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Growing Old

USA 2006
produced by
Michael Neel, Greg Ansin (executive) for Monkeyray Productions
directed by Michael Neel
starring Bob Ross, Elaine Ross, Helen Metros, Ted Metros, Paul Mazur, Chester Higgins jr, George Gougian, Elisabeth Babcock, Amy O'Doherty
music by Jeff Calder, Jim Matus, Stephen Neel


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Basically, this film comprises of three stories about aging which show different approaches to the subject:

  • Bob Ross was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago, shortly before retirement - which pretty uch thrashed all the plans for the future in Florida he and his wife have made. Still, he pushes onwith a positive attitude and manages to outlive his life expectancy by far. To support him, his wife buys him a new boat, not because he will be able to use it much anymore, but because it gives him something to do and to look forward to. Sadly, Bob Ross died before this film was finished.
  • Helen Metros is a waitress at Charlie's Kitchen. She is way past 70, and she could have retired long ago, but her job keeps her fresh and alive, and it has made her so much a part of the neighbourhood she can't even begin to think about retiring.
  • Dr. Paul Mazur provides health care to elders, regardless of their income. As a consequence, he also witnesses the darker sides of aging, making visits to overcrowded nursing homes and hospices, dealing with senile patients and even homeless people. Not an easy job, but he takes pride in doing it ...

This is not so much a documentary as it is a meditation about aging, as it presents its three totally independent stories in an utterla unjudgemental way and leaves it to the viewer to come up with his own conclusions. What the film does however is to treat its subject and all of its protagonists, even if they're senile, alcoholics, homeless and whatnot, with dignity.

In all, probably one of the best films on a topic that has been marginalized in our youth-obsessed (yet overaging) society, and one of the exceedingly rare examples of a documentary that makes you think without overfeeding you with (at best questionable) facts.


By the way, if you want to find out more about the film, go to


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD