Luminous Motion

Monday, April 12, 2010

Based on the acclaimed novel History of Luminous Motion, the film is a mother-son road-trip drama reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde, and was named one of the best films of the year by New York Times critic A.O. Scott. The film stars Deborah Kara Unger (The Game), Terry Kinney (Oz) and marks the first collaboration between Bette Gordon and stage and screen veteran Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Storm). 10-year old Phillip craves speed and light. Obsessed with staying in perpetual motion, he lives the outlaw life on the road with his Mom, who makes ends meet stealing money from men she seduces. After an unexpected detour, Phillip’s world is turned upside-down when Mom settles in the suburbs with a carpenter named Pedro. Determined to escape this nightmare existence, Phillip dispatches Pedro with a homemade remedy, and the two hit the road again. Unfortunately, their past comes back to haunt them when Phillip’s father shows up to reclaim his place at the head of the family. The screening will be preceded by an introduction by Gordon.

“Funny, unnerving… With cunning agility, LUMINOUS MOTION tiptoes along the narrow boundary between fantasy and reality. We’re never sure whether what we see is taking place in the physical world or in [protagonist] Phillip’s mind. And while the film respects both his emotions and his perceptions, it also leaves open the possibility that he is suffering from a serious mental illness. Is this surrealism or schizophrenia? Either way, the film sustains a delicate counterpoint between childlike wonder and deep, inconsolable melancholy. It’s a bit like The Sixth Sense, but without the melodramatic comfort of the supernatural. Its horror, like its humor, comes from close to home, from the primal bond between mother and son.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

  • Country USA
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1998
  • Running Time 91 minutes
  • Director Bette Gordon

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.