Dec 3, 2007

Mother and Son

Mother and Son (1997) directed by Aleksandr Sokurov is now on my list of favorite Russian dreamlike films (is this all Russian films?). The back of the Kino DVD has written, “Visuals that make Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven look like a home movie.” This is what made me decide to watch Mother and Son. I was thrown out of the class I originally saw Days of Heaven in. If they had screened Mother and Son, the philistine teacher would have screamed “revolution.”

Russia proves they are one of few nations producing their own cultural films. Maybe its their new sense of nationalism. I doubt that’s true though. Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Mirror was doing more interesting things in 1975. But whereas The Mirror is a poem of the stream of consciousness, Mother and Son is a collage of beautiful paintings. But this beauty is distorted.

Mother and Son is honestly one of the most disturbing films I have seen recently. The film is like Oedipus Rex from hell. The relationship between Mother and Son is quite intimate throughout. The son carries his dying Mother around the outdoors. They sporadically talk of the Mother’s inevitable death. The images follow the gloomy tone of the film. Mother and Son wasn’t the easiest to digest. But that is a good thing.

Director Aleksandr Sokuroy brought up life questions and philosophies that even became darker than the most misanthropic films of Ingmar Bergman. Mother and Son is not misanthropic however. It just takes you to a experience that most wouldn’t dare look into. Too bad its inevitable.

Mother and Son derives much of its emotion through its utilization of special camera lenses , stained glasses, and mirror effects. Don’t expect much plot. The film is rich in artistry. You’ll feel from beginning to end. Watch Mother and Son before World War III happens! Putin approves.

-Ty E

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