Written and Directed by D. R. Tibbits, PINEBOX is a unique story that explores the world of a man named Merle. Merle (Kevin Breznahan) is a man who attends wakes and funerals – for people he doesn’t know. He also works in a funeral parlor with Lew (Brian T. Finney).
The brilliant writing and direction from Tibbits in this Award Winning short film – takes you on an uncertain journey at the beginning of the film – one that opens up the audiences imagination.
Merle has built a pine coffin. He’d like to offer it as an option for customers at Lew’s. Lew explains he already has “some of the finest caskets imaginable”. Enter Corinne and Quentin – a mother and father grieving to bury their son – with no financial means to do so. Lew offers payment plans – but Merle offers so much more.
The film contains many poignant moments – one which includes Merle “testing” out the coffin himself.
Breznahan give Merle a depth and sensitivity that is palpable. Supporting cast are wonderful, including Corinne (played by Ann Magnuson).
The small-town feel to this film makes you feel as if you’ve gone back in time. There is a charm to this film that defines it.
Beautiful cinematography by Michael Hartzel – including the light through a window – while Merle adjusts his tie.
The underlying score/music sets the tone (David Boman and Emily Greene).
From the small town feel, to the meaning of the pine coffin, this filmmaker taps into the importance of simplicity. Even Merle is simplistic – but with a heart of gold.
Death can have an everlasting affect on the loved ones left behind. Merle’s explanation of why he attends funerals – at the end of this rich 18 minute film – makes the journey come full circle.