Anthology Film Archives

MOTHERx5

May 8 – May 15

Anthology celebrates Mother’s Day with a series showcasing five films whose relevance to the holiday is unmistakably inscribed in their titles. But don’t let the shared title and theme fool you: in most respects these films are radically different from each other. They were made in distinctly different periods (from the mid-1920s to 2009), produced in far-flung parts of the world, and adopt wildly varying tones (from the revolutionary montage of Pudovkin’s film to the heartrending melodrama of Mikio Naruse and Kaneto Shindô’s, and from the dry comedy of Albert Brooks’s take to the genre-crossing craziness of Bong Joon-ho’s volatile follow-up to THE HOST). But they’re masterpieces, each and every one, while the eponymous mothers that anchor each film represent some of the most memorable characters to grace the silver screen. Larger-than-life in their tenaciousness, life force, and the contradictions at play in their volcanic personalities, these are maternal figures far removed from a staid, domestic conception of motherhood.

Special thanks to Brian Belovarac (Janus Films), Jack Durwood (Paramount), Mark Johnson (Harvard Film Archive), Koji Nazaki (The Japan Foundation, New York), Rahul Roy (Magnolia Pictures), and Jiro Shindo (Kindai Eiga Kyokai Co.). 

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