POP ART: EP 69, Death at a Funeral/The Funeral

Howard Casner • January 25, 2022

PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNERALS

U“That’s not my father”. It’s fall. The leaves are dying. The plants are dying. The earth is dying. It’s nothing but death, death, death. But is that going to get us down? Well, we shall see. Sounds like it’s time for Episode 69 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture, and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic/indie side of cinema with a connection to it. This time, I am happy to welcome back as my guest, film enthusiast, blogger, and host of the LAMBCast podcast Richard Kirkham, who has chosen as his selection the Frank Oz farce, Death at a Funeral, while I have chosen the perhaps more subtle, but no less effective Japanese film by Juzo Itami, The Funeral, two films that put the fun in funerals.

And in this episode, we answer such questions as: What’s so funny about funerals? Why did Juzo Itami make so few films? Where have I seen that actor before? Why was Japanese comedy so oxymoronic for such a long time? What is Frank Oz’s best film? Who is Itami’s brother-in-law? What are the here remakes of Death at a Funeral? Where does 55 Days at Peking and Lord Jim come in? What married couple play a married couple in what film? Who was Itami married to?