Live From SXSW's Screening Room

A CERTAIN KIND OF DEATH

D: Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh.

Documentary Feature First Films, Regional Premiere First, there are the bodies: days or weeks dead, some maggoty and a little runny, measured and manhandled, wrapped in clear plastic and dragged bumping down the stairs. What follows is mostly a lot of cleaning and clerical work: identifying the deceased, clearing out the apartment, arranging cremation, searching for family or acquaintances, auctioning possessions. A Certain Kind of Death documents the particulars of dying alone, unbefriended, and sometimes underdocumented and reads as pure vérité, giving little clue as to the filmmakers' points of view. Still, its catalog of tasks stirs up intriguing questions about a certain kind of life -- i.e., what does it mean, if anything, when what's left at the end is $124 in used furniture and a stain on the carpet? -- and there's a sadness underlying the matter-of-fact style. There's subtle provocation here, as well; the film doesn't so much broach as hint at themes of human isolation and the meaning of modern bureaucracy, purring along nicely far beyond the grave. (Paramount, 3/13, 5pm; CC, 3/15, 10:15pm)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Cindy Widner
The Cartography of Home: Austin's Atlas
The Cartography of Home: Austin's Atlas
The Chronicle talks to Ann Armstrong of map project Austin's Atlas about the local preservation tool

July 24, 2015

Protect and Preserve
Protect and Preserve
Now that we've freaked out about Austin's unrelenting boom, can we figure out how to keep what's best about the city alive?

July 24, 2015

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle