A Comedy About Death

– KnifeRock’s ‘Moon Manor’ Official Trailer


“If I can’t be me – and I mean everything that that means – I just don’t want to be.” Good Deed Ent. has revealed an official trailer for Moon Manor, a “comedy about death” made by the filmmaking duo known as “KnifeRock” (Erin Granat & Elizabeth Brissenden). This first premiered last year at a festival, and will be dropping on VOD starting in March to watch. Today is Jimmy’s last day alive. His Alzheimer’s is worsening, so he’s decided to die like he has lived – with intention, humor, and zest. In his last day on Earth, Jimmy will show an obituary writer, his death doula, his estranged brother, his caretaker, a surreal being, and guests at his fabulous “FUN-eral”, that perhaps the art of living is the art of dying. It’s “inspired by a true-ish story.” The film also marks the first original score by Coldplay producers The Dream Team. Moon Manor stars Jim Carrozo as Jimmy, with Debra Wilson, Richard Riehle, Lou Taylor Pucci, Reshma Gajjar, Galen Howard, Ricki Lake, and Heather Morris. Looks so wacky and fun and clever and fresh! I dig it.

Sometimes learning how to live, is learning how to die. On his last day alive, Jimmy (Jim Carrozo) will show his estranged brother, a salt-of-the-earth caretaker, sharp-witted death doula, an obituary writer, a cosmic being, and the guests at his FUNeral that sometimes the art of living just may be the art of dying. An exploration of what it means to have a “good death” and inspired by the life stories of 84-year-old lead actor James Carrozo. Moon Manor is co-written and co-directed by filmmakers Erin Granat & Machete Bang Bang (aka Elizabeth Brissenden – director on the series “I.R.L.”), collectively known as “KnifeRock”, both making their feature directorial debut after a few short films previously. Produced by John Humber, Bay Dariz, Erin Granat & Machete Bang Bang. Featuring a score by Coldplay producers The Dream Team. This first premiered at the 2021 Atlanta Film & Video Festival last year. Good Deed will debut Moon Manor in select US theaters + on VOD starting March 11th, 2022 coming up soon. Drop by the film’s official site.

Complete Article HERE!

‘sarco’ the assisted suicide pod is cleared for use in switzerland

sarco: a modern sarcophagus

by kat barandy

in 2019, australian euthanasia activist philip nitschke, founder of exit international, first unveiled his ‘sarco’ assisted suicide pod in venice. upon its first presentation to the world, people were already lined up to use it. taking shape as a high tech coffin, the pod allows the user to administer their own death in just minutes. with the press of a button inside the pod, the small space is flooded with nitrogen, causing oxygen levels to drop rapidly. the user will shortly feel ‘slightly euphoric,’ before falling into unconsciousness and peacefully passing away in a matter of minutes.

since its debut in venice, the philip nitschke’s machine has passed legal review and may be operated in switzerland.

a new way to die peacefully, now legal in switzerland

after passing legal review, the philip nitschke-designed pod offers a new method for assisted suicide in switzerland. the country is one of the few that has legalized physician-assisted suicide. it has one of the most progressive stances, allowing physician-assisted suicide without a minimum age requirement, diagnosis, or symptom state. because of this, people have traveled internationally for it — 221 people have traveled to the swiss clinic dignitas in 2018 alone (see more here). in 2020, around 1,300 people overall had died by assisted suicide in switzerland.

dr. nitschke, founder of exit international (see more here), champions the pod as a more peaceful alternative for those wishing to die. he explains in an interview with swiss journal SWI: ‘death takes place through hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation, respectively. there is no panic, no choking feeling.’ (see more)

revolutionizing the dying process

with his assisted suicide pod ‘sarco,’ philip nitschke seeks to ‘de-medicalize’ the dying process. he notes that currently, a doctor need to be involved to prescribe the patient with sodium pentobarbital and to confirm their mental capacity. the exit international founder aims to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves.

in lieu of a psychiatric review, the company is developing an artificial intelligence screening system to determine the person’s mental capacity. acknowledging the natural skepticism, especially from psychiatrists, nitschke notes the original concept, which involves an online test and an access code for the sarco.

Complete Article HERE!

The Dead Get a Do-Over

In a flurry of streaming television shows, the departed get a second chance. And viewers find an outlet for sorrow and remorse.

As Cal in “Manifest,” Jack Messina returns from oblivion with supernatural gifts.

By Ruth La Ferla

In “Manifest,” a series streaming on Netflix, Michaela, one of the show’s more candidly troubled characters, turns up with her companions after a lengthy, unexplained absence to be reunited with their families.

She ought to be ecstatic. But her reactions more aptly reflect the Kübler-Ross model of grief, some of its stages — denial, depression and anger — mingling on her features, along with a slow-dawning acceptance. As she tells Jared, her former fiancé, “Part of me wishes we hadn’t come back at all.”

Her response seems relatable. Mourning her life as she knew it, Michaela is one of some 200 passengers on the Montego Air Flight 828, who have mysteriously vanished only to return five years later, not a day older and sound of body but freighted with all manner of weighty emotional baggage.

In “Glitch,” Maria (Daniela Farinacci) resurfaces still caked in the soil from her grave.

That tale is but one in a rash of streaming series finding new audiences in the midst of a lingering pandemic, luring viewers with the suggestion that the boundary between life and death may be porous indeed. The departed get a new purchase on life in “Glitch,” an Australian offering in which the long-expired denizens of Yoorana, a fictional community in the Australian outback, stagger back to their homes, bodies still caked with the soil from their graves.

“The 4400,” focused on the undead but with none of the zombie horror effects, shows the newly risen wielding oddly assorted superpowers. In “The OA,” a fable-like iteration of the resurrection theme, the heroine has perished many times over, blind in one incarnation but gifted in another with an extraordinary second sight. Death itself is illusory, she assures a young school friend. “I think you are always somewhere.”

There is “The Returned,” an American adaptation of “Les Revenants,” a decade-old series about the long-gone members of a French Alpine village intent on picking up the shards of their lives, unaware that their near and dear have long since moved on. And “Katla,” an Icelandic production in which the deceased resurface in the shadow of an active volcano, seeking to salve emotional wounds.

At a time when people are grieving not only their dead, but lost jobs, opportunities and daily routines, the appetite for such fare seems especially poignant. Reveries, sci-fi fantasies or meditations on life’s great mysteries, these shows offer viewers little in the way of resolution but hold out a promise of redemption, reunion and, not least, a chance to muse on their mortality.

“Death has been a more omnipresent force in our lives in the last 18 months than it has been in our lifetimes,” said Steve Leder, the senior rabbi of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles and the author, most recently, of “The Beauty of What Remains,” about the nature of bereavement.

“Death is no longer something we can banish to the basement of our psyches,” Rabbi Leder said. “It is that broomstick pounding on that basement ceiling, demanding: ‘What about me? Pay attention. I must be reckoned with.’”

Dr. Andre (T.L. Thompson) and Claudette (Jaye Ladymore) of “The 4400” beam down with a mission.

Such shows offer, as well, a chance for viewers to confront, or at least contemplate, their most nagging anxieties. “These shows are our version of a roller coaster, a death-defying ride with the things you fear most.” said David Kessler, whose most recent book, “Finding Meaning, The Sixth Stage of Grief,” explores the reverberations of loss.

“When people are grieving, one of their greatest fears is that they’re going to forget about the person they have lost,” Mr. Kessler said. “We don’t want to move on because that feels like abandoning those we love.”

There is scant chance of that in the latest shows, many of them defunct network series revived for streaming at an eerily opportune time. “We live in the world’s first death-free generation, meaning that many people live into their 40s before experiencing the death of a parent, sometimes even a grandparent,” said Alan Wolfelt, a death educator and grief counselor.

“In a mourning-avoidant culture such as ours watching these shows is, in part, a rehearsal,” he said. “They permit audiences to mourn and to acknowledge the reality of their own death.”

Yet they raise more questions than they can or care to answer. What makes us special? Do we, as in the case of “Manifest,” return with a mission or calling? Are there others like us? Are we in danger, or are we among the chosen? Will we get the chance of a do-over?

Matters of faith are underscored in “Manifest,” as when a startled passer-by drops to her knees at the sight of Cal, the youngest and most insightful of the Flight 828 returnees, chanting, “He is risen.” For people eager to regain some semblance of certainty in a disordered time, these stories exert a powerful pull.

“We’re a very mastery-oriented culture, always wanting answers,” said Pauline Boss, an emeritus professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota and the author of “Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change.”

“With the spread of the virus, those answers are not necessarily forthcoming,” Dr. Boss said. “We don’t know if we can trust the person at the grocery store, whether or not they have been vaccinated. People are dying apart from their families, and those families may be feeling no sense of closure.

“What we have now is this whole host of ambiguous losses: loss of life, loss of jobs and loss of faith that the world is a safe place.”

“Manifest” will return for a fourth and final season, though Netflix has not announced a date. Peter Friedlander, who heads Netflix scripted series in the United States and Canada, said the series resonates with viewers because of their insatiable craving for mystery.

“It scratches that itch, trying in some way to hypothesize about the great unknown, to explore the notion of revisiting unfinished business,” Mr. Friedlander said. Such fare is a balm as well for people dealing with regret, he suggested, those eager to extract a message of hope from apparently meaningless, ungovernable events.

Sean Cohen, 27, a digital artist in Chicago who posts “Manifest”-inspired illustrations on Instagram, finds solace in the series. “It creates this whole story of how everything that happens is connected,” he said in a direct message on Instagram. There is also the emotional uplift, he said, “of seeing the passengers come together to help one another as the mystery unfolds.”

The show also captivates Princess Louden, 25, a dancer and graduate student in social work in Los Angeles. “‘Manifest’ technically is about something that could never happen,” Ms. Louden said. “It’s not like aliens are invading the planet. But it leaves a little room for all kinds of possibility. That’s what draws me in.”

The show is pure escapism, said Audra Jones Dosunmu, 52, a talent manager in the fashion and entertainment industries. “But there is also the idea that ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’”

“In a way I think of these shows as crisis pornography,’” Ms. Dosunmu added. “People like to see others going through things that they could never manage. But if that makes them feel thankful and better about their own lives, it’s a good thing.”

Many of the shows offer the tantalizing possibility of rescue and redemption, reassuring fans that, as is repeated like a mantra on “Manifest,” “all things work together for good. …”

In “Katla,” the dead, rise naked and covered in ash, a volcano erupts.

On “Manifest,” the risen heed inner voices urging them to acts of heroism. Michaela responds to a “calling” to free two teenagers trapped in a killer’s lair. In “Glitch,” a young woman sets out to confront her rapist and murderer. In “Katla,” estranged sisters, one of them dead, work at mending their frayed relationship; and in “The Returned,” a serial killer in a former life learns to rue and curb his lethal impulses.

These shows explore the prospect of a second chance, of tackling unfinished business, revisiting relationships, and dealing with regret, Mr. Friedlander said. “They let you look at the choices you’ve made and reflect on your priorities and values.

“It’s that sliding-door scenario that asks, ‘What if I could say one more thing to that person I’ve lost?’”

Complete Article HERE!