Necrology, 1970, 12 min

Standish Lawder

Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

"In NECROLOGY, a 12-minute film, in one continuous shot he films the faces of a 5:00 PM crowd descending via the Pan Am building escalators. In old-fashioned black and white, these faces stare into the empty space, in the 5:00 PM tiredness and mechanical impersonality, like faces from the grave. It's hard to believe that these faces belong to people today. The film is one of the strongest and grimmest comments upon the contemporary society that cinema has produced." - Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice

"Several short films (at the Ann Arbor Film Festival) seemed notably successful in the creation of special effects. Among these was NECROLOGY, by Standish Lawder, an eleven-minute panning of the camera down what seemed an endless stairway, upon which people stood motionless and glum. These circumstances, plus the constant idea of the title, gave a haunting suggestion of people on their eventless way to hell. I was told later that the film was made with a stationary camera trained on a down escalator, and then the film was run backwards. A long, humorous 'cast of characters' at the end ... seemed to me to destroy a desirable mood, but it certainly pleased the crowd ...." - Edgar Daniels, New Cinema Review

"Without doubt, the sickest joke I've ever seen on film." - Hollis Frampton


Directed by Standish Lawder


Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Kathy Geritz: Juror Presentation

Renowned film programmer from the Pacific Film Archive, Geritz presents a program of historic and influential films that have screened at the AAFF over the past 50 years.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)