Mother and Son
Makes Tarkovsky look like The Cannonball Run
In festival circles, Russian director Alexander Sokurov has long been dubbed the next Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris, Andrei Rublev), but Mother And Son, his 14th feature, is his first to attract much attention in the U.S. Given the stubborn pacing of the film—which makes everything the famously deliberate Tarkovsky directed look like The Cannonball Run by comparison—it's hardly surprising that distributors have balked in the past.
But once you adjust to Sokurov's spare effects and measured cutting, the haunting, unforgettable images in Mother And Son leave no doubt as to why he's considered one of the world's premier film artists. The clean-lined, economical story concerns an anguished young man (the sad-eyed Alexi Ananishnov) so devoted to his dying mother (Gunrun Geyer) that he refuses to accept the inevitable.
Isolated from the rest of society, save for the occasional train passing in the distance, he spends long days carrying her across the idyllic landscape outside their cottage, stalling frequently from the burden. There are times when the action stalls in turn, as Sokurov wipes away the already scant dialogue and movement and the film becomes more like an especially vibrant painting.
Using special, hand-painted filters and distorting lenses that flatten the characters against their surroundings (and each other), Sokurov creates a hazy, muted visual texture that lends his melancholy story uncommon intimacy and power. Some have found this cinematic museum piece interminably dull, but for those willing to ride out its eccentricities, Mother And Son is a unique, rewarding experience. (S. Tobias, The Onion)
Mother and Son
Wed April 5, 2006, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium
Germany/Russia, 1997, in Russian, Color, 73 min
10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission.
$7 w/UCB student ID,
$7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.
Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the
Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters
along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.
Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus
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