We’re just about a week away from Darren Aronofsky‘s “mother!” finally being unveiled at the Venice Film Festival. Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, all we really know about the secretive movie is that it follows a couple who get some uninvited guests, and that the picture is rocking a serious “Rosemary’s Baby” vibe. However, Aronofsky has previously said the movie does have some big ideas lurking in it, and now we’re getting a clearer sense of that purpose.
The Venice Film Festival has the director’s statement for “mother!,” and from the opening line — “It is a mad time to be alive” — onward, it certainly presents a filmmaker with a lot on his mind. Here’s what Aronofsky has to say about his new film:
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 US 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. From this primordial soup of angst and helplessness, I woke up one morning and this movie poured out of me like a fever dream. All of my previous films gestated with me for many years but I wrote the first draft of mother! in 5 days. Within a year we were rolling cameras. And now two years later, it is an honor to return to the Lido for the world premiere. I imagine people may ask why the film has such a dark vision. Hubert Selby Jr., the author of Requiem for a Dream, taught me that through staring into the darkest parts of ourselves is where we find the light. mother! 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 which is hard to explain or describe. I can’t fully pinpoint where this film all came from. Some came from the headlines we face every second of every day, some came from the endless buzzing of notifications on our smartphones, 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 serving is best drunk as a single dose in a shot glass. Knock it back. Salute!
“mother!” opens on September 15th. Check out some new images from the film as well.