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All My Friends Are Funeral Singers


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Product Details

  • Actors: Angela Bettis, Emily Candini, Reid Coker, Kevin Ford, Karol Kent
  • Directors: Tim Rutili
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: IndiePix Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00345ZSCI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,631 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Zel is a fortune teller. She works out of her century-old house removing clients' aches and pains, advising gamblers, and channeling cranky spirits for a quick check in with their loved ones. Zel is very good at her chosen profession, but also receives some unique assistance. For as long as she can remember she has shared her home with a group of ghosts -- a priest, a bride, a mute child, some washed up vaudevillians and a noisy, sight-impaired group of musicians, who pass on incredible knowledge and abilities from beyond the world of the living. All goes on at the family homestead as it has for generations, until a mysterious light appears in the woods. The ghosts suddenly realize they are trapped, and forge a rebellion, tormenting Zel with all the aggravation and insanity they can muster. And when Zel uncovers the origins of these spirits, she is forced to choose between her comfortable if strange existence and letting go of the only family she has ever known.

Review

A decidedly singular visual and musical creation. --CityWeekly.net

Rutili relies on his primitive resourcefulness to create purposeful magic. --LA Times

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Tress on June 16, 2010
Artistic ruminations on the matters of life and death are not uncommon in film, especially for smaller independent features. In spite of this, All My Friends are Funeral Singers manages to stand out. Equal parts comic and tragic, Funeral Singers provides a fresh spin on what otherwise could have been a gravely dull feature by taking a remarkably unique and theatrical approach to the proceedings.

The film at first seems like two disparate plot-lines running simultaneously, one centering around a fortune teller named Zel and the other around a group of ghosts. Soon, however, these two plot threads become one, and the film begins to truly gel into a cohesive whole. Part of the film's surrealistic appeal is the way it keeps the audience guessing as to what exactly is going on. Angela Bettis does a commendable job as Zel, managing to seem appropriately haunted without ever devolving into self-parody or shrieking hysterics, and the menagerie of ghosts all play their (admittedly somewhat limited) roles well.

Though the base story is satisfying in its own right, where Funeral Singers ultimately excels is in its style. Director Tim Rutili infuses the film with a dark, bizarre atmosphere through some very simple means, such as the slight tilt of a camera on some scenes or the grainy, home-movie-type filter applied to others. Credit, too, must be given to the score by Califone, a catchy yet unsettling group of country-flavored tunes that enhance the film more than any amount of cliched weeping strings would have.

Complaints about the film are few but noticeable. The film's slight use of CGI is distracting enough to bring attention to itself, and some other directorial choices seem somewhat cheesy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sunshine on June 2, 2010
I saw this film at the IFC in New York where the band played live with the movie. Not sure what I expected. I typically do not see films that have anything to do with 'psychic-stuff' but this was interesting enough to ignore that. Turns out the whole point of the film has nothing to do with being a fortune-teller, that was just her line of work. And the ghost(s) or spirits represents her family. All I have to say is, "What an ending".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 14, 2011
This film has an unusual, very sober plot line, deals with a fortune teller and ghosts, but is not a frightening movie, and it is worth seeing because it is so unusual. Zel lives in a house that has about a dozen ghosts, all dressed in white, which only she can see. She gets along nicely with the ghosts and they with her. There are essentially three kinds of ghosts: There is a set of blind musicians who play strange repetitive music throughout the film, which helps set the film's mood. There is another group of ghosts who do not seem to interact with the musicians, including a clergyman who was struck dead by lightning and a bride who hung herself with "something blue." These two spirits constantly make out with each other. There is also a man who drank rubbing alcohol and a woman so attached to carbonated drinks that she took a bath in it. The drinks killed both of them. There are also others. The third "group" is a single young girl who is very attached to Zel. She is moot, but she helps Zel perform many psychic feats, such as getting rid of a woman's headache, helping this woman talk (actually squabble) with her dead husband (a humorous interlude), and telling a gambler which horses will win races. This young girl does not interact with the other spirits, but watches them. We have no idea how the ghosts came to live in Zel's house, and neither do they know. Zel sometimes wants to be alone, so she cuts off the ghosts from entering her bedroom by pouring salt across the threshold.

The relationship between the house occupants is good until the ghosts realize that at 3 AM a very bright light appears. They understand that if they enter the light, they would be free from the house. However, when they try to leave the house and enter the light, they are inflicted with enormous pain.
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One thing that people will never grow tired of speculating about is death. What happens to us? Where do we go? What is waiting for us?

"All My Friends Are Funeral Singers" never really asks those questions. Instead, this delicate, dreamlike film focuses on a house full of "funeral ghost" ghosts, and a young lady who lives alongside them. The first half is a meandering, messy nonplot, but it later gels into a haunting meditation on

Zel (Angela Bettis) lives in her late grandmother's old house, but not alone. For many years, she has lived with several ghosts, including a suicidal bride, a flapper, a randy priest, an embittered actor, a blind band that plays music all day, and a silent little girl. By day, Zel works as a psychic and a medium, while the ghosts meander about their own business.

Then one day, the ghosts see a bright light outside, and attempt to go into it... you know, the way dead people are supposed to. But they're unable to leave the house. They jump to the conclusion that Zel has somehow trapped them inside the house, and decide to make her life a misery until she releases them... but the truth is rarely so simple.

The first half of "All My Friends Are Funeral Singers" is kind of a mess -- everybody just meanders around aimlessly, chitchatting and occasionally doing little dances. And while the direction is lovely, we have these interludes where we just see the ghostly musicians diddling around on various instruments.

But once the ghosts demand their freedom, their story quietly gels together with Zel's, blossoming into a soft, bittersweet little finale. Director Tim Rutili wraps the entire movie in a sort of blurry twilight atmosphere, with wobbly camerawork and little superstitions that pop up between scenes.
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