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The Funeral 聚喪 (2009)

The Funeral (2009) Poster

Release Date
05/01/2009

Production House
Derail Productions

About the Short Film

“The Funeral” is a family drama about how, after their little brother had passed away, a sister and a brother must come to terms with the joint responsibility of holding a funeral for their younger sibling, even if it means they have to struggle with their differences in religious beliefs and their indifference towards each other’s lives.

Approach

During pre-production, we had settled on using two songs in two specific scenarios in the film. These two songs are Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and a traditional Hokkien song.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a deliberate choice due to its popularity at wedding events, yet we decided to use this in the film when the visitors and relatives attended the funeral as a counterpoint to the visuals. We wanted to compare between the mood of a wedding and that of a funeral, since weddings and funerals are important days of each person’s lives. The former represents uniting while the latter represents parting.

In the initial stages, the team listened to soundtracks of different films to gain a better insight of what style of music we wanted to use. Inspiration was drawn from Michael Giacchino’s understated score for the American television series “Lost” and Yann Tiersen’s score for “Amélie”, specifically with the beginning to the track “Sur le fil”. These two tracks became the basis of finding the music soundscape and composing the tunes for our soundtrack.

Personally, I’ve always wanted to try live recording of instruments. With the need for a restrained score for this film, I felt this was the perfect time to have a musician emote and perform the piece rather than using computers to do the job.