Freeze That Frame

Of ''Life'' and Death

Writer/director Bruce Joel Rubin's mother leaves a lasting image on his latest film

It's one of Life's bittersweet moments: In the recent video release My Life, Michael Keaton plays a dying public-relations executive who makes home videos as a memorial of his life. Inadvertently, My Life itself became a memorial to Sondra Rubin, the mother of writer/director Bruce Joel Rubin; she died of a cerebral hemorrhage last September, four months after filming a cameo as the relative who opens the door at a family party to welcome the couple played by Keaton and Nicole Kidman.

In fact, Rubin's entire family seems to be in the movie. ''If [you] froze the frame [in the wedding scene], you would see my brother, my sister-in-law, my wife, my kids, my nieces and nephews,'' he says. ''I decided it was the last time I ever make a film with my relatives, 'cause when you start cutting the film, you have to worry about whether you're cutting your relatives out of it.''

Originally posted Jun 24, 1994 Published in issue #228-229 Jun 24, 1994 Order article reprints
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