Mother and Son (Mat i syn)

Mother and Son

I want to go for a walk.

Mother and Son, a short feature film directed by Aleksandr Sokurov, is another one that’s pretty much precisely what it says on the tin; there’s a mother, and her son, and no other characters in the film, and it is all about their relationship together. Normally, I’d offer a caveat to this, saying it’s not only about that, but in this case, it entirely is; there’s nothing else to this one at all. Well, that’s not entirely true, there is something else to this one, but it doesn’t have to do with substance.

What will immediately jump out at you is the look of the film. Every shot, right from the beginning, is stretched or slanted or manipulated in some way, to give it a look and feel unlike anything you’ve seen in film. I’ve said about a few films in the past that the composition is so good that each frame could be a picture or a painting, but nowhere is this more applicable than in Mother and Son; every shot IS a painting, and all of them are fascinating. To some, it might look as if the copy of the film is messed up in some way, or it’s not coming in right, but let me tell you, it is; that’s how oddly unique and striking the look of this film is.

While the look of the film is the primary reason to watch it, it is also pretty much the only reason to watch it. There’s very little in terms of plot or narrative; it is mostly about this careful and delicate relationship between the mother and the son, who go without names through the whole film, so people looking for a straightforward story, or even a character study, will come up empty handed with this. I don’t know if the unique look alone makes this a must see, but I can see how others might come to that conclusion. This was eventually culled from the list to make way for newer entries, so it apparently didn’t stand up well enough to further scrutiny. Still, the look made this especially memorable, and the very short running time (just over an hour) made this even more watchable, even if almost nothing happens for most of the time, and what does happen does so very slowly. See it if you want to see a film unlike any film you’ve seen, but if you have any other reason for wanting to see this film, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

Arbitrary Rating: 6/10

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