It is a film maudit not because it suggests a filmmaker struggling with his material, but because the film falls short of the mark even while it remains so close to Bergman’s other work. In this way, it’s the film maudit at its most maudit: the self-parody.
It doesn’t just dabble in a subject matter the filmmaker has hitherto eschewed, but goes whole hog, channeling spirits from the netherworld and envisioning the bright lights of the Great Beyond with all the loud music cues and fuzzy CG of an episode of Medium.
In its achingly precise mise-en-scène, its deeply affecting elegiac tone, its finely calibrated performances, and, yes, its straight-up knee-slapping silliness, Mother represents the work of an astonishingly talented narrative filmmaker at the height of his abilities
The red balloon is beautiful, but empty. Its movement fascinates and seduces the camera; it’s elusive in its meaning as well as its motions, and its value is only certain in its aesthetic appeal. But this value should not be underestimated.
Meadows’s new film Somers Town offers a vivid contrast between the Eighties, when Britain's large unemployment numbers bred suspicion among the “true” English about their immigrant neighbors, and the 2000s, when the U.K.’s membership in the European Union has made ethnic diversity an inevitability.