an impact than almost any film I've ever seen. It was a heck of a way to start a collection of shorts, that's for sure, especially when the director, Allen Menasco, was in the audience watching along with us. It's a real talkabout movie but one so heartfelt that it would be really difficult to walk up to Menasco and ask him the obvious questions: 'Is this real? Did this happen to you?'

The story is simple, as you'd expect from a three minute film. Menasco himself videos himself talking about a friend who has committed suicide. The video is obviously to be shown at the funeral and begins the standard way with Menasco saying the standard things, as you'd expect. After all they're as much ritual as anything else in a service and they rarely have meaning, full of fake platitudes and people saying something nice just to get on film.

This however is the most honest such video ever, because it's full of something else. Menasco quickly tires of being fake and saying 'thank you' to someone who wrenched themselves out of his life in the worst way and turns to sheer brutal honesty with the 'thank you' becoming 'fuck you'.

I couldn't find this film or anything much about it online, which is a shame. It's not something easily forgotten and that's a good thing.

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