*Online Premiere* The elderly residents of a Houston retirement home fill their days by playing in a kazoo band. “Ode to Joy,” directed by Michael Koshkin, is a tender documentary filled with charming personalities that grapples poignantly with the frustrations of getting older and feelings of uselessness. The Brookdale Kazoo Ensemble gather to make music together, a way to stay active and engaged at a stage in life when “you have nothing you have to do.” Occasionally they take the show on the road, as when they shuttle across town to a children’s day care to play for the toddlers. As they make the trek, they reckon with their place in society and their mortality, and the simple joy they get from humming into a kazoo. (12 minutes). Director and D.P.: Michael Koshkin. Producer: Caitlin Mae Burke. Co-Producer: Abbey Wells. Additional Camera: Jonatan Sandoval Leyva. Editor: Lucas Harger. Colorist: Jordan Taylor Fuller. Sound Design: Steve Horne. Music: Redding Hunter.
For more on the film, read our interview with director Michael Koshkin where he discusses how the project started (spoiler: it has to do with “The Ellen Show”) and what it’s like working with his own grandmother. [NoBudge members only]