The narrative and the poetic will merge in this, the less understood of Fontan’s film until now. The sophistication of the staging is not only perfect, but essential for conveying without words the spiritual life of the two main characters: Jonathan (the son) and Sonia (the mother). In this oedipal drama madness is present and fluttering throughout each scene while Pasolini’s concept of a cinema of poetry is materially revealed.
La madre partially strays away from the expositive clarity of a plotline to become a tale of an endangered sort where the camera duplicates the characters’ experience and, through this procedure, dilutes the plotline to transform it into poetry. As a summary it suffices to say that Sonia is delirious and drinks, while Jonathan tries to decide whether to carry on with his life or to take care of his mother. The change of roles is clear: the mother offers no contention and the son shelters her from a mental illness which renders her helpless. Actions are minimal: the mother gets into a train to go look for her husband (who is never seen in the screen) while the son keeps the house in order and enjoys, as much as possible, the love of his girlfriend. Narrative tension is related with the son’s decision, but in this film —which could be seen as a sensory documentary about floor tiles and fallen leaves—the plotline has to do mainly with its form.

Credits

Producer: סטלה צ'רניאקיץ' | Script: אלישיה סילבה ריי, גוסטבו פונטאן | Cast: unknown | Camera: דייגו פולרי, גוסטבו צ'יפינו | Editing: מרקוס פסטור