My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Willem Defoe, Chloe Sevigny, Udo Kier, Michael Pena, Grace Zabriskie, Brad Dourif

Plot: Inspired by a true crime, a man begins to experience mystifying events that lead him to slay his mother with a sword.

My Review and Thoughts:

I had never even heard of this movie and when I saw that it was presented by David Lynch and directed by Werner Herzog I was instantly sold.  I was amazed because movies are my knowledge and there are very few that pass without me hearing something about them. I was shocked and could not believe I had not heard of this simply for the fact it is presented by one of my favorite directors, writers and visionaries David Lynch.

Further more it stars two of my favorite underrated actors. The one of a kind power house Willem Defoe and the amazing Michael Shannon and also is directed by a master of the camera and the movie world Werner Herzog.

This also stars an amazing actress Chloe Sevigny who I fell in love with in Kids and Gummo. All you have to do is look at the cast and see why it pulled me in. Udo Kier and Brad Dourif both icons also have roles in the movie.

So you can understand that when I went into this I had high expectations because it already had three plus's to it.

This is inspired by true events. 

Two detectives are called to a murder. A stabbing. The next door neighbor Brad did it and is now holding a shoot gun screaming he is god. The cops learn of his past and that he took a trip to Peru with his white water rafting friends. An inner voice told him not to get in the raft, all his friends are killed in the water. 

He is now filled with ideas and calls himself Faruq and states he is a Muslim and now he will only follow the inner voice inside him and that God visits him through Oatmeal Canisters.

Possibly one of the strangest type of films I've seen. You can tell why David Lynch wanted to have his hands on it.  This movie is almost impossible to explain unless you have seen it. Plays out like somebody high on dope or sniffing crack almost like watching an insane type of person functioning in every day life with an overbearing mother, a wife that seems to just overlook the odd weirdness of her future husband.

This is an original and very unique and twisted type of film in showcasing the type of stuff you would expect from a David Lynch film by the idea of visions or artistic filmmaking or odd images. The dialogue has an odd underlining comedy, the strange characterization of each actor or actress stands out.

Like I say it's hard to review this movie  in less you have seen it. I'm really stumped. I usually don't get stumped on how to review a film, but this is one of those that is hard to review just for the fact I don't know exactly how to explain what it is.

Herzog describes the film as "a horror film without the blood, chainsaws and gore, but with a strange, anonymous fear creeping up in you."

As I have stated above, this was inspired by true events. Inspired by murderer Mark Yavorsky. He killed his mother by acting out a Greek play and using a sword which he clearly had mental issues. Golder the co-writer tracked down Yavorsky who had been releashed and was living in San Diego and then a trailer park. Golder and Yavorsky met on many occasions and Golder became somewhat fascinated.

Golder then met with Herzog and Herzog met Yavorsky. The screen play was written in four and a half days by Herzog and Golder. But the film took over 15 years to make because no one would produce or touch until David Lynch stepped on board.

Interesting is that David Lynch never even went to the movie set, never had anything to do with it other than green lighting it. All the style that is in the movie that is referred to as David Lynch style by reviewers is really Golder and Herzog's doing which had already been written 15 years before. 

This film is really unique and I think it's going to take a second, third, fourth, fifth watch to basically understand it's premise to understand what it is trying to say if anything other then a strange tale of one mans insanity.

On an interesting note the first time Golder met with the killer Yavorsky in real life at his apartment on the walls where cut out images of art and religion and porn and quotes from the bible but in the middle of all the chaos the focal point was an image of Klaus Kinski from Aguirre: The Wrath of God, from, thats right as if destiny, a Herzog film. This was before any idea, meeting or reality that Herzog had anything to do with it. 

Now something that's very interesting is the filming itself. Done using a high-definition camera and not film. This reality almost adds a somewhat focal point that puts the viewer there, were as if you're seeing it unfold before your eyes, some people have labeled it guerrilla filmmaking.

How ever you see this movie and try to explain it is your own guess work and thoughtful ability to grasp. 

Do I recommend it, all I can say is if you like Herzog or Lynch give it a go. 

Seeing the reality of this person's brain and thought process is what makes the movie.  I would say see it for the acting performances because each of the actors are golden perfect in the role. The characterization of each person is flawless and downright weird, different, confusing, strange and most of all unique and one of a kind.

In my book I think it's brilliant not because its a flawless movie but because I have never seen anything like it before.