Friday, March 12, 2010

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

 Werner Herzog has always loved peculiar images in his movies, and considering the images in his latest film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done that sentiment hasn't changed. It opens with an upshot of a train in motion with Spanish music playing in the background, and then cuts to two San Diego detectives, a verteran (William Dafoe) and a rookie (Michael Pena) being called to a homicide. There they find a woman who has been brutally slain with a sword, and her son (Michael Shannon), the suspect, has taken hostages in his house across the street. While the detectives try to talk him out of the house, they interview friends, witnesses, and his fiancee (Chloe Sevigny) and we begin to get a picture of this mentally deranged man. Michael Shannon has that look and that natural ability to play loonies and here is no exception as he delivers a hilarious and disturbing performance. Back to the imagery Herzog so cherishes. Here he shows us a man hand feeding two flamingos outside a pink house with palm trees in front, as well as a man in a hotel lowering a light bulb into a circle of prescription glasses. Granted Herzog's films are not for everyone, those looking for something different at the cinema will admire this as well as some of Werner's other works.