Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Going to Water My Dead Plants That Are Dying

A middle-aged woman descends on the home of her eccentric mother who lives somewhere not too far from Manhattan in a sprawling, ramshackle home that may have once been a place of some grandeur. They bicker, the daughter makes her mother indulge her artistic pursuits. It's hard to tell which is the wackier of the two, or are they both misunderstood, or are both grounded but in values most of society doesn't understand? And just when it seems they are a normal family, one of them tells a child that AIDS comes from ticks and mosquitoes.

No, it's not Grey Gardens, and that tale has been so reworked now that I don't think I want to see it for another 50 years. The Mother Project follows controversial photographer Tierney Gearon and didn't leave me liking her necessarily, but it is a train wreck of a family that is hard to look away from but I'd want to be around for no more than three minutes. The mother does have some good lines on the order of "I'm going to water my dead plants that are dying," but I can't say I learned anything other than the number and names of Gearon's children. I can't deny the power of some of Gearon's portraits. But as I look at the striking photo above, I wish I could just enjoy it as it stands and make up my own back story instead of the one that I now know as reality.

Gearon comments at one point about having not been raised with boundaries, then says she has some for her children but not tpp many. Then she takes a photo of her 60-something mother topless in a barn holding her naked baby and screams at her son that it's inappropriate for him to come in, then tells him it's okay to come in, and then when he says it's a porno shoot she scolds him. Throughout the film she questions whether or not she's a good mother. I'm glad I never took similarly disturbing photos of my parents or pets. They'll rest better in the next century as a result.

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At 11:55 AM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

"...I got bit by a tick and it started to grow into an AIDS worm." Possibly the oddest thing to say if you are sane. In this case it was par for the course.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

This sounds fascinating and I must see it. You ARE the go-to source for junk, crime, and insanity.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - That was a great line too. And really great wisdom to pass down to the kids.

Salty - Junk Thief: crazy like a coatimundi or Coati Mundi himself.


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