Short Film: Song Of The Gods
“I’ve seen lots of jazz funerals … and they’re always so abstract.” The jazz funeral seen in the short film Song of the Gods is all too concrete for the extended family of the late happy wanderer Poppa Neutrino and anybody whose seen the documentary Random Lunacy, which so brilliantly chronicled Neutrino’s life. The feature-length doc and the above embedded coda to that film were both directed and produced by Victor Zimet and Stephanie Silber. Song of the Gods is a sweet and sad tribute to this man’s philosophy and legacy.
Random Lunacy: Videos From the Road Less Traveled was a big hit on the underground and indie film circuit a few years ago and is currently available on Amazon and Netflix. Although Zimet and Silber put the film together and shot some modern footage and interviews, the bulk of the film is made out of the amazing home videos shot by Neutrino and his brood on their wacky adventures around the world, from running a circus in Mexico, to singing for their suppers in New Orleans, to building and sailing a homemade raft from New York City to Europe. These are stories you wouldn’t believe if they hadn’t been caught on tape.
The real brilliance of Random Lunacy, though, is that it brings the viewer so much into Poppa Neutrino’s world that you feel like you’ve actually gone on these adventures with him or that Neutrino is a good buddy of yours. So, for fans of the film — including the Underground Film Journal — the news of Neutrino’s passing back in January was of tremendous sadness.
Those who knew him the best gathered in New Orleans for a final send-off. An enormous model of a raft with 17 rooms and bowling alley dedicated to Neutrino was built and a jazz funeral procession marched through the streets of the Big Easy. Seeing how many lives he touched personally gathered in one place is truly awe-inspiring!
Neutrino’s ashes are scattered on the beach and the raft is set sail on the waters. Cheers are shouted, tears are shed and reminisces of this remarkable man fill the air.
Goodbye, Poppa. We’ll see you wherever you are wandering in the next world.