Mother & Brother is a Texan family drama. A window into the lives of two Brothers burdened with the care of their abusive mother. On his wedding day, Younger chooses to confront the guilt haunting their lives and carry a new burden alone. Directed by Dustin Cook, starring Laurence Fuller, Clint Napier, Ashley Hayes and Lisa Goodman. Casting by Billy Damota & Dea Vise.
"His strength as an actor envelopes the screen... Fuller is sublime to watch" - Screen Relish ****
"Laurence Fuller gives an introspective, vulnerable performance with an overwhelming feeling that exists somewhere beyond resignation." - The Independent Critic ****
"One of the best acted short films I've seen all year." - Nicholas La Salla, FCReview **** (Must See Short Film of 2015)
"Laurence Fuller is the older brother and - despite showing the least agency - the real heart of the film. It's largely through his silent actions and glances that we see the pressure on which the tale hinges." - Eye For Film ****
This is a very emotionally difficult film, what attracted you to the project?
This film is like a declaration of Rebellion. I thought I was pretty confident that my short film days were behind me after I'd done a couple features. But when I read the incredibly original script by Dustin Cook, I was proved wrong.
Firstly I saw a lot of room for performance between the lines, then when I met with Dustin over coffee, who also comes from an acting background, having studied for a number of years at Beverly Hills Playhouse. We spoke about family dynamics:
Families can be such intense pressure cookers, even when they function by Western societal norms, so there was a lot of rich material there for us to work with. There wasn't any ultimate conclusions that we came up with at the end of our conversations, just the seeds of ideas and sharing personal experiences. Then when we got to set Dustin gave me the freedom to experiment and feel the etherial in the timelessness of the man, frozen in an unending symphony of the passage of time outside the window, the unchanging mountains bouncing sunlight and promising a horizon that never came.
Do you agree with the film's ultimate message?
I feel like all films, poems and artistic activity in general are metaphors, even when captured with a stark realism. Speaking metaphorically, there comes a time when a man must claim independence and forge his own path, this is never an easy thing. The people who loved and cared for us will do everything they can to protect us. But the strength of a generation is not always built on pleasing the previous one... I don't know that a general answer applies here. My character in this film is struggling with all this, his life is passing him by as he is unable to move past this anchor which seeks to yoke him to this house. Until his little brother comes back to town.