SXSW First Look: A Necessary Death

February 27, 2008

A Necessary Death

The SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX is just a few weeks away and we're looking at a few of the films that will be premiering there. Today it's the feature film A Necessary Death directed by newcomer Daniel Stamm. This may be a very morbid trailer to start your day with, but it's one of the most interesting films I've ever come across. "Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this film sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous internet ad. I'm not sure whether this is actually a documentary or completely fictitious, but either way the trailer is very eerie.

The SXSW website lists this as a "narrative feature", although I'm certain that it's a documentary, but I'm not sure. At first I didn't really want to watch the trailer and wasn't interested, but about 30 seconds into it, I couldn't turn away. My jaw dropped and I was stunned by what I was watching. You need to check out this trailer and if you're in Austin for SXSW add this to your list of films to see.

Watch the trailer for A Necessary Death:

[flv:a_neccessary_death.flv 480 360]

If you're curious to know more, check out the official MySpace for A Necessary Death here:

A Necessary Death is directed by first-time filmmaker Daniel Stamm. The film will premiere at the SXSW Film Festival with the first showing on Saturday, March 8th at 2:30PM. This doesn't have a US distributor yet, but I'm sure if it's good, someone will pick it up. I am worried that it will be too emotional or morbid for anyone to actually think it's even distributable, but only time will tell - good luck in Austin!

You can be certain that we'll be seeing this at SXSW and will be one of the first to report back on our thoughts. Check out the full-line up of films showing at SXSW this year.

Find more posts: First Look, Indies, SXSW 08, To Watch, Trailer



This is clearly staged. It is clearly not a documentary. You are clearly an idiot who knows next to nothing about film.

Anonymous on Feb 27, 2008


Ah, don't you just love internet anonymity?

Ross on Feb 27, 2008


I think this is a horrible premise for a doc, especially the line where be tells the person (on the phone) that they are "excited" about moving forward with telling their (death)story. Also, wouldn't this clown ("filmmaker") be held accountable by law since he is clearly not trying to get them help but in some ways helping them end their life? I personally think that this would be a MUCH better doc if it were completely staged and in a comedic tone (sort of like a Christopher Guest style) about the filmmaker trying to make a real doc but having no success in finding people to really do it...A good name for this would be "Cold Feet" lol (pun intended)! my 2 cents

Herbert on Feb 27, 2008


LOL this is quite stupid, everyone knows that people who are going to commit suicide don't tell anyone about it. I've read in the Reader's Digest (yeah, so what 🙂 about a man that befriended a girl through the internet and one fine day she calls him to his cellphone telling him she's killing herself at that very moment. She only told him the floor she was and of course, he knew which Chinese province she lived in. So he post a message in a forum and through the help of several guys in the web they found her before she died. A guy saw the message and call a local hotel and told the janitor a girl was commiting suicide in the floor, so, the janitor went through all the rooms in the floor and found her alive. She later got well, sad story, happy end, better than movies.

Reiem on Feb 27, 2008


MY G*D! Do people have ANY decency? Horrible idea and I am sure this is staged. WOW!

Ryan on Feb 27, 2008


The first "suicidal" guy is definitely an actor that I recognize from some movie or TV show I saw recently. No chance that this is real.

Stan Upshaw on Feb 27, 2008


I doubt it's real. Anyway, wouldn't it be a crime to do something like this?

John D. on Feb 27, 2008


this is the most disgusting trailer i have ever seen. glad to hear everyone else thinks it's fake. suicide always has snowball effect and nothing good can come from a movie like this.

Alexander on Feb 27, 2008


given the state of society and Hollywood today, I guess something like this is not all that suirprising...doubt if it is real though...seems there would be a great many legal issues to deal with...but as I said, given the state of things today, I doubt there would be that many moral objections to doing this ...and if somehow it could be done for real, it would make for a bigger internet stir than Cloverfield...imagine that...what a totally sick world we live in...

cornholio_by_the_sea on Feb 27, 2008


So as interesting as this is, I don't know if I can take it seriously. My reason? The man doing that documentary is totally the same guy dancing his ass off in this video. i swear to god its the same person!

rachel on Feb 27, 2008


ok, i'd like to go on the record and say i'm in support of this film. i think it can be a very powerful film, whether it's real or fake. granted that the actors for a fake version are good actors and realistic. why is everyone against this? this stuff really is happening, i mean, people really commit suicide. and i think people should know what's going on before they do it. fine, i don't know anyone that's wanted to or have commited suicide. so maybe i have no right talking about it. but if this isn't real, it at least looks artistic enough. and i'm sure people that think about suicide, most of the time just want someone to hear what they have to say and feel. and just because a guy's silly he can't make a serious documentary? come on, people, have an open mind! and i hope this film will give you the opprotunity to do that. *steps off soap box*

craziemutant on Feb 28, 2008


Sorry, I guess instead of "Anonymous" I could put "Ross". Because that would blow my anonymity completely out of the water.

Ross on Feb 28, 2008


How horribly exploitative & offensive. Suicidal/depressed people won't willingly step up and talk to a total stranger about their personal issues.This is clearly staged,and not fascinating or interesting in any way-just plain offensive.

twispious on Feb 28, 2008


I found the guy I recognized: Omid Abtahi

Stan Upshaw on Feb 28, 2008


I am all for the film I hope this is a written film and I would like to see a view on what goes on in a mind of suicidal person

zzTop on Mar 3, 2008


This movie sounds so wrong, in so many ways. Do they even try to get these people help?

sacrafice41 on Mar 9, 2008


I saw this film at SXSW last weekend. I would highly recommend it, except for the fact that it is a fictional movie being marketed as a documentary, which I think is extremely lame. If your film is good, you don't have to go for the shock-value approach. I really despise being "marketed" to in this way.

Liz on Mar 11, 2008


I saw it at SXSW as well. I thought it was GREAT! The film was clearly in the narrative section of programming and I didn't feel I was being duped in any fashion. I think to debate whether it was being sold as real or not is missing the whole point of the movie. This was one of the best "conversation making" films I've seen in years. The Q&A made it clear this director was not trying to be gimmicky. I hope this film finds a home.

amannameddjango on Mar 13, 2008


I agree with Liz! Like many others this movie pissed me off. I thought it was a great film but then...I felt duped, the same way I felt after seeing "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story". "Walk Hard" presented itself as a biopic. The opening credits didn't say THIS MOVIE IS A MOVIE. I had to actually watch the movie to figure it out. It wasn't until I did some serious research which included typing "A Necessary Death" in that I found out that guess what, the actors were actors! After some reflection I have decided that I would much rather this be a work of fiction. I mean, what would it say about me if I needed THIS film to be real to enjoy it?

Eric on Mar 13, 2008


Eric, that was funny! I agree, these people who talk about being duped are looking at the trees and not the forest. I wish we would talk more about the stellar performances (i.e. Michael Traynor's and Valerie Hurt's) rather than a mute point topic like how people were too stupid to notice it is in the narrative section of the festival. ... The Dewey Cox Story... that made me laugh.

amannameddjango on Mar 13, 2008


I completely agree with django, people need to take the film for what it is and applaud the brilliant performances. I saw it at SXSW and it was by far the best film I had seen there. Bravo to the team and I look forward to buying my very own copy of the film before the secret is out (that it's a narrative).

Susie on Mar 15, 2008


I dont care what you idiots think this movie looks awsome, cant wait to see what losers answer the ad.

Red Formun on Jan 2, 2009

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram