I said commentary was unnecessary. And I meant it. But I just can’t help myself.
It’s a beautiful short; muted, meditative, and perfectly lit. So it’s in my wheelhouse, artistically. But it’s successful on a much richer, more important level than merely a visual one, and I come away unexpectedly and deeply moved — not just because it looks and sounds lovely, but because it so successfully captures Marcus Daly and his unusual, beautiful work.
The short’s emphasis on the hand-crafting aspects of Daly’s work is particularly wonderful, and I found myself nearly as inspired by that as I was by the more overtly religious aspects of the philosophy that enlivens his creations — though perhaps those two are closer to one another than I realize. The tendrils of wood escaping as he planes the boards; the way he runs his fingers over the beads of glue; the wooden mallet he uses to sink his dowels and the old-fashioned saw he uses to trim them; the painstaking sanding, carving, and inlaying that gives each coffin its final, polished look. The man is a true craftsman.
It’s much more than just an ad, though. It’s a manifesto.
“I think we’re meant to carry each other. I think that carrying someone you love and committing them is very important for us when we deal with death. We want to know that we have played a part and shouldered our burden.”