Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Mother's House : the kids are not alright

I saw Never Let Me Go recently and found it disquieting - it felt like it was telling me to accept all hells-on-earth - and I thought of it when I watched Our Mother's House - a similar fatalistic thing running through it. You just know it can't end well. It starts of like a fairytale: there are seven young children and their mother dies so they bury her in the garden and keep in touch by holding "Mother time" (seances) in the "tabernacle" (garden shed)... and then the wayward father returns. There is beautiful Dirk Bogarde and scary Yootha Joyce and sweet Mark Lester  - all of the children are fantastic, subtle, sad. It's a creepy film, there are a lot of 'wrong' moments, gorgeous camera-angles, screenplay co-written by Haya Harareet who was director Jack Clayton's missus. I do love these children-without-adults movies and think the best children's fiction has adults off-stage. I was never sure if I was supposed to like Dirk Bogarde or not (until the end when it becomes obvious). Here is my favourite scene. Crystal Palace (ahh!) and that music that haunts me... strange and sad as one of the Youtube commenters says.

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