Darren Aronofsky's new film 'Mother'

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Ghostworld, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    I can imagine it was especially poignant for you. :)
     
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  2. benjaminhuf

    benjaminhuf Forum Resident

    Agree completely. Well said.
     
    Steve Carras likes this.
  3. Mazzy

    Mazzy Forum Resident

    This makes me want to see it even more. I'm tired of most mainstream Hollywood films. It needs a shakeup like the late 60s early 70s
     
  4. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    My guiding principle for decades. Possibly the worst critic (in any genre) of the last 40-50 years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  5. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Good haircut ( probably a wig now).
     
  6. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I'm not sure what film Rex Reed saw, but it wasn't the one I watched. It had nothing to do with being a woman.

    This delusional freak show is two hours of pretentious twaddle that tackles religion, paranoia, lust, rebellion, and a thirst for blood in a circus of grotesque debauchery to prove that being a woman requires emotional sacrifice and physical agony at the cost of everything else in life, including life itself. That may or may not be what Aronofsky had in mind, but it comes as close to a logical interpretation as any of the other lunk-headed ideas I’ve read or heard.
     
  7. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US

    Bless you my son
     
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  8. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US

    Rex Reed is god awful. He wasn't even a good reviewer when he was young. He only built a career because he was good looking and flamboyantly gay when it still wasn't cool to be so. Even back in the 70s I never really took him seriously, especially with great film critics like Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris working as contemporaries


    Sounds like old Aronofsky has made a straight out art house films with "mother." Well that kind of disappoints me as I also believed from the trailer that was a horror film. If it is just an art house film then I think he blew it since he had a wonderful thriving horror market to make a great film into. I've been hoping someone would make a horror film on par with "Rosemarys baby" one day but I guess this isn't it. But I appreciate the warning I've gotten here soon so I can watch it expecting an art house films and not get hit with disappointment that the horror genre might have had a new addition to its canon of great films. Of course he made "black swan" and that's one of the great horror films in my opinion. Oscar nominated horror films are a rarity I'm just baffled that "the witch" never even got a nod at the Oscars. Just too small of a film I guess, but it was a hell of a film and should've been another feather in my Of the horror genre But since "mother" has cinema darling of the moment Jennifer Lawrence , Aronofsky blew a chance to make horror legit again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  9. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Worse than Passengers? Proportionally in terms of budget/expectations, Passengers could still end up being the bigger box office bomb.
     
  10. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Three days later and I'm still thinking about Mother. I think the main unspoken issue Rex Reed has with it is that he doesn't want to put in the effort to think about what he watched.

    My take:

    Mother is heavily influenced by the Christian Bible, though it is not in any sense a religious film. It is definitely not a horror film, which is what audiences expected and this the same thing that got Aronofsky in trouble with Noah as people were expecting a religious film.

    The first part of the film concerns Him (the Creator) and Mother (the Earth) existing in a kind of Eden (the house), which is soon invaded by Man and Woman. Their two sons eventually arrive and one is killed, which corrupts the house. In the second half increasing hordes of people arrive, first to mourn the death of the son and later because Him has begun creating poetry again. It becomes increasingly chaotic as the people destroy the house either through negligence or intentionally, leaving it in ruin and the Mother in distress. The baby probably represents purity (or a return to Eden), which the people crave and eventually consume (not sure what this sequence means). A distraught Mother then destroys the house and everyone in the world. The Creator takes her heart, which is pure, and uses it to start the cycle again.

    There are many details that I missed and I'm looking forward to watching it again at home with captioning on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  11. Borgia

    Borgia Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arkansaw
    Dang, now I want to see it.
     
  12. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier,CA USA
    I do to. So much that I clicked like.
     
  13. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I like your take. I think equally important to what is being said by the characters may be the character names if you look at the credit list. It would be helpful if the closed captioning lists the names of the characters when on screen as matching how they are titled with their actions will give insight into what Aranofsky is saying.
     
  14. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks. I missed quite a bit of the dialogue during the most chaotic scenes and the character names on IMDB appear to tell us the purpose of each character. Hopefully the CC clears that up.
     
  15. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US

    Even though I haven't seen the film yet, I decided to read your spoiler and I don't regret doing so since it may serve as a guide to the film as I'm watching it. I don't have any religious background, so your thoughts are appreciated.
     
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  16. He saw fit to take a starring role in Myra Breckenridge. Nuff sed.
     
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  17. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Sounds less interesting than The Brown Bunny.
    Waiting for the Bruce Willis Death Wish reboot.
     
  18. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    Haven't seen it yet, but here's a review from our ABC site ....... he don't like it.

    Review: Jennifer Lawrence can't save the sadistic spectacle that is Mother!

    The first odd thing about writer director Darren Aronofsky's ode to womanhood is the title.

    Mother! suggests a sympathetic, if essentialist view of women and their role: giving birth, nurturing life. And in this case, supporting a celebrity author husband with writer's block. But Ball and Chain! might have been more appropriate. The film is a devastating portrayal of male selfishness in which an artist behaves appallingly to his wife who spends much of the movie trying to get his attention. He acts out of neglect more than anything else, but this triggers consequences that are catastrophic for her.

    It's ironic that Aronofsky and lead actor Jennifer Lawrence became an item during shooting, because it's one of the most unromantic, repulsive films about a couple in recent memory.

    A mysterious shot of Lawrence staring out at the audience while engulfed in flames, reminiscent of Joan of Arc, perhaps, opens the film. She wakes up in a bed and calls out to an empty house. "Baby!" She means her husband, because the couple have no children. He's played by Javier Bardem, but before he appears, we follow her around the sprawling Victorian mansion they call home and get to see what she's been working on: an ambitious French provincial renovation like something from a Vogue Living pictorial. The house stands in a field surrounded by a forest, idyllically separated from the outside world — until one evening, a knock at the door brings that world in. With this small intrusion, you feel like you're in a sophisticated, late Roman Polanski drama about middle-aged, middle class couples who start to grate against each other.

    Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer are an intriguing counterpoint to Lawrence and Bardem. They bring an anarchic streak to the film — an energy that's abrasive, sensual and sinister. They're also an existential threat to Lawrence's character, whose only power seems to be over the domestic space. Her obsession with household cleanliness and decoration has an echo of 1970s feminist theory about it, but if the film is sympathetic to the unpaid, undervalued work she puts in, it has a weird way of showing it. Unable to re-establish order in her domain, and incapable of reining in her husband's hospitality, she becomes increasingly frustrated and tormented.

    All the while, with the camera shadowing her, we observe her face at an unforgiving close range, alternating between anguish, bewilderment and — as the story morphs into a hallucinatory register — terror.
    Bardem, meanwhile, reveals a shameless narcissism beneath his softly spoken, bohemian refinement and generosity. Aronofsky has always been a director interested in pushing images to relay extreme emotion, perhaps nowhere more successfully than in his fever dream Black Swan. In Mother! he heads further into the terrain of waking nightmare than ever before, but reveals the limits of his creativity.

    The film overheats. The portrayal of female suffering — so central to its apparent feminism — becomes a sadistic spectacle akin to watching a doomed lab rat take the wrong path in a maze. Violence transforms the chamber piece into a swirling opera, with Lawrence a martyr in a sea of extras who heap scorn — and eventually physical violence — on her. There are echoes of Mexican filmmaker Luis Bunuel's Viridiana in Mother! — though it goes on too long and the paucity of visual ideas becomes painfully apparent.

    The camera swirls around the madness as Aronofsky attempts to critique celebrity culture, gender roles and the hollowness of the modern age. But the film has the incisiveness of an over-exuberant piece of amateur political theatre, and the lurid fresco of fans, managers and hangers on becomes a visual and aural cacophony. Think La Dolce Vita crossed with The Shining but without the wit, a 21st century male feminist credo that uses the spectacle of a woman's suffering for the most meagre of insights.

    Men will treat you badly — especially the sensitive, artistic ones — but the world will forgive them everything.

    Damn them! Or perhaps it was ever thus. You decide, I guess. What a terrible waste of time.

    Jennifer Lawrence can't save the sadistic spectacle that is Mother!
     
  19. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    The divide seems to be people that only take the film literally and those that see it as a metaphor.
     
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  20. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I think a lot of people thought the same thing and came out disappointed that it isn't that at all. Reminds me of how disappointed I was when I found out Passengers wasn't really a sci-fi movie. :)
     
  21. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Based on the spoilers I've read, the symbolism in this film sounds extremely ham-fisted, especially if
    you're even passingly familiar with the book of Genesis or the Bible in general.
     
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  22. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    One thing in cinema that I wish I could 'un-watch' was the scene with the scissors in Antichrist. Am I best avoiding this film?
     
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  23. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    There's nothing like that.
     
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  24. Rhapsody In Red

    Rhapsody In Red Formerly Wrapped in Plastic

    Aronofsky can do no wrong in my book. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
     
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  25. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    He's all snark with very little substance, but a friend whose taste I trust saw Mother and hated it. I showed her the Reed review and she said it was "priceless." So even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
     
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