Azazel Jacobs – Momma’s Man (2008)

One of the Best Films of 2008 –Entertainment Weekly, Time Out NY, NY Post

modestly scaled movie with a heart the size of the Ritz – New York Times

Momma’s Man, directed by Azazel Jacobs from his own screenplay, is one of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.-Village Voice

… Deftly balancing melancholy emotional realities with unexpected moments of Chaplinesque comedy – Variety

Slyly funny and genuinely original, Momma’s Man represents that rarest of things, a truly independent American movie. The premise plays with the concept of autobiography. The director, Azazel Jacobs, casts his parents as fictionalised versions of themselves and uses his childhood home, a bohemian TriBeCa loft, as the location.

The central character, the only son, Mikey, is a bit of a sad sack whose nervous breakdown sends him back to the security of his childhood. As his bemused and concerned parents look on, Mikey moves back into his old bedroom. They tend to their damaged son with endless, anxious cups of coffee. This short circuit in the family dynamic is explored empathetically and wittily, but what gives this low-budget gem its magic is Jacobs’s unaffected admiration for his parents and their lifestyle

Momma’s Man — a film-festival favorite by writer-director Azazel Jacobs — takes a twee conceit and spins it into a poignant, funny look at what it’s like trying to grow up (finally!) in one’s thirties.

Mikey (Matt Boren) is on his way home to Los Angeles, where his wife and newborn child await him. Bumped from his flight, he returns to his parents’ crowded Manhattan loft. Once there, he can’t quite bring himself to leave. Most of the film takes place in that apartment, a fantastically eccentric nook-and-cranny-filled space that’s captured on grainy 35mm film. Jacobs cast his own parents — filmmaker Ken and artist Flo Jacobs, in their own, real apartment — as Mikey’s increasingly worried parents, and the choice may account for the film’s tenderness. It’s a modest, minor-key masterpiece.

Directed, written by Azazel Jacobs.

Mikey – Matt Boren
Dad – Ken Jacobs
Mom – Flo Jacobs
Laura – Dana Varon
Tom – Richard Edson
Dante – Piero Arcilesi
Bridget – Eleanor Hutchins

…Above all, “Momma’s Man” feels like an intensely personal consideration of the impermanence of things — not just childhood, but also neighborhoods, cities, entire ways of life.

Lyrically shot in grainy 35mm by cinematographer Tobias Datum, the movie captures in vivid detail one of the last stretches of ungentrified New York and the lives of the artists and intellectuals who dwell there. It also celebrates the seminal avant-garde art-making of the elder Jacobs, through brief, elegantly inserted excerpts from his famed “nervous magic lantern” light-projection shows and from his 2004 magnum opus “Star Spangled to Death.”

Momma s Man is a funny, touching, and bracingly honest look at the pleasures and perils of yearning for the imperfect past.


– (Momma s Family), a featurette on the clash of realities that takes place in Momma s Man. Azazel Jacobs returns to the set of the film and can t leave. (2009, 42 min., directed by Azazel Jacobs)

– (Capitalism: Child Labor), a short film by Ken Jacobs (2006, 14 min., b/w, music by Rick Reed)

– (Rain Building Music), Azazel Jacobs first film (1991, 7 min.)

– 6 deleted scenes

1.17GMB | 1:38:22 | 640 x 352 | avi



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.