Some Kind of Love
Directed by Thomas Burstyn
Artist and designer Yolanda Sonnabend resides in decaying splendor in the last un-renovated house in a posh suburb of London. Surrounded by fifty years of painting, sculpture, frames, fabric, books, the archeologia and the ephemera of her frenzied imagination, Yolanda says "I'm a prisoner of rubbish". Meanwhile, her older brother has moved in with his grand piano.
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★★★★ review by BTU on Letterboxd
A rich honest look at family, the wounds, the wonders , the characters and then fragile restless attempts made to make sense out of it all.
I was captivated by the sister and her life of wild expressive art but I was more pulled in by the cold dutiful brother who embodied love in the middle of his grumblings and heartless judgments.
★★★★ review by Glen Grunau on Letterboxd
Movies and Meaning Festival - 2016 Albuquerque
A penetrating look into the family of film director Tom Burstyn, a film that he directed. A courageous feat to be sure!
From the moment we are welcomed as viewers into the home of his artistically gifted step aunt Yolanda Sonnabend, it is obvious we are being introduced to a highly eccentric personality. She is a hoarder of everything creative (and a lot of junk besides). Tom always viewed her home as a "magical house of chaos". I felt a combination of admiration, for we had been clearly introduced to an artistic genius (which would become increasingly clear throughout the film as we were introduced to her life works), and compassion as we witnessed her decline into dementia.
We are then introduced to her brother Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, esteemed AIDS researcher and world renowned scientist. Joseph is a gruff, cold, and unmoving personality who in spite of himself, accepts the challenge of moving in to care for his sister.
Why does he do it? This became for me the intrigue of the story. Joseph was asked by his brother near the end of the film. His response? "Not for love . . . for duty and obligation".
In recent years I have been considering this same distinction in religious motivation, as I have sadly witnessed in others so much of this "duty and obligation" as an apparent means to satisfy and perhaps even appease a withholding God. Tom's response to his brother's insistence has stuck with me: "Duty does not preclude love".
Director Tom Burstyn was a member of the audience as we viewed his film together and came on stage for a post viewing interview and audience Q & A. I appreciated his honest self-discloses of his family experience as well as his recollections in directing this film. He confessed that everytime he approached the house for another day of filming, he was aware of a knot in his stomach at having to face his brother. He was terrified of arguments with Joseph. He admitted to us after the film "He's way smarter than me".
This film had added meaning for me personally as we witness my father-in-law and my mother in the early stages of dementia. I am moved by the motivation of family members who love and care for our parents. Each no doubt is prompted in part by felt duty and obligation. Yet it is very obvious to me that in these cases in our family, "duty does not preclude love".
★★★★ review by Liam O'Donnell on Letterboxd
Incredibly poignant portrayal of art and age and family
★★★½ review by AngelaMurphy on Letterboxd
Eccentric and artistic. Still a hoarder though.
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