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  5. A distress mother finds out too late that her eldest son plotted against the family's business. She discovers that he scheduled a meeting with a lender from an outside agency. Her grief increases when she learns that only he will attend. His interference disturbs her plans to help their rock quarry business. Earlier, she invited local bank officials to visit her at her home. They agreed to come next week.

    A “big shot” before his time, the conniving son believes that rapid technological growth is the answer to their poor earnings. He disregards the "go-slow" policy previously followed by his father. To secure the loans, the "know-it all" son make promises that he cannot keep. Knowingly, the sly lender asks for management control rights to their rock quarry, if contractual obligations are not met.

    After establishing defensive measures to boost up earnings, the family members feel that they can meet payroll. But hunger for power drives the son to conspire against his family. He throws cautious aside and decides to gamble on his mother’s good will. His ambitious endeavors have forced his distraught mother to act in haste and to keep up with social appearances.

    Frenzied, the desperate housewife rushes to the quarry to get her husband. She's caught between a rock and hard place as she needs help with house repairs. Proverbially, the keen minded mother is the "chicken that sees." She's caught between two entangled positions; on one side, she wants to help her son, but on the other, she's compelled to help the family.

    Yet, her immediate needs are to plaster the walls of her unfinished house. She can save the exterior facade of its collateral value and with it, that of her disunited family. Indeed, the stakes are high.

    The wise matriarch knows that it is all a "big show." The family's unity is its strength. Unity helps the family survive the cut-throat crookedness that exists in the world of capitalism. Unity is especially crucial when it comes to talking about money, especially in next week's talk with local bank officials.

    The deft mother knows that family unity and exterior appearances will do her well when she negotiates with the local bank officials. If she is successful with them, the mother neutralizes any take-over efforts set forth by her ungrateful son. But peripeteia must prevail in such a traditional story dealing with power and greed.

    Unfortunately, the spirited mother falls into the gravel pit, aggravates her weak heart and later, she dies of complications. Yet, having been the property matriarch, she saves her family from beyond the grave. The love she has for her family helps her promotes its lasting welfare. She foresees the dark side of the capitalist spirit growing inside her son and her strength of will prevents him from injuring the family after she's gone.

    In the end, the grief stricken mother finds out that she cannot save her ungrateful son and instead, she saves her family. Retrospectively, the foresighted mother finds that it is her daughter, not her sons, whom, fate has it, comes to inherit her leadership qualities of integrity, honest, and fair play. But most of all, it is the quality of a deep reverence for the family, which makes her daughter the inheritor of the old wooden roaster, the symbol representing the head of the family.

    So it is that she is forced to change her mind but not her heart and indeed, the loving "madonna" goes against tradition and wills the property to her deaf mute daughter, for she is the only one of her three siblings, whom she naturally observed as a child, having an affinity for playing with an old wooden rooster that rested atop of Papa’s bureau. Old time folks have come to call it: "Mama's Will, the Chicken That Sees.”

    ---

    The breakthrough in the script came to me years ago when I decided to investigate a story, named As I Lay Dying, written by the famed William Faulkner. Moreover, something belonging to “old-fashion” funeral rites reigned true in Faulkner’s story, triggering real memories of forgotten inheritance disputes, which had occurred in the past within my own family, as well as, in other families, of which I can still remember today; and that’s when we, or if you prefer, I had that so-called “eureka” experience, the true stroke of genius. Truly, what we produced inside the corps of Mama’s Will is a testimonial to that “eureka” moment, speaking at least, in terms of its social criticism of the North America personality of your average businessman, and addressing more or less, the universal meaning of equality, justice, and morality among people. There’s no doubt that the movie carries a strong moral story, for if a family cannot get along with each other, at least long enough to bury one of its dead relatives, then what possible hope can our world have to survive its millions of dead?

    # vimeo.com/45370244 Uploaded 395 Plays 0 Comments

Experimental Fiction Genre Films

George Maynard PRO

A mix of short genre films produced quasi-experimentally with non-standard approaches to images and sounds, as developed by myself during my decade stay at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, located at Concordia University Montreal QC.

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