Memorial Day (1971)

A film by Wm. Stetz

Total Running Time: 8:48

Background to the Film 

Equipped with a Bolex camera, 16mm black and white film stock and the inspiration from a music recording, college theatre student and director Bill Stecz (Stetz) set out to make a film about reminiscence, longing and remorse.

The film, featuring actor John Ahart, embodies the essence of wishes for the past and personal connection that might have been.

Photographed and edited in 1971, Memorial Day was a finalist in its entry category* of the 9th Chicago International Film Festival (1971).

In its subtle and sophisticated shape, this “film poem” incorporates the strident string sounds of violin, viola and piano to create a haunting “memory play” of a man who returns to a place that’s suggested he has known.

The music, composed by Aaron Copland (“Quartet for Piano and Strings [1950]”), was the inspiration for the story and becomes the basis for the film’s pace and storyline.

Of interest, the soundtrack was mixed and re-recorded by Tomlinson Holman (inventor of the THX sound system for George Lucas).

*Film Festival Category: Students not enrolled in a film course.

Memorial Day cover art

ASPECT4:3 – 1.33:1