|Invitation to a Suicide is an independent film written, directed, and produced by Loren Marsh. "In the tradition of absurdist black comedies like Fargo and Harold and Maude," it tells the story of Kaz Malek, a young guy who tries to tries to steal money from a mobster. He screws up and ends up owing the mobster $100,000. If he doesn't pay it back, his father will be killed.
Kaz comes up with a plan so crazy, it has to work (or entertain an audience as it backfires). He decides to sell tickets to his own suicide to raise the money to save his dad.
Zorn was hired to write the soundtrack. Loren Marsh wanted the music before editing began so he could cut the film to the score (instead fitting the score into a completed edit). Zorn was uncomfortable at first because the music didn't seem to go with the tone of the movie. But in the end, it worked as a counterpoint to the imagery — the Polish immigrant part of Brooklyn set to elegant, atmospheric jazz.
The result is one of John Zorn's best albums. After releasing over 80 albums since the early 1980s, you'd think his best work was behind him. But he's still perfecting his soundtrack style. On this CD, he re-arranges a handful of songs so carefully, you can't hear the repetition. Only after listening to the album over and over do you realize that he's taken the melody of a song, re-written it for a different instrument, changed the tempo, and given it a different name. This repetition pulls the songs closer together, making the album feel like a single piece of music.