After the attempted suicide of their adoptive brother Patrick, family members converge on the MacGillis household to mount a death-watch, amongst them cousin Bob and his hopelessly out of place girlfriend Laurence. An earlier private conversation between Christian and his sister Pascale reveals their knowledge, concealed from other family members, of Patrick’s previous suicide attempt. They begin to deliberate if they should now divulge this information to their parents who have been overcome by a sense of impotence and failure over the incident. The MacGillis children alternately disparage and flirt with Laurence, smoke pot, discuss the real motivation behind Patrick’s suicide beyond the sanitized “official” family explanation, play practical jokes, and even attempt to cope with the personal crisis of a possible unexpected pregnancy. From acclaimed director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings and Queen, A Christmas Tale).
Arnaud Desplechin is the son of Robert and Mado Desplechin, and grew up in the Nord department. He has a brother named Fabrice who has acted in several of his films, and two sisters: novelist Marie Desplechin and screenwriter Raphaëlle Desplechin.
Arnaud Desplechin studied film directing at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, graduating in 1984. He made three short films inpsired by the work of the Belgian novelist Jean Ray, and became a great admirer of the films of Alain Resnais. During the late 1980s, Desplechin worked as a director of photography on several films.
In 1990, Desplechin directed La Vie des morts, starring several actors who would go on to appear in multiple Desplechin films, such as Marianne Dénicourt, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel Salinger and Thibault de Montalembert. The 54-minute-long film won the Jean Vigo Prize for Short Films, and was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Desplechin’s first feature-length movie, La Sentinelle, premiered… read more
Above: An image from the beginning of The Life of the Dead. It's a good day. Cool Chicago summer — a few days before the 4th of July, but