Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! (2017)

Discussion in 'General' started by Hatchetwarrior, May 15, 2017.

  1. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    Interesting review at The New Yorker:

    More at link: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/r...horrifying-nearly-unbelievable-satire-of-fame
     
  2. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    I can certainly see the comparisons to Anti-christ, Neon Demon and Possession, all of which I generally like, but the delivery method for this film's symbolism will probably prevent me from exploring this any further. The
    biblical spoofing
    doesn't bother me in the least, but the ever-increasing scale in which the characters wantonly disregard "Mother," became a bit overwhelming by the time you get to the "wake" scene.
     
  3. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    I like the Anti Christ comparison. Both films left a serious impression on me for days after watching.
     
  4. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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  5. Swampthing82

    Swampthing82 Active Member

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    These are serious head scratching decisions on the studios part. If it's all about money (and when is it not?) then a new Friday would have made 3x what this this film will end up with.
     
  6. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    The only thing I can figure is that Paramount thought they were getting another Black Swan. On paper, I can see where there may be similarities, but the finished product has a far bleaker, far more aggressive, far less conventional nature to it. In terms of commercial appeal, it's probably more in line with Requiem for a Dream.
     
  7. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    Mother! didn't have any commercial appeal with the exception of a good cast. This was easily my least favorite film seen in the theater this year. I enjoy Jennifer Lawrence but having the camera stuck in her face up close for 70% of the movie just didn't do it for me (I'm not kidding about the 70% either). Sure others can say "look at the style," "it's an art film." To me it was way too long and rather boring.
     
  8. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Just felt like adding that i saw the film again tonight. The audience was larger than on opening weekend (though still small comparatively) which was a surprise.

    This time around, I tried to focus more on the "domestic nightmare" aspect of the film and less on the allegorical stuff. And I gotta say, it still held up for me. I did like Lawrence's performance a bit more this second time, though I do still think it could have been better with a different actress. She's not bad. But, I still think an actress with a wider range would have helped. But, with the knowledge of where Bardem's character is going, I really felt his creepiness all the more the second time around. At first viewing, he seemed more clueless and thoughtless than anything else. But this second viewing, he seemed far more manipulative and exploitative.

    But, the main take-away, and one of the things that has been lingering since my initial screening and the subsequent statements from Aronofsky, is that I really don't think he realized how many layers there are to this film as he made it. I do think he may be sincere when he says what his intentions were making the film. But, assuming that he is being completely open in those intentions, I don't think he realized how strong the angle of artists abusing their muses or even husbands abusing their wives was. I'm not sure he intended this to be some sort of confessional as I have yet to hear anything negative about his relationships. But, I can't help but think that on some level he had to be examining his own dark side in his relationships with the women that have served as his muses. And, I really do feel that this is the better/stronger interpretation. The biblical material does make this an interesting, and, in some ways, very funny film. But, the domestic/artistic nightmare aspect really is far more penetrating.
     
  9. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    This is how I feel my reaction to the film will be. I'll check it out when it's on Bluray but I don't feel like seeing this one in the theater.
     
  10. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Just saw it last night, and was surprised that there were twelve of us packed in a tiny last run theatre of a chain. So it was half sold out! I usually go Tuesday afternoons last runs and I'm the only one. I almost wonder though if it was spill over for Blade Runner perhaps being sold out? Odd. But then maybe good word of mouth finally got around. People even clapped at the end!

    Anyways... I hadn't seen a trailer or read anything. Just knew I like Aronofsky so I saw it. That was a powerful film I was completely unprepared for. Like getting hit with a bucket of ice out of the blue. Then someone puts the bucket on your head and beats it with a 2x4.

    It's interesting to me that there's some debate out there about "allegories" because Aronofsky is not being subtle IN THE SLIGHTEST and makes it pretty clear in the arch of the movie that:
    Bardem is God. Just plain God. His poetry is The Bible. The House is Earth and Lawrence is mother nature. The baby is Jesus (that's why they eat him). It's a modern setting/analogs with a compressed timeline with its own clearly fantasy universe but basically The Bible. I like to think of it as these are the celestial events that happened in God's life to cause Him to write The Word Of God as we know it.

    Even the flood's in there when the sink breaks, everyone clears out, and it's back to only Bardem/Lawrence. (I like the added touch of two people bumping butts against the sink to cause it. Sodom & Gomorrah anyone?) And basically Aronofsky finished with Revelations as our fiery end which would be Runaway Global Warming (the oil is a nice touch) which would make the Earth uninhabitable for us; only to begin again after 20,000-40,000 years (if not more [i.e. like how the Dinosaurs bit it and the Earth renewed... eventually... Without those Dinosaurs.]).

    I don't think there's an "underlying" message with how men or society treat women. Because how women are treated in the film is overt and instead symbolizes how we're treating mother nature. Either ignoring or abusing. The fact that the treatment of women in this film is so overt and yet audience members see it as secondary messaging says a lot about how we see but don't "see" that treatment of women. Literally if Aronofsky was any more in your face about it the camera would be imbedded in a pore of Lawrence's face.

    So with all that said Bardem's role is spot on. What I didn't like is that the loop to the beginning suggests this path is inescapable. That... That fucks the most with me.

    To be quiet frank it just hits too close to home. It's a wake up call and the fact that so many people not only laugh it all off, but combat it, is essentially the point of the film. This stuff is all around and yet we're just accepting of it if not active participants. Not ignoring. Accepting. When we should all be as horrified as Jennifer Lawrence is.
     
  11. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I skipped this one in theaters because I was worried it might be a little too abstract and confusing for my tastes. I'll admit, I can be a bit of a dummy viewer. Sometimes movies like that lose me, and it's just better I watch it at home with Wikipedia handy.

    Having watched the blu-ray this afternoon, I wish I had caught it in theaters. I loved it, it's incredibly easy to follow, and although layered the allegory was clear as day too (and I'm not even well-versed in the bible). Although I completely missed the Sodom & Gomorrah reference X-human mentions. If intentional, that's kind of hilarious.

    That said, I also agree with Anaestheus in that I had to wonder if this was Aronofsky's Possession-like catharsis of former relationships (even more interesting now that he's split with star Jennifer Lawrence).

    Or you can even throw subtext and allegory out the window and just enjoy it as a really bizarre dark comedy / horror film. The movie works and entertains on all three of those levels, maybe more. The intrusion of this family home is both darkly comical and squirm inducing uncomfortable. It's basically Darren Aronofsky's The Vagrant. I could relate to Jennifer Lawrence's character, because like her I just want everyone to get the hell out of my house and leave me alone. :D

    Long story short, great movie, and certainly more accessible than the reviews led me to believe. I heard it really angered people and they venomously disliked it, so maybe I'm wrong, but I can say one thing for certain: it's never boring.
     
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  12. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I watched this last night and really didn't like it much at all. I was tempted at the time to see this in theatres but after hearing how it was fairly abstract I decided to wait and I'm honestly glad I did.
    I'm not sure I would have picked up on all the
    biblical
    stuff straight away had I not read about it all prior. I would have felt a lot like Jennifer Laurence's character wondering wtf was going on the whole time otherwise. The story just didn't do anything for me and I couldn't wait to switch it off by the end.
     
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  13. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    At least you got to the end, I switched it off after an hour. :D
     
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  14. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I don't blame you. The story really doesn't go anywhere. There were some funny wtf moments like when SWAT smash into the place that made it at least a little interesting but at the same time I wish I hadn't wasted my time with it.
     
  15. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    This is one movie where people either thought it was the best thing since sliced bread or just didn't like it much at all. I fall in the later category. Watched this in the theater and other than good acting it didn't do anything for me. Certainly not a film I will
    watch again.
     
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  16. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I too checked this movie out over the weekend, but oddly enough, I want to see it again. I didn't read too much about it before or after release, so I have to sheepishly admit that the allegorical nature of the movie went right over my head. I mean, I knew it wasn't trying to be realistic based on the last 45 minutes or so, but I didn't know....well....what story it was a "reinvisioning" of, for want of a better term. So I'm gonna actually watch it again with that in mind now. See if if gets better or worse.

    I like movies with subtext, but I think there has to be a good story on the surface first. That way you can enjoy it face value, and then enjoy it again when you peel back the layers. A perfect example of this is Paul Thomas Anderson, vis-a-vis Boogie Nights compared to Magnolia. The former has a great story, the rise and fall of a porn star. Yet you can also see it as a metaphor of the dysfunctional American family in the 70s and 80s. Magnolia, however, is ONLY interesting in the subtext. The random stories range from dull to mediocre at best.

    The first half of mother! is actually good on the surface. Sure, it's a bit implausible with the guests, and especially how that story eventually ends, but I was invested in it. The second "home invasion" starts out ok, but really goes off the deep end almost immediately. To the point where you now KNOW it's not reality. I, unfortunately, was too dumb to realize the story he was trying to tell. So I'm gonna give it another go.
     
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  17. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Supposedly Wal-Mart has the mother! blu-ray available for $5. Some places are marked $7.88, but it should ring up $5 regardless.

    I'm going to stop in tonight and grab one on my way to see MJ's Thriller / House With A Clock In Its Walls IMAX.

    This website should tell you if it's available at your local store: https://brickseek.com/walmart-inventory-checker?sku=529062376
     
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  18. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    To get slightly more specific, I found the mother! blu-ray in the $7.88 blu-ray bin up near the checkout lanes (although the $7.88 bin may be in a different place, depending on the store). They had several copies, and they all had slipcovers.

    Even though it was in a $7.88 bin, it did ring up $5. Great deal!
     
  19. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I see this is a "Wal-mart Exclusive" but not seeing many details on that. Does that just mean the slip cover?
     
  20. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's anything exclusive about it, at least not on the blu-ray I bought. I've seen the slipcover at other retailers.

    2 Discs. Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD
     
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