The movie "Mothers Day" by Broughton was interesting. Because Broughton
was a poet, he added title cards before each scene. The use of the title
cards allows the film to be more easily understood. The cards also allow the
mood to be set for each different scene. The feeling that is portrayed in the
film about the mother is one of mixed emotions. The mother is resented
for being cold and not being affectionate. The mother was definitely loved
because it was obvious that her lack of love bothered Broughton (or the
character in the movie). The mother was portrayed as a very vain
dominating woman who was wrapped up in herself and did not have much of
her emotions to offer to anyone. She was never seen playing with the
children; she was only shown looking in the mirror and worrying about her
appearance and herself. She is also never really seen with the father in the
film. The mother held a front that she put up for everyone. The image of
the building with only a front strengthens this conclusion. There are things
to look at on the outside but there is nothing beyond that. Broughton
seems like he holds this against his mother. It seems that he is somewhat
scarred from his childhood and his cold mother. He wanted her to love him
and care for him but she was only concerned about herself. The image of
the man sitting on the statue of the woman in the beginning is important
and in a way it explains the whole film. The man sits in the statue's lap
waiting for it to take a hold of him. Instead the statue will never move, and
it will remain cold and "lovely". The statue and the mother hold some of the
same qualities. They are cold, emotionless, unchanging, and vain.
Broughton loved his mother but he resents the fact that she put herself
before anyone and she did not show love for her children.
--Erica Ferry, 2000
Mothers day I thought to be a good film.It was an abstract but it made
sense. The title I thought at first was honoring his mom but it turns out that
the title is filled with sarcasm. Broughton I believe does love his mother but
in his work you can see that he does harbor some resentment towards her.
the way that he describes his mother as "lovely" is weird. He uses the word
"lovely" and yet in the film you never see his mom showing any love to
anyone. She is just there emotionless.
--Miguel Pickering, 2000
My take on this film was not that it was an honor to the filmmaker's
mother, but rather the idea that he was showing the aspects of how she
wasn't a mother. He, Broughton, considers his mother is lovely and
wanted her children to be as such. However, her loveliness only stayed
with her. it didn't go past that. All shots of her are shown as her checking
her hair or her face.
She was in her own little world. In the beginning, she was without a mate
and had many men try to court her. In the film, it is shown that these
men stood outside her window with presents, yet none of these men
phased her. It was almost as if she was in her own little world and the
men didn't matter to her. When she did get her mate, she seemed
disgusted when she looked at him. yet though the entire film, you never
see them together.
Also, another thing was odd. Broughton shows the children of mother
playing..yet they are adults. this could implicate one of two things: either
this is how Broughton remembers the people, or the idea that the
children were supposed to be "lovely" since they were dressed in suits
The house that mother lived in wasn't a house at all , but merely a
front...it had not body to it..basically nothing to it...a bit like mother. Her
front was a face of no expression, but she never changed. She was as
dull as the expression she showed.
--John Bartruff, 2000
I really liked the film "Mother Day" by Broughton. The reason being it
was easy to understand and it felt like a narration. The main character
the mother is very hard and has no love for others. She lacked feeling
for other around her like the children.
I agree with Erica that "The mother was definitely loved because it was
obvious that her lack of love bothered Broughton."(Ferry).
The man plays an important role because you see him near the statue
and it looks like he waiting for it to come alive so the women can be
apart of his life.
I did not realize that this movie was about Broughton own mother until I
read the different conferences.
--Helene Dacey, 2000
The opening scene of the man reclining on the statue becomes much
more meaningful as the film concludes. The cold, hard statue could be
perched upon, but could not give or be given to emotionally. Mother is
seen as a perfectionist, dreaming about what might have been.
Mother expects her children to be perfect(lovely). Broughton's use of
adults playing children is quite effective, and one can sense the tension
they grew up in.
I liked the movement in the film. The spinning objects, tapping foot,
and cane also added to the tension throughout.
The scene in which the woman is looking longingly at the spinning
mandolin spoke to me of unfulfilled dreams. She is knocked in the
head by a playing sibling..........Back to reality.
--Donna Albano, 2001
I thought this film was kind of weird because of the sad, ghostlike
expressions the characters had on their faces. It seemed a bit eerie.
I'm still confused on the one scene where the woman on the couch
would accumulate more men next to her shot after shot. She seemed
like the only character to express some happy emotions. It wasn't until
we discussed it afterward that i realized how brilliantly the scene of the
man being held by the statue connected with the story line. It gave a
sense of irony. This would be one that I'd have to look at twice before I
really understood what was going on.
--Jason Jordan, 2001
James Broughton Work