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You’ve Watched Mother! Now Revel In Its Glory

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Written By: D.A Zapata

I have never seen such insane divisiveness over a film. Sure, I wasn’t around when “Saló” was released, but the controversy over “mother!” has been brutal and prominent from numerous angles. Fox News was pleased to report the film was assailed as “a grotesque and nauseating attack on Christians” while CinemaScore awarded the film with the rare F score. “mother!” has proved to be a love it or hate it film, and it’s understandable. This is Aronofsky at his most pretentious, depraved, and inaccessible, so get ready for a horrifically demented ride or do not bother.

There seem to be two predominant issues moviegoers are having with “mother!” It is either taken as a literal home invasion thriller–in which you end up with a shitty sci-fi story about a guy who can control a woman for all eternity–or considered a spoon-fed and over-the-top Bible story. The latter has been argued mainly by those familiar with Aronofsky’s work (AT LEAST IT WASN’T NOAH, GUYS) and his highly allegorical nature, prominently claiming the biblical references are akin to Aronofsky screaming metaphors in our faces, much like Jennifer Lawrence during her murder spree in the final act. Both arguments seem to miss the point. What Aronofsky has created in “mother!” is truly unprecedented in filmmaking. Not only is he retelling a story–the story, in and of itself, doesn’t exist. Arguably, after viewing “mother!” the physical nature of the film no longer matters. The parallels and personifications of the concepts presented are what make it an incredible experience. Cinematically, the film is a masterpiece, but because its entire embodiment is a metaphor, it cannot be taken at face value. That goes without saying, if you can’t stomach its frenzied nature and (highly effective) shock factor, it will not sit well with you. This has been the case for a lot of people, but when you have infant cannibalism and a woman being brutally beaten and almost sexually assaulted while being called a “fucking cunt,” the screams of “misogyny” are understandable–though arguably entirely missing the point. Sure, it’s Aronofsky blatantly yelling, “LOOK WHAT YOU’RE FUCKING DOING!” but it doesn’t take away from the artistry of the film.

Oh, Lord Almighty (literally). Where to begin? Let’s start with the basics. “mother!” is an entirely metaphorical film that personifies two things, the story of Mother Nature/Gaia vs. God and the story of Christianity from Genesis to Revelations, while also acting as a commentary on our sociopolitical climate and how the Church has both shaped and destroyed the Earth. We meet God as he rebirths a scorched landscape and home, allegorical of Earth, along with the rebirth of Mother Earth. Her love and connection to Him is bound from the start yet always doomed for the apocalypse. From here on out, we are presented with the story of Genesis onward, with the arrival of Adam (Ed Harris), whom is later seen with an unsightly cut on the right side of his ribcage (sound familiar?). Eve arrives the following day in the form of Michelle Pfeiffer, whom absolutely steals every moment she is on screen. She drunkenly bitches and quips and eventually eats the forbidden fruit (shattering the crystal) and both are cast out of the Garden of Eden (his study, which he proceeds to nail shut). Their glorious children, Cain and Abel, arrive (in which the Gleeson brothers are cynically psychotic), and everything plays out accordingly as Cain kills Abel and turns away from God, telling Mother, “You’re still here? Good luck,” before walking out the door. Kate Mara and friends soon arrive as a destructive force, symbolizing Babylon and the Flood as Kate breaks the sink, causing the home to flood and temporarily driving the masses out. Mother is then impregnated with the Son of God (oh boy) which inspires Him to write the Bible, bringing utter chaos and complete destruction upon the home. Kristen Wiig is a fun character to consider, as it seems she functions as the Church (being His publisher) and is later seen assassinating presumed non-believers in the chaotic final act. However, it has also been pointed out that her fight with His editor makes her akin to Lucifer. As Harrison Martin states, “Mother meets Him’s publisher (Kristen Wiig), who claims she was skeptical of Him’s relationship with Mother, but now sees her as a good inspiration. Eventually, Him’s fans go crazy over his work and begin looting his home. We see Him’s publisher taking part in the madness, killing innocent people with a gun. This is an allusion to Lucifer once being God’s most favored angel and falling from grace. Lucifer was not happy with God’s creation of the Earth and mankind. The publisher fighting the editor is similar to Lucifer fighting Michael before being expelled.” While this may be reaching, nothing can be taken at face value in this film.

The final act of “mother!” is harsh, and that’s a severe understatement. As the baby is akin to Jesus Christ, we knew things were not going to end well, but baby cannibalism was a lot to take in. (Apparently not physically. I don’t know. I don’t eat babies.) This is perhaps the most literal part of the film–the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood. It is a twisted holy sacrament only Aronofsky could’ve executed so well. Because Aronofsky doesn’t know when to quit, we soon thereafter see Mother thrown to the floor and brutally beaten while being called a “cunt, slut, whore,” and about every demeaning vulgarity while being punched and kicked repeatedly. We even have frontal nudity during the assault. Aronofsky is screaming in our faces at this point, “YOU’RE KILLING MOTHER NATURE, YOU PIECES OF SHIT!” The shock factor is to be expected, and despite its horrific and emotionally draining nature, it is wholly effective. This goes beyond shock factor. What Aronofsky creates in the final act of “mother!” is severe claustrophobia, anxiety, and fury. The mental assault he imposes while unfolding such an intricate film is phenomenal. He even throws in protesters, police officers, SWAT teams, all for the sake of commenting on our current state. The film functions impeccably as an allegory, a biblical retelling, and a warning. It is meant to make you feel awful to force a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. How this has been interpreted or sits with audiences may be a reason for its divisiveness.

Certain aspects of “mother!” added to its confusing but beautifully constructed appeal. Mother’s parallels to Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary are a strange juxtaposition to her personification as Mother Earth/Gaia. The yellow elixir she consistently gulps down also remains a mystery, functioning as an anti-anxiety medication for Mother. Parallels have been drawn to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story from 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in which a woman is driven to depression and madness by her oppressive husband. Additionally, despite the physical clarity of Mother’s connection with the home, the bleeding hole in the floor plays several roles throughout the film. Though initially embodying the Mark of Cain, it continuously bleeds when she is in distress, at one point in a different location. During the film’s final act, people are posing and taking selfies with it, peace signs in the air, while the hole is both bleeding and on fire. Perhaps this is an additional societal statement from Aronofsky about people glorying nature in disregard as it is being destroyed. One of the most distressing takeaways from the film is also the fact that Mother Nature is always at the whim of a narcissistic God, whom will always create and use her, eternally dying and being born anew. Is this to say nature is always doomed to deplete and fail at the hands of God and his creation? This is a bold statement, if it’s what Aronofsky is implying. As Mother states: “You never loved me. You just loved how much I loved you. I gave you everything. And you gave it all away.”

Ultimately, “mother!” is not a film for everyone, but its artistry is undeniable. Even after two viewings, I’m convinced I’ll pick up on and change my viewpoints on certain aspects of this film after seeing it again, and again, and again. It is a masterpiece–understandably not for all–that deserves to be acclaimed and discussed in detail for the interpretive and cinematic experience it embodies.

Features

Here’s What’s Coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, and MUBI for August 2018

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Between the increasing number of streaming platforms in our lives, there’s far too much great entertainment being released day after day for any sane person to keep track of. 

There’s streaming giant Netflix, the curated offerings of MUBI, all the latest releases on NOW TV, and online video emporium Amazon Prime. There’s something for everyone, on demand, just waiting to be selected. What a time to be alive!

But that doesn’t help when you’re looking for something to wile away the evening with, so let us lighten the load and make your viewing choice that little bit easier with our weekly updated round-up of everything being added to your favourite platform.

Wednesday, August 1st

  • The Bold Type: Season 2 (new episode)
  • Casual: Season 4

Friday, August 3rd

  • Marvel’s Clock and Dagger: Season 1 (new episode)

Monday, August 6th

  • Preacher: Season 3 (new episode)

Wednesday, August 8th

  • The Bold Type: Season 2 (new episode)

Monday, August 13th

  • Preacher: Season 3 (new episode)

Friday, August 17th

  • All or Nothing: Manchester City

 

Thursday, August 2nd

  • Meteors

Saturday, August 4th

  • Purple Butterfly

Sunday, August 5th

  • Le Fort de Fous

Monday, August 6th

  • Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Thursday, August 9th

  • The Stairs

Friday, August 10th

  • Certified Copy

Saturday, August 11th

  • Summer Palace

Sunday, August 12th

  • Vengeance

Monday, August 13th

  • A Cambodian Spring

Wednesday, August 15th

  • Historytelling

Thursday, August 16th

  • The Art of Speech

Friday, August 17th

  • Djon Africa

Saturday, August 18th

  • Love and Bruises

Sunday, August 19th

  • Mad Detective

 

Wednesday, August 1st

  • All I See Is You
  • Becoming Champions: Season 1
  • The Boy
  • Casino Tycoon
  • A Chinese Odyssey (Part I)
  • A Chinese Odyssey (Part II)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Cocaine Coast: Season 1
  • Discovery of Love: Season 1
  • Doubles Cause Troubles
  • Edge of Fear
  • A Few Less Men
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Hero
  • History of Joy
  • Infernal Affairs
  • Infernal Affairs II
  • Infernal Affairs III
  • Initial D
  • Invisible
  • Jason Bourne
  • Justice, My Foot!
  • Kaaliyan
  • Kaattu
  • Kuppivala

  • Lechmi
  • Legend of The Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
  • Little Dragon Maiden
  • Love In The Buff
  • Mahabharat
  • Melle
  • Minnaminugu the FireFly
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Monster-in-Law
  • Mythily Veendum Varunnu
  • Oru Vishsheshapetta Biryani Kissa
  • P Se PM Tak
  • QB1: Beyond the Lights: Season 1
  • Regal Academy
  • Spy Game
  • Sudani from Nigeria
  • Switched: Season 1
  • Tikli and Laxmi Bomb
  • Touch of Evil
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Thursday, August 2nd

  • Forever Chape
  • Meet the Blacks
  • Suits: Season 8 (new episode)

Friday, August 3rd

  • Brij Mohan Amar Rahe
  • Cocaine Coast: Season 1
  • Dinotrux Supercharged: Season 3
  • Like Father
  • Marching Orders
  • Meteor Garden: Episodes 21 to 26
  • Shooter: Season 3 (new episode)

Saturday, August 4th

  • Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
  • Bring It On: In It to Win It
  • Flavors of Youth: International Version
  • Howard the Duck
  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)
  • On Children
  • Pride & Prejudice (2006)
  • Tower Heist

Sunday, August 5th

  • Loving Vincent
  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)

Monday, August 6th

  • Chesapeake Shores: Season 3 (new episode)
  • Power: Season 5 (new episode)

Tuesday, August 7th

  • Better Call Saul: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Chennai Express
  • To the Beat

Thursday, August 9th

  • Equity
  • Last Vegas
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Most Unknown
  • Perdida
  • Suits: Season 8 (new episode)
  • Unforgotten: Season 2

Friday, August 10th

  • 72 Dangerous Animals: Asia
  • Afflicted: Season 1
  • All About The Washingtons: Season 1
  • Beyond the Clouds
  • The Birth Reborn
  • Demetri Martin: The Overthinker
  • Insatiable: Season 1
  • La Casa do Las Flores
  • Meteor Garden: Episodes 27 to 32
  • The Package
  • The Ponysitters Club: Season 1
  • Shooter: Season 3 (new episode)
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 7
  • Zion

Saturday, August 11th

  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)

Sunday, August 12th

  • Anjaan: Special Crimes Unit: Season 1
  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)
  • My Little Pony: The Movie
  • The Party
  • Uncle: Season 3

Monday, August 13th

  • Chesapeake Shores: Season 3 (new episode)
  • Power: Season 5 (new episode)

Tuesday, August 14th

  • Better Call Saul: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Out of Thin Air

Wednesday, August 15th

  • Bioscope
  • Blackadder the Third
  • Blackadder Goes Forth
  • Comedy High School: Season 1
  • Devaraya
  • For Here or To Go?
  • Gotham: Season 4
  • Gurudu
  • Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate
  • Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone: Season 1
  • Mere Papa Hero Hiralal: Season 1
  • Ouija
  • Public Schooled
  • Sudani from Nigeria
  • Swami Baba Ramdev: The Untold Story: Season 1

Thursday, August 16th

  • Endless Love
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • My Best Friend’s Girl
  • The Possession
  • Suits: Season 8 (new episode)

Friday, August 17th

  • 20th Century Women
  • Disenchantment: Season 1
  • Magic for Humans
  • Meteor Garden: Episodes 33 to 38
  • The Motive
  • Pinky Malinky
  • Shooter: Season 3 (new episode)
  • Spirit Riding Free: Season 6
  • Stay Here: Season 1
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • Top of the Lake: Season 2
  • Ultraviolet: Season 1

Saturday, August 18th

  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)

Sunday, August 19th

  • Mr. Sunshine: Season 1 (new episode)
  • Selfie From Hell
  • Saw: Legacy

 

Wednesday, August 1st

  • The Odyssey

Thursday, August 2nd

  • The Ghost of Charnel House

Friday, August 3rd

  • Justice League

Saturday, August 4th

  • Fantastic Journey to Oz

Sunday, August 5th

  • Brigsby Bear

Monday, August 6th

  • The Female Brain

Tuesday, August 7th

  • Ali & Nino

Wednesday, August 8th

  • Demon

Thursday, August 9th

  • Couples Vacation

Friday, August 10th

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Saturday, August 11th

  • Quackerz

Sunday, August 12th

  • 2:22

Monday, August 13th

  • Trafficked

Tuesday, August 14th

  • Canaries

Wednesday, August 15th

  • The Resistance

Thursday, August 16th

  • Waiting for You

Friday, August 17th

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Saturday, August 18th

  • Goodbye Christopher Robin

Sunday, August 19th

  • Patti Cake$

That’s it for this week, but don’t forget to check back each week for a fresh round of new releases for the UK on streaming platforms Amazon Prime, MUBI, NOW TV, and Netflix.

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Features

Oceans 11 Re-view

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Director: Steven Soderbergh

Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Carl Reiner, Elliot Gould, Don Cheadle, Scott Caan, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Shaobo Qin

Released: 2002

Ocean’s Eleven is Steven Soderbergh’s heist movie that ushered in the new millennium. The movie features some of Hollywood’s megastar crew: Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt , and Andy Garcia (Terry Benedict).

It is one of the best movies to feature all the heist superstars and the director has ensured that all the eleven character’s roles are recognized. Of course, it is a remake of 1960’s Ocean’s Eleven that features Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, and Peter Lawford.

Ocean’s Eleven follows ex-con George Clooney who’s just out of prison and his eleven counterparts who lay a plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos ( Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM) owned by Terry Benedict simultaneously. The comprised of a tech savvy, an explosives expert, a pick-pocketer (Damon), a card shark (Bernie Mac) and others. They also have Elliott Gould, an ex-casino owner, who is ready and willing to sponsor the whole heist operation.

With a smart plan, cunning disguises, sophisticated technology, Vegas is going to witness a night it will never forget. The reason why they are back in the game is to repay Terry Benedict a grand total of $150 million dollars. From the crew, you can tell that this is not just any other robbery movie. These are the smartest thieves who never raises their voices. It is the finest blend of passion and professionalism in play.

To put an emphasize on character differentiation, Soderbergh has used different costumes as well as word choice. You can say without fear of contradiction that everything is well calculated, rehearsed, and executed precisely. What is most impressive is that Soderbergh has managed to allocate equal time for the movie stars to shine independently in his 116 minutes film.

The director also allows enough screen time for the god fathers of heist Brad Pitt and George Clooney to showcase their expertise. Brad understands how to co-star a movie, and he steals some good minutes to show that he is the brain behind the pan. Soderbergh wants you to believe that his directed gang can execute the impossible; robbing three casinos simultaneously.

However, there are some obstacles such as enhanced security system, multiple surveillance cameras, armed guards, and a vault door that might slow down the execution of the plan. Another big obstacle is Tess, Danny’s ex-wife who is currently dating Benedict the casino tycoon.

The movie gives the audience enough time to guess, predict and foresee will unveil next. There also several scenes of comedy to make it lively and entertaining at the same time. The final scene of the film is a clear indication that there will be another movie to follow the sequel. The whole crew is casted with the exception of Clooney. Finally, after gazing at the Vegas flash lights and fountains, they go separate ways.

With the majority of the movie in passive voice with the minimal use of guns or any other weapon. Despite the movie lacking thrill, the whole plot will capture your attention for the first time. The movie was called Ocean’s Eleven because it comprised of eleven key players. Other sequels that came before or after have similar brand names based on the main characters.

Ocean’s Eleven is not a typical crime or bank robbery movie. It is an easy to follow heist with a satisfying story line. Soderbergh’s camera work and Philip Messina’s seta and real casino makes a visually appealing end of the whole story.

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Cinema & Sound: The Secret Life of a Foley Artist #DellCinema

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When we think about film, it’s probably safe to assume that one of the last things we consider is ‘how did they make all those noises?’

From claps of thunder, to a simple opening of a door, the work of a Foley Artist like Paula Boram often goes unnoticed amongst the grandeur of a finished feature film or television series.

Thanks to an event hosted by #DellCinema Movie Marker was treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the fascinating, often hilarious, work that is required to make a film sound just right.

Paula, one of the industry’s most experienced and respected foley artists has worked on a broad spectrum of feature films, from Tomorrow Never Dies to Notting Hill and as she explains, with each film comes a unique set of sounds to create in the studio.

You might think, as I did, that the majority of a film’s sound is recorded on location during initial filming and, if you do think that, then like me you are deeply mistaken. As Paula put’s it – imagine a scene in which there are two people talking in the rain, wearing raincoats, the majority of the audio recorded, be it through a boom mic (The big one that hangs overhead) or through clip-on mics worn by the actors, would pick up the sound of the rain, the sound of the raincoats rustling and the sound of the dialogue. Then when you listen back to the recording later on, all of the audio might be unusable. That’s where a Foley Artist, like Paula and her sound technician and assistant come into the equation.

Paula’s job is to analyse a scene and imagine the best way to create the sounds that the audience expect to hear, record them as close to sync with the actual film as possible and then pass the recording onto the sound mixer/editor to add to the final cut.

Asked if it was easier to keep a library of sounds for recreating footsteps for example, Paula’s technician explained that to find a sound that fitted that exact scene, the exact rate of stepping would at best, take several minutes – whereas creating a new recording could take as little as 30 seconds.

Paula is the first to admit that her work is extremely enjoyable and that she’s lucky to be in a job that she adores. However, she explains that while it’s enjoyable – working int he film industry has it’s pressures – budget and time are key factors in her work, meeting a deadline can be challenging and there are times where the work can take up entire days and run long into the night.

On getting into this line of work, Paula explained that she used to be a dancer and saw a small advertisement looking for dancers interested in learning about sound recording. The rhythm and timing needed to be a dancer have aided Paula in her work and as she was trained her knowledge base grew and the work increased with it.

Those in attendance were given the opportunity to be foley artists, recreating the sounds on a television episode – the possibilities for creating some of the sounds we hear really are endless, using belts, trolleys, boxes, forks to create some of the effects, then thanks to the swift editing by Paula’s team we were able to see and hear our work (which sounded great on Dell’s new cinema range) as it would appear in the final cut.

Paula now has well over 100 film credits to her name and continues to work on big budget movies and TV shows.

You can find more about #DellCinema by searching the hashtag or visiting the Dell website here

 

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