Author Topic: mother!  (Read 2430 times)

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Drenk

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Re: mother!
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2017, 01:31:11 PM »
+1
SPOILERS

I haven't read everything that's been written, but nobody seems to talk about marriage? And how the artist exploits his life to make it something he likes better? And how it is for the people who live him kind of weird: the work is an intrusion. The fact that Lawrence has no privacy is so violent—as violent I think that the last act where it becomes physical.

And how crazy is it to make your new girlfriend play in a movie that states that the artist isn't satisfied by reality/the women he is with and that the relationships are a vicious circle of destruction.  :ponder:
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squints

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Re: mother!
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2017, 10:58:19 PM »
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Well SPOILERS i guess

Mother: they murdered our son!

God/the poet: yeah but they feel really bad about it!
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Drenk

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Re: mother!
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2017, 02:38:28 PM »
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I agree with Richard Brody.

"In “Mother!,” Aronofsky works wonders with his cinematic unconscious, tapping into its fury and turmoil to create a film that, while taking off from an arid Biblical allegory, is in fact a literal drama of personal relationships in a world of middle-aged artists and younger women, very much like the one in which he has worked for decades. In the film, it’s the writer’s will, the effort to break out of an ordinary life through the strength of his artistic creation, that sets the movie, and Aronofsky’s cinematic world, into grotesque and fascinating motion. Fortunately, the movie he made is much more interesting than the one he thought he made."

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/darren-aronofsky-says-mother-is-about-climate-change-but-hes-wrong?mbid=social_facebook

Actually, I think it works on different levels, the one Aronofsky talks about and the rest—what the movie is—but it is hard to take one without the other. This movie is like a monster with different heads.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: mother!
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2017, 05:56:23 PM »
+1
SPOILS ABOUND. JUST EXIT THIS THREAD.

I sort of agree with that, but I would invert it. The allegory of the selfish, needy artist is kind of surface-level. The allegory of Father God and Mother Earth and humanity is a more fulfilling and expansive avenue of interpretation.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: mother!
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2017, 12:25:12 AM »
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I will say it's going to be the best film of the year by a wide margin.

I might have spoken too soon in my excitement, since Phantom Menace Thread will be out this year as well. But it could be close!

I think this is actually the best film I've seen since Fury Road. Might be better.
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Just Withnail

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Re: mother!
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2017, 04:22:06 AM »
+3
SPOILS!


This was an incredible experience. Intense, hilarious, thought-provoking. I love how there was literally a kitchen sink thrown in there.

I also side more with Drenk and Brody on this. For me it’s a problem that the supposed underlying allegory is so far removed from the fabric of what we’re actually seeing, the actual images. When I’m trying to think of how the plot fits into the climate change allegory, it all fits very neatly, but I’m not sure if I feel the imagery does the same. It's obviously possible, and easy even, to make this film about climate change. But then what about the actual images?

Why tell a story about climate change through these exact images of the mother and the poet? In which way do they actually enlighten us about that? It’s so soaked in their domestic dynamics, that I feel to ignore the spesificity of that would be to ignore the very fabric of the film.

This doesn’t necessarily dampen the mythological aspects at all. It just angles it more towards being about the interplay between domestic safety/calm and creative destruction, aided by a grand mythological background. As you say JB, it’s really just flipping it around. Do the images act as supporting characters to the allegory, or does the allegory act as a supporting character to the images? I think the imagery will always have primacy for me, and I just don’t see a lot of things in here that gives me any profound sense of the dynamics of climate change (in the images, not the plot). Whereas the images fucking burn with details about relationship dynamics, domestic life, creativity.

Of course, there maybe shouldn’t be a need to call one thing a “supporting character” to the other, but I feel when the imagery is so far removed from what the allegory is supposedly about, and the direct links are pretty much zero, one is forced to choose which perspective to take when one wants to interprete what went on. For me the most fruitful place to start, is with the mother and poet.

Of course, watching it, it isn’t so clear cut. Then it was more of a constant oscillation back and forth between the drama and the myth, as it should be. The drama was the myth. But the aspect I get the least giddy thinking about afterwards is the literally-God-and-literally-climate-change angle. There are so many other ways to bring the mythological aspects into play than that.

As an introvert, this is a harrowing film about loosing private space. As a writer, it’s a harrowing film about how nervous I am about habits, perfection, domesticity killing a creative spark (though that’s probably more an anxiety than a truth). These two oppositions in me found extreme resonance in both characters, and found more than enough to chew on on the “surface” of the film - in the actual imagery we’re seeing. To me the mythological aspects helped make these dynamics seem universal and eternal.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: mother!
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2017, 10:53:18 AM »
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SPOILERS

When I’m trying to think of how the plot fits into the climate change allegory, it all fits very neatly, but I’m not sure if I feel the imagery does the same. It's obviously possible, and easy even, to make this film about climate change. But then what about the actual images?

That specific allegory works for me because the images don't neatly match. The film uses its limited visual vocabulary to express that figuratively. If we were to see more obvious visuals, I feel like the metaphor would become too literal.

And I think it's already blatant enough.

Mother and her home, inextricably linked (I love how they seem to share one heart), represent Mother Earth and earth itself. As the invaders multiply, they recklessly assault the house until it's all but completely destroyed. When she finally can't take anymore, Mother hastens the apocalypse and incinerates all life (no coincidence that it's heat that wipes out humanity). And yet there is still a structure upon which new life can grow, with Mother's help, until humanity encroaches once again. And maybe one of these times they'll listen to her.

It's a deeply misanthropic film, but it's also accurate.
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Just Withnail

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Re: mother!
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2017, 11:54:47 AM »
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I agree, it’s more than blatant enough, and I completely agree with your plotting out of the allegory, that was exactly my thinking about it as well. I'm not saying I'd actually want the imagery to be more obvious, I'm just asking what these spesific ones add to the allegory. Why choose this spesific way to tell it?

Personifying the earth as a Mother wanting a perfect home has some beauty too it, and maybe even enough to validate it for me, but it also supposes that the earth gives a shit. In reality we're not destroying the earth, the earth is just earthing away, we're just destroying our ability to live on it. Not become silly about it, but a more accurate allegory would be actually inviting the people in and then they trash the place. Or making a beautiful hotel. Haha. Sorry, this is getting silly. And anyways, this is Aronofsky's vision and I don't need to agree to find it beautiful and interesting.

But still, all this aside, I definitely connected more with the feeling of personal space being invaded, than the for me more distant thought of humanity invading the earth. Of course, watching it, both these things were constantly flittering back and forth in my brain, so I’m not saying I want to force a choice. It can be both. ALLEGORY! Ta-da!
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: mother!
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2017, 12:28:53 PM »
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Personifying the earth as a Mother wanting a perfect home has some beauty too it, and maybe even enough to validate it for me, but it also supposes that the earth gives a shit. In reality we're not destroying the earth, the earth is just earthing away, we're just destroying our ability to live on it.

This is how I see it. As I was describing, Mother doesn't literally represent the earth — she is Mother Earth, and Earth is her creation. She is the "inspiration" (as Javier Bardem says) that makes earth possible. So as the actual creative force behind Earth, Mother would be acutely interested in Earth's beauty as well as its structural/physical integrity. We see this throughout the film. Mother is constantly going around checking on things and fixing things, making sure her home remains in working order and in good aesthetic condition.

So Aronofsky presupposes that our actual earth does have a kind of "spirit" to it. If that idea repels you, I can see being resistant to this angle.

But still, all this aside, I definitely connected more with the feeling of personal space being invaded

I basically agree. For sure, the biggest initial impact the movie had on me was as an introvert's nightmare.
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Cloudy

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Re: mother!
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2017, 03:17:46 PM »
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this kind of talk about the movie, and the allegories the movie tries to force upon itself makes me also think the artist who made this is just like the Javier Bardem character.

a movie about an artist who has zero self-awareness. don't blame it on god, the earth, climate change? whatever, fuck I am a fucking asshole who creates these kinds of life catastrophe's, selfishly destroying the people who love me for this art. and I spark these allegories to distract the viewer and myself that I am this way.

i enjoyed it for sure, but vay... it's probably true that the best stuff comes when you have zero distance from your work.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: mother!
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 03:42:38 PM »
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[CONTINUED SPOILERS]

Whoa, I completely disagree. I think the movie is clearly part confessional, complete with an actress in the beginning who looks like Rachel Weisz, Aronofsky's ex-girlfriend. The artist in this story is deliberately characterized as selfish and needy. He acknowledges but willfully ignores his wife's feelings. He just sits in this house doing nothing until he receives an adequate amount of praise and drains enough from those around him. His need to be praised and worshipped leads to tragedy and then the apocalypse. This is most unflattering depiction of an artist that I can remember seeing. Are you suggesting that was all accidental?
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Cloudy

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Re: mother!
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2017, 03:43:41 PM »
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you're right, but i think it's a very fake self-loathing confession. . . . and i can appreciate that.

pete

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Re: mother!
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2017, 04:35:13 PM »
+2
I think this film has a very college grasp on what an allegory is, and is kinda lazy with its own writing, hence the rift in consensus right now. I see Aranofsky kinda trying to channel his inner Von Trier, but Von Trier - even at his most manipulative/ exploitative/ smarmy, still put in the work and still made sure the audience would be invested in what was happening on screen. This whole film felt like an explanation video for a better movie. I think this man hides behind the buzzword "allegory" to deflect from having to write an actual female character.
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Alexandro

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Re: mother!
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2017, 12:20:49 PM »
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Allegories aside... the film is quite a visceral experience. Films like these (Enter the void is another that comes to mind) always piss people off. The general public finds them too weird and the "cult" "smart" "film literate" audiences out there can feel the filmmakers are masquerading their dumbness with pyrotechnics... meaning the film "is not as smart as it believes it is"... which is besides the point.

To me, it worked because it made me feel physically uncomfortable, impatient, at moments desperate. I was laughing but was always on the edge of my seat, and trying to avoid thinking that "this will explode at some point and it won't be nice". It felt like a nightmare and only a couple of times I thought "yeah, this is like The Exterminating Angel".

The performances are all the more awesome because they are impossible, these are impossible characters. I mean Javier Bardem, only some genius could pull that off. That character makes no sense as a human being, only as an idea. Yet he somehow manages to inject life into the guy. They all do it, and that's what counts. They can't be real characters in a normal dramatic fashion, that's part of the charm the film has...

anyway to each his own, but I loved it.

samsong

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Re: mother!
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2017, 04:06:19 AM »
+2
andrzej zulawski's possession is, like, WAY better.

enjoyed the rollercoaster-esque pacing and general filmmaking craft on display.  i don't think you can argue that this isn't well made.  performances across the board are strong.  harris and pfeifer got under my skin to the point of maximum discomfort.  javier bardem's face is glorious.  all its virtues though are eclipsed by its dumbness.  i'm more disappointed than incensed though, which in and of itself is disappointing.  was hoping to feel strongly either way, but here i am, wondering what the fuck the big deal is. 


 

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