Artist Larry Rivers' portrait of his mother, Shirley Grossberg. Also known as "My Mother Shirley."

00:08Copy video clip URL Sonya “Shirley” Grossberg sits on her couch, talking about moving to the United States and meeting her husband, Sam Grossberg. “I loved this country the minute I came here.” Videomaker Larry Rivers, her son, speaks to her from behind the camera. She speaks in broad terms about her life and her family. “Now my husband died and I’m alone. And I don’t like it. I’m very lonely.” 

03:40Copy video clip URL Title card: “Shirley.” Images of Shirley while Rivers sings “My Yiddishe Momme.” 

06:09Copy video clip URL Rivers shows his mother his motorcycle. She sits on it and poses. “Oh I look like a meshuggeneh.” She talks about being lonely and complains about not liking movies in theaters. 

08:09Copy video clip URL Driving in the car. They discuss porn movies, the existence of which upset Shirley. 

09:25Copy video clip URL Shirley watches television on her couch. 

10:59Copy video clip URL Visitors speak with Shirley, including an elderly man named Walter and a downstairs neighbor. Conversations sometimes loud and difficult to understand. 

14:30Copy video clip URL Shirley grows increasingly upset. Conversation difficult to understand. 

16:25Copy video clip URL Rivers speaks with his mother about the fight with her friend, which she denies was a fight. He finds her in her bedroom, sitting on the bed while peeling peas. He talks with his mother about his constipation. He asks if she’ll help him with his enema. 

18:06Copy video clip URL Shirley fills up the enema bag with water. She tells Rivers to take off his pants and she helps him with his enema. He sits on the toilet and administers the enema.

22:56Copy video clip URL Driving in the car. 

24:20Copy video clip URL At the grave of Samuel Grossberg, Shirley’s late husband. Shirley cries over his headstone. Rivers points out the plot that his mother has reserved for herself. 

28:35Copy video clip URL A reading in Hebrew over Samuel’s grave. 

31:10Copy video clip URL In Shirley’s apartment. She watches a video of herself. 

31:34Copy video clip URL Shirley putting on stockings and getting dressed. 

33:10Copy video clip URL In her kitchen, Shirley speaks with her son about sex and aging and other topics. Poor image and audio quality. She gets increasingly upset as Larry talks to her about a woman who might be interested in dating him. 

43:03Copy video clip URL Rivers sings a bit of “My Yiddishe Momme” over footage of his mother in her apartment.  

43:42Copy video clip URL End card. End credits: “a video tape film by larry rivers & diana molinari.” 

43:53Copy video clip URL Rivers narrates footage of his mother’s burial. “My mother died this past December, and we decided to film the burial.” 

45:46Copy video clip URL Onscreen text: “Funeral sequence filmed by Michel Auder.” 



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