Retrospective Xavier Dolan : I KILLED MY MOTHER

Xavier Dolan was only 19 years old and yet his first feature I KILLED MY MOTHER, presented in the directors ‘ Fortnight at Cannes in 2009, receiving all the tributes. The young filmmaker and his film époustouflent the critical, as they bind, with a virtuosity unheard of for a first film, precision, formal images and staging for flights spirited. Even though the film has all the project of a megalomaniac and condescending it conceals yet neither the absurdity nor the inconsistency. Even if Xavier Dolan wears all the caps with audacity, an excess of some and a lot of megalomania, one cannot decently ignore that his talent is crazy. Writing, production, direction and acting, his film and him are one, merging into a single voice, that of Art with power and verve film new, admittedly juvenile, but fiery and passionate.

From the first seconds of I KILLED MY MOTHER is a measure of how behind this story self-serving, stands the artistic quest overflowing of a young man was insatiable. Xavier Dolan has chosen the Cinema as a mode of expression, and seems to consider it as the sum of all the Arts, he seizes all opportunities, and inspirations and strives to excel in it.

I KILLED MY MOTHER is a canvas of master gross, fruitful, excessive and already rare.

Hubert, 16 years old, he painted, is in love with Antonin, and lives alone with her mother Chantal. In full-blown adolescence, it suffers from an inherent evil to its age, the entry in the adult life signals the end of the time of the fusion with its mother and this painful passage is not smooth. To continue to build so it chooses to ” kill his mother “, the origin of her life and of her present pain rather than stop to be the son from ” before “, perfect and loved.

Of theOedipus of Freud Xavier Dolan :

Since the opening we go full force in a narrative of confession to the movement of “self-therapy” in : Hubert, appears to us in closeup, in black and white, clumsy, indicates that there is a sequence self filmed. In a monologue face camera it holds a reflection on the nature and the twists and turns of the love he bears to his mother. We, the viewers, are sitting and listen to them, such as the therapist or the ear of salvation, which we can guess that the director we substitute. His film, our eyes, will be his catharsis. Xavier Dolan immerses us in scenes of the everyday life of a couple filial, where he captures the pain of the two to be related by blood, whose love seems to be incurable.

Hubert does not see that the disgusted at his mother’s home. His mouth giant who leaves drip the juice of the clementines, the cream of the mille-feuille that foam at the corners of his lips, his trinkets hideous , his nerdy clothes and all its foibles horripilantes. He can’t take any more and yet he needs her and he yells out his love by all means , even with words that mean the opposite (” I hate you “). Their dialogue is perpetually rendered impossible by the means of a switched on TV , a game of solitaire on a computer screen or a radio in the car. Sometimes fragile, sometimes thankless, often exceeded, but basically at the end of his strength, Chantal does not know how to respond to the indignation of his son and drunk his words, she is isolated. This mother courage seems in effect to have abandoned the party, not achieve to be the woman sacrificed on the altar of single parenthood, a condition with which she struggles every day. Then the abdication symbolic results in the abandonment to the image. She leaves her son alone on the road, the video club or in front of the house, until the ultimate and final shipment at the school who will deal with Hubert, the tear of rejection and the experience of the otherness of the mother. However, serine is the mother of Antonin, “her mother “should love him” unconditionally ” . The director draws a second face of a mother , the mother-accomplice light and uninhibited, which makes case in front of her son, nor her lovers, nor of its principles. Hubert is at a loss and don parvennant to respond to its questions intimate that the glowing, disposes of, without control, to the violence of liberation.*

“Dolan has chosen the cinema as a mode of expression, and seems to consider it as the sum of all the arts. He seized all opportunities, and inspirations and strives to excel in it.”

Xavier Dolan takes the language of the unconscious, and even goes so far as to give us the key of his film in a dream sequence where Hubert sees his mother as a young bride to the white dress, fleeing from a man. This man is wearing a suit. It course, the flee, they face each other, their hands brush against each other, but as in the Creation of Adam by michelangelo, they fail to bind and Hubert falls backwards.

Dolan is able to hold the place of another that the son in the duo he has formed with its mother, another certainly transgressive, which makes it inherently impossible to balance, and the establishment of a privacy policy. Hubert and his mother love each other , as to the origin , but know they still love now that Hubert becomes a man ?

The vision of Xavier Dolan on the figure of the mother seems severe, yet it retains a look that is fair, intelligent and compassionate. And if this is indeed the eyes of Hubert which we use thread, at no point is the film does a figure of the victim and the enemy. In the last part of the film he offers to Chantal , brilliantly embodied by Anne Dorval, a monologue box in a fixed plane suffocating. In turn it refers surreptitiously to his journey, the painful and his own mother. With this scene, Xavier Dolan , who gained unequivocal complex of oedipus, to embrace more widely the Freudian theory referring to the determinism of childhood, which Chantal would also be a victim, childhood: well the origin of the evils and base all reproductions of the behavioral.

The Birth of the greatest filmmaker of his generation :

Although the scenario is a virtuoso, he makes himself small in front of a scene, bluntly stated, is brilliant ! Xavier Dolan is only in his first film, but it displays without a doubt a genius beyond peer. If he is fluent in the language of narrative, it is equally versed in the visual language. His work is full and overflowing inspirations art in any genre ( literary, pictorial, poetic) and purpose-formal and sliced. And he should use all the techniques to “decorate” his film . It incorporates of the text in the image, in the middle of a plan by the quotes come hang in the light. They give rhythm to the film, translating a feeling, a chapter or a written. Inserts iconographic come also illustrate and reinforce its symbolic. Xavier Dolan is an esthete and an extremist, the set design, his designs are ultra-narrative; he wants to force the feature, we hammer out details in order to extract the essence of what it means. And Chantal is lost in its tissues, panther and butterfly dried. It is rich, loaded the same, yet at no time of the plurality of effects used is not harmful to the film. Everything is under control, and perfectly coherent. He also plays with the rhythm and musicality of the images, the amount of the sequences of violence in a slow motion theatrical or scenes of tender in a trépignante acceleration. This visual treatment against the employment allows the filmmaker to allow escape from these scenes often symbolic all their grace. Xavier Dolan surprises and fascinates, with its entirety without equal in its prerogatives are almost graphic. Slice it and truncates the image with scales of plans very conceptualized , see provocative: these characters, including himself, are regularly décadrés , stuck to the right, left or bottom of a frame that the asphyxiation. It suffocates often in this house, scene of psychodrama, or the light perpetually yellowed lighting indirect and lampshades opaque, plunging the house in sepia tones, as though to mark the immutability oppressive of the family home and its caulking stuffy who opposes the white light of the rest of the world.

In spite of its title, cutting torch , I KILLED MY MOTHER is a declaration of love from a son to his mother. Xavier Dolan we asked about her own questions of identity and made his first film, a narrative that is intimate and universal. It is shaped as the painful moment where the umbilical cord breaks of itself when it was able to be cut when the time comes. And this pain exists even in the images. The young director blow your mind by his sensitivity and maturity of analysis but also by his talent ultra creative. It moves, gives the impression, and sign a work of Cinema. Yes, there’s genius in the first film from Xavier Dolan and while it portray a conflicted state, the director knows at what point the link that binds the mother to the child is unshakable in spite of his need to break; and, while Chantal in her car, the throat, supports the latest onslaught records of his son in the parking lot when waiting for the bus that would take her away from her at boarding school, Hubert gives her a last scream of despair :

– “What would you do if I die today ?

She makes no reply to him , but when he turns his back and walks towards the bus, she whispers :

– ” I will die tomorrow.

Xavier Dolan made his first film and signs his first masterpiece.

Sarah Benzazon



Click on the poster to read the review

Original title : I killed my mother

Realization : Xavier Dolan

Screenplay : Xavier Dolan

Main actors : Xavier Dolan , Anne Dorval ,Suzanne Clement, Francois Arnaud, Niels Schneider

Country of origin : Canada

Released : July 15, 2009

Duration : 1 hour 40 minutes

Distributor : MK2 Distribution

Synopsis : Hubert Minel does not love his mother. From the top of its 17 years, it is the gauge with contempt, and only sees his sweaters cheesy, decoration, kitsch and bread crumbs that lodge in the corners of his lips when she eats loudly. Beyond these irritating surfaces, there is also the manipulation and guilt-tripping, mechanisms dear to its parent. Confused by this love-hate relationship that obsesses him more and more, Hubert wave into the mysteries of an adolescence both marginal and typical -artistic discoveries, experiences illegal, opening up to friendship, sex and ostracism – eaten away by the fierceness that he feels towards a woman he loved but once.

Category: Uncategorized

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