For Dead Man's Bones short film for “Pa Pa Power,” the duo packed up their harmonium and beat machine, enlisted their trusty youth choir, and paid a visit to the Chancellor Place to perform for the residents the Pasadena assisted living facility.
The spooky outfit by actors Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields has a reputation for performing kids shows including a puppet show at Bob Baker's Marionette Theater and a magic show at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.
But this video takes the band to the older side of the spectrum. We meet the colorful characters of Chancellor Place like a piano playing postman, a man who zips along on his motorized wheelchair, and a woman who learned to play Scrabble by herself. It's a bit bittersweet to see these opposites shored upon each other, youth and age, mobility and stasis, the beginning of life and the end of it.
But the residents seem to enjoy the performance, and even join in on the dance party at the end. Other than when a gap-toothed, little redhead girl leaves the home to vanquish a balloon beast (built by artist Joshua Allen Harris), the film is a down-to-earth documentary taking us to a place many are too scared to go.
Give your grandparents a call. Dead Man's Bones wants you to.
And for all you who want to be “walled” by Ryan Gosling, we have to say: Start your swooning.