Thursday, April 28, 2016

Meet the People Who Capture Entire Lives in 800 Words: Vanessa Gould on 'Obit'

Documentaries about the media industry are familiar territory, but you’ve never seen one like Obit before.

A profile of the Obituaries section at the New York Times, Vanessa Gould’s film follows the reporting team as they work on tight deadlines to research the deaths of influential figures. Along the way, they muse about getting one shot to capture the essence of a life while pondering their own mortality and place in the world. The film edits archival footage of the obituary subjects in a poetic fashion, often narrated by words from the obituaries themselves, to create a moving portrait of reckoning with life and death.

Ahead of Obit’s April 17 world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, No Film School spoke with Gould about the similarities between documentaries and obituaries, the film’s “pointillist” philosophy and bugging the New York Times newsroom.

NFS: The writers talk about their work not being about death at all, but about celebrating the lives of their subjects. Was that your original perception of this film, or did talking to them change your perspective?

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from No Film School

from Mad Mohawk Films

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