SUMMARY: A week in the life of three individuals who have different encounters with death and struggle to cope with the aftermath.
WHY IT’S HERE: Felix Massie’s brilliant ‘The Surprise Demise of Francis Cooper’s Mother’ is a clever, funny but troubling short which examines the aftermath of three deaths. Francis Cooper receives a call to say his mother has died and, given that she was not very old, becomes obsessed with working out his own lifespan and the sequence in which his family members will die. Emily Madison accidentally kills a man in a car accident and struggles to work out how to continue with a normal life in the aftermath. Craig McKay wrestles with his own self-esteem when he realises he has put his cat through the washing machine. While all of this may seem a little bleak to mine comedy from, Massie’s wry but emotionally astute scripting, coupled with brilliantly sensitive narration from comedy legend Alexei Sayle, makes ‘The Surprise Demise of Francis Cooper’s Mother’ another dark gem from an underrated talent.