Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › "mother!" by Darren Aronofsky
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"mother!" by Darren Aronofsky - Page 6

post #251 of 270
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

This was indeed a heavy-handed art film...and I was riveted throughout. I think I only want to see movies that get an F CinemaScore now.

There was barely anybody in my theater, but I did witness walkouts, which I have not seen since THE TREE OF LIFE. I wouldn't call it anywhere near as inscrutable as that movie, though. BUG is a good point of comparison.

Pfeiffer is excellent in this.

Remember: Never Trust a Likable Film.


It takes a while to get going, but holy hell when it does it's kind of incredible. Is it heavy-handed in its messaging? Hell yeah it is! It wants you to know it hates you. Wants you to know how fucked up the world is. being subtle is for pussies--burn it all to the ground. You know your film is nihilistic as hell when I genuinely wanted to start clapping once J-Law started shanking people with glass.

post #252 of 270
I was waiting for that to happen the whole movie

post #253 of 270
post #254 of 270
Thread Starter 

Avoided all the hype and finally saw it tonight.  Have not read the thread.  I made a mistake in my first post that started this thread where I said DA was going back to Black Swan territory.  I had only seen a trailer at that point.


No, mother! has more in common with his first film Pi and to a certain extent Requiem for a Dream than any of his other films.  But it's also a film that couldn't really exist without DA's other work, as it builds upon the ideas presented in the rest of his filmography.  I feel like in order to understand mother! you kind of have to understand the evolution of his filmography.


Pi was all about point of view filmmaking, putting the audience in the shoes of the main character.  Requiem built upon this idea by dividing points of view among the main characters and adding a vivid surrealism in order to starkly convey the disintegration of someone's reality.  The Fountain brought a larger thematic element into his work, with bigger and bolder ideas and subjects, but ones that remained intimately tied with the main characters, making both elements parts of the same whole.  After that he switched gears from the very geometric style of mise en scene into a more cinema verite kind of docu-filmmaking with The Wrestler, to provide a more naturalistic kind of window into the characters.  Then Black Swan combined that verite style with the surrealist elements from Pi and Requiem which resulted in his most popular film to date.  Noah was kind of an anomaly, where it went back to The Foutain's style of filmmaking and borrowed some of its bigger, heavier themes, but this time with a more political message in mind.


All of his previous films are relatively straight forward and easy to engage with.  They are bold, and innovative, but they are also audience friendly and fairly open about what they're trying to convey.  mother! is a different beast entirely.  No matter what your opinion of the film is, you have to give DA credit for crafting something so singular and uncompromising in its unfolding of the narrative.  It is relentless in its pursuit of keeping the main character the center of attention, at all times, no matter what is going on around her.  Virtually every shot in the movie is from her vantage point.  It took a while to get used to this, but it soon begins to make its usefulness obvious... really the only way to tell a story like this.  


mother! combines all the elements of DA's previous films (POV, verite, thematic sophistication, political idealism) into one cinematic molotov cocktail.  A film almost guaranteed to turn off even the most ardent fan of the man's work.  It's a tough watch.  But one that is almost necessary to admire from a distance than engage with on a personal level.


Probably the only other American filmmaker with such a brutally uncompromising method of telling a story is Stanley Kubrick.  Not because his style is so specific.  Lots of filmmakers have specific styles.  But Kubrick's films are almost comically matter-of-fact.  They give you everything while also giving you nothing.  All the information is presented, but in such a way that is completely neutral.... they are not trying to make you feel one way or another about what you're watching.  And that forces you to dig deep and work to understand them.  And that's why they've had so much staying power.  It's a unique gift he had that almost no one could mimic.


mother! is similar in that there is no "moment" in which the point of the film becomes obviously decipherable.  There is no audience surrogate to hammer home how weird everything is.  There is no Mr. explainer to tell you what's going on.  There is no third act deus ex machina.  There is no scene early in the film that makes you aware of any reality outside the house, or that this couple is like you and me and therefore relatable.  The verite style DA adopts for the film is not just used visually, it extends to the plot.  We drop in like a fly on the wall in a stranger's house with no context but the point of view of the main character.  And that point of view never wavers.  The film challenges an audiences's need for clarity and understanding.  The only thing that is clear are the things that happen.  Why, how, when and where aren't presented and therefore irrelevant.  There isn't even a music score to tell you what to feel (a first for DA). 


If that isn't enough to convince.... NONE OF THE CHARACTERS HAVE NAMES. 


The only character with a name is the person who's point of view we're in.  Veronica.  Everyone else is a cipher.  An idea.  A concept.  Once you accept the fact that the film isn't going to give you anything, it becomes a reactionary experience.  You're forced to bring your own point of view to the point of view of the main character.  In that sense it is the ultimate point of view film.  Like staring into an abyss.  Like 2001 A Space Odyssey, it bypasses the conscious mind and engages the subconscious.  There are some pretty tell tale religious, spiritual and geopolitical parallels going on, but what they add up to never becomes obvious so trying to decipher it almost feels silly and pointless.  


So, at least for me, the film's "meaning" becomes more important to the filmmaker than us.  Because that's what personal filmmaking is.  You're just a visitor in someone else's house.  A tourist without a tour guide... there to admire the architecture.  And there is alot to admire.  The films looks gorgeous.  The production design is stellar.  The sound mix kicks ass.  There are some frightening moments.  The mystery is intriguing.  The acting is great.  I think mother! is going to be misunderstood until it ages quite a bit, and then you might start seeing people come around to how important this film is.  It really is a work of art.  Right now, I really cannot think of a single "flaw" in it.

post #255 of 270
Thread Starter 
 “It was so tactile, so beautifully staged and acted—the subjective camera and the POV reverse angles, always in motion . . . the sound design, which comes at the viewer from around corners and leads you deeper and deeper into the nightmare.”
“Only a true, passionate filmmaker could have made this picture, which I’m still experiencing weeks after I saw it,”

post #256 of 270



according to mother!, it will be:


Laurence Leboeuf!

post #257 of 270
Thread Starter 
Not surprised by that.
post #258 of 270

I'm seeing a pattern here.  Sorry, gotta get a drink from the fountain.

post #259 of 270
Well I fucking loved this. HOLY SHIT this was good. I loved IT, but THIS was hands down the best horror movie of the year for me.

post #260 of 270

Holy fucking shit this movie is good. It's basically a 2-hour long panic attack. I really should've learned by now - never listen to what other people have to say about Darren Aronofsky movies because the guy is one of the most interesting filmmakers alive.

post #261 of 270



everything resets




oh shit, did I just watch the last jedi???

post #262 of 270

It was fire, not... A WRECKING BALL!!!

post #263 of 270
I knew what was gonna happen and I still was not prepared for it. Made me physically ill . . . had to pause it to have a moment. There was a second there pulled right out of the nightmares of new parents.

Will watch again later if there is a commentary track.
post #264 of 270

This is a movie that's so clearly dealing in metaphor and allegory from the get-go that it's hard to keep from playing Spot the Reference as it goes along.  So instead of absorbing the film, you're trying to fit puzzle pieces together.  In that sense, it reminded me a lot of old works like The Faerie Queene and Pilgrim's Progress, where it's less about the story and more about the lesson.  But it's always compelling, especially once all hell starts breaking loose.


I know the most common interpretation is that Lawrence is Mother Narture, but I read it more as her as the Virgin Mary, forced into a really raw deal by an uncaring God who simply needed someone to get his son into play so his little forgiveness drama could play out.  She gives birth to a son who's destined not to really be her son in any meaningful sense, and has to watch him get taken away and die all in the name of some cosmic pageantry she never signed up for.  The scene where Bardem is just staring at her waiting for her to fall asleep so he can take the baby is one of the most damning portrayals of God I've ever seen.


I also loved the Old Testament vs. New Testament aspects going on with regards to his writing.  You've got the older book that was really popular but is sort of just sitting on a shelf now somewhat forgotten vs. the touchy-feely hippie new book that everyone just loves so much and is willing to do all kinds of terrible things in the name of.

post #265 of 270
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

I approve of every reaction to this movie. It is aggressively unsubtle with its metaphors, yet doesn't have the confidence to actually make a coherent statement out of them. This wants to be a biblical retelling, a commentary on the heedless ravaging of the earth, and a rumination on the artist/muse relationship, but what it really doesn't want to be is a story with a sense of unity or purpose. Aronofsky says he wrote this in five days, and it's easy to believe him.

On the other hand, it works wonderfully as an experience as delivered by one of the few living directors capable of something truly singular, and if it ultimately values being a conceptual exercise and a mindfuck over a narrative, then that's fair enough, especially if it's going to sport this level of craft. It's a crazy film, but never a boring or an insulting one. And I think it demands to be seen theatrically in the few remaining weeks (or days) it still can be.


Having just watched it*, I'm in agreement with FatherDude.  I can't imagine watching this again, but I'm glad it was made. I'm glad we're still getting batshit crazy metaphorical films with big stars in them, made by directors wrestling with big and personal ideas.


But holy fuck, just on a surface level, I found it stressful as hell. All those fucking people in the house. When the baby was being held aloft and passed along by the crowd I was really upset....


...but weirdly calmed down once the communion metaphor smacks the viewer in the face. I'm also glad mother! roasted everyone of those fuckers.


Anyone else notice the sharp, faint chime sound that was used? It seemed to be primarily in the study where the diamond heart was kept but popped up in other scenes, too. I kept wondering what it was meant to signify or communicate.

post #266 of 270
Thread Starter 

post #267 of 270

Haha William Friedkin is such an ornery weirdo. Good interview.

post #268 of 270

bleu-rae firmware!!

post #269 of 270
It is enormously distracting how much Friedkin sounds like an intellectually inquisitive Donald Trump.
post #270 of 270

I didn't make it very far in. When Friedkin started asking DA about his beliefs, I became vicariously discomfited and turned it off!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Focused Film Discussion Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › "mother!" by Darren Aronofsky