Venice Film Festival 2017: MOTHER! [REVIEW/VIDEO]
12 Sep, 2017
“Mother!”, which premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2017, if forced to put into a genre category is considered as a relationship thriller. The film is written and directed by Academy Award© nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “Requiem for a Dream”) and stars Mother, Jennifer Lawrence, Academy Award© Winner (Silver Linings Playbook) and three-time Oscar nominee (Joy, American Hustle, Winter’s Bone), the husband, Academy Award® winning actor Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men), co-starring Academy Award® nominee Ed Harris (The Truman show) and Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys).
Watch the “Mother! “Venice Film Festival press conference:
Press conference video produced by Cindy Maram/Dig In Magazine
YouTube featured image: Cindy Maram/Dig In Magazine
The Paramount Pictures movie “begins as a chamber story about a marriage. At the center is a woman who is asked to give and give and give until she can give nothing more. Eventually, the chamber story can’t contain the pressure boiling inside. It becomes something else…” says Aronofsky. Jennifer Lawrences character is one that differs from her previous roles of playing a strong, independent heroin. Here, in “Mother!”, she plays a submissive wife who is desperately hanging onto her husband, played by Bardem, who is more concerned with himself, his fame and his work.
The way in which the film evolves is extremely ironic with the married couple living a tranquil existence in a seemingly idyllic paradise. You would never expect the evil, chaotic, bloody and tragic events to occur. Aronofsky spent five fevered days at his keyboard alone in an empty house developing the story. He admits “Mother!” is hard to slot into any one particular genre, and that’s because even he can’t fully pinpoint where everything in this film came from: “Some came from the headlines we face every second of every day, some came from the endless buzzing of notifications on our smart phones, some came from living through the blackout of Hurricane Sandy in downtown Manhattan, some came from my heart, some from my gut. Collectively it’s a recipe I won’t ever be able to reproduce, but I do know this concoction is best served as a single dose – in a shot glass.”
As a commentary piece, the director uses this film as a channel to express his views on scary predicament of what is happening in the world today:
“It is a mad time to be alive. As the world population nears 8 billion we face issues too serious to fathom: Ecosystems collapse as we witness extinction at an unprecedented rate; Migrant crises disrupt governments; A seemingly schizophrenic U.S. helps broker a landmark climate treaty and months later withdraws; Ancient tribal disputes and beliefs continue to drive war and division; The largest iceberg ever recorded breaks off an Antarctic ice shelf and drifts out to sea. At the same time we face issues too ridiculous to comprehend: In South America tourists twice kill rare baby dolphins that washed ashore, suffocating them in a frenzy of selfies; Politics resembles sporting events; People still starve to death while others can order any meat they desire. As a species our footprint is perilously unsustainable yet we live in a state of denial about the outlook for our planet and our place on it.”
Lawrence committed to the film immediately. Once the talented actress and her co-star Javier Bardem were onboard, momentum kicked in. At first during rehearsals, Aronofsky was anxious, he admits, if Lawrence was right for the role as she seemed to approach it in a very relaxed way—later to realize that it was part of her process of finding the character of mother. “I actually probably didn’t meet the character that Jen portrays in the film until the first day of shooting when she showed up in costume, hair and barefoot,” he says. “She’s barefoot the whole movie. mother started to come alive in front of me. The amount of raw talent was insane.”
Two years following that long weekend of writing the film, Aronofsky’s “Mother!” premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival (Aug. 30 – Sept. 9), selected to compete for the prestigious Golden Lion Award for Best Film. Its North American premiere is set for the 42nd Annual Toronto Film Festival Sept. 7-17. It opens nationwide Sept. 15.