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DVD Review: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

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She said:

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done is inspired by the true story of a guy who went nuts and killed his mother with a sword. What would make anyone think—with David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Willem Dafoe, and Brad Dourif attached to the project—that there might be any weirdness?

Also starring Michael Shannon and  Chloë Sevigny, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done features a supporting cast that Lynch fans will find familiar. Dafoe is uncharacteristically low-key, and Grace Zabriskie (as the mother) is an ice storm frozen in place; every expression tells a story of repression, control, and displeasure.

Michael Shannon stars as an actor (Brad) who takes his role in a Greek tragedy to heart, possibly because he (like so many Herzog and Lynch characters) is “unbalanced.” My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done begins right after the murder and much of the story is told in flashback. At times bizarre, it is an expertly made narrative of a man gone mad. Fans of Herzog (and/or Lynch) will not be disappointed.

Brad had refused to go on a kayaking expedition with some friends while visiting Peru because a voice told him not to go. The five other kayakers went without him and all drowned. When he returned to his home in San Diego he had “changed.” Living with his mother in a pink stucco house decorated with all things flamingo, he is a study in unexpressed rage and incipient psychosis.

Since David Lynch is directly responsible for FCE and I meeting, eventually marrying, and living in a pink house full of flamingos, I hope he and Herzog are not implying that we might be a bit daft. Actually, who cares if they are, since we are

Special features: “Plastic Bag,” directed by Ramin Bahrani, narrated by Werner Herzog, it is “the epic, existential journey of a plastic bag”(and is the autobiographical story of a sentient  grocery bag, which apparently all grocery bags are. It is absurdly absorbing and poetic, an excellent short film); director’s commentary, trailers, previews, and interviews with writer Herb Golder and Herzog. Release is scheduled for September 14.

Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Yes, it is totally absorbing; I know I will be watching it again.

He said:

A flamingo is just an eagle in drag.

“Ever since he came back from Peru he’s been strange. Well, not strange — different.”

“He calls himself Farouk, he talks about God, and he tosses oatmeal at us.”

So these guys go kayaking on a dangerous white water river in Peru, high on marijuana, after meditating…oommm…wonder what happens to them?

Some of the best motion picture directors began as still photographers. Many scenes in My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done could have been shot as stills.  No action. Thoughtful compositions. Raw emotions.

 Some people play a role,

others act a part. In a Greek tragedy.

 He approaches a baby grand player-piano.  The man seated there leaves and he takes the seat.  His mother leads him away.

 “I’ve been crying a lot lately. The tears only come out of my left eye. How do you explain that?”

 Many times we hide our feelings.  The characters in movies hide theirs, too.  In a Lynch/Herzog production, the inner feelings, mental defects, thought processes and demons are all on full display.  Nothing is hidden.  We are challenged to see what would be there if the characters were like us, hiding the truth and putting our best foot forward.  These characters don’t hide anything.  Do they have a best foot to put forward? Expect reality viewed as surreal from Lynch and you won’t be disappointed.

 Does a Greek tragedy have a happy ending?

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