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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

All the UK Streaming Goodness Coming in November 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.

Thursday, November 1st

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
  • Bride Wars
  • Get Santa
  • Monte Carlo

Friday, November 2nd

  • Homecoming: Season 1
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)
  • You Were Never Really Here

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Blow
  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales
  • Swordfish

Sunday, November 4th

  • Big Momma’s House

Monday, November 5th

  • Note
  • Outlander: Season 4 (new episode)

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Purge: Season 1 (new episode)

Thursday, November 8th

  • The Girl Next Door

Friday, November 9th

  • Patriot: Season 2
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?

Friday, November 16th

  • Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams
  • The Gymkhana Files: Season 1
  • Mirzapur: Season 1
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)

 

Monday, November 5th

  • Pyaasa

Tuesday, November 6th

  • Wishing Well

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Dead Nation

Friday, November 9th

  • 9 Fingers

Sunday, November 11th

  • Blue Black Permanent

Monday, November 12th

  • Kaagaz Ke Phool

Tuesday, November 13th

  • From its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances

Wednesday, November 14th

  • The Criminal

Thursday, November 15th

  • The Servant

 

Thursday, November 1st

  • Angela’s Christmas
  • Calico Critters
  • Calico Critters: A Town of Dreams
  • Calico Critters: The Treasure of Calico Village
  • Children of Men
  • Crusoe
  • Dead Set
  • Deadly Expose
  • Edge of Fear
  • Expatriot
  • Follow This: Part 3
  • Hang ‘Em High
  • The Hooligan Factory
  • In a Valley of Violence
  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • Katt Williams: The Pimp Chronicles: Pt. 1
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Malone
  • Our House
  • Robocop (1987)
  • Selma
  • Sleepwalker
  • Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
  • The Tigers of Scotland
  • The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Friday, November 2nd

  • Brainchild
  • Daybreakers
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • House of Cards: Season 6
  • The Other Side of the Wind
  • ReMastered (new episode)
  • They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: Season 4

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Allied
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 4th

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

  • 6th November
  • Black Lightning: Season 2 (new episode)
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)

Monday, November 5th

  • John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons
  • Oh My Ghost: Season 1 (new episode)

Tuesday, November 6th

  • The Late Bloomer

Thursday, November 8th

  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • Neighbors
  • Riverdale: Season 2 (new episode)

Friday, November 9th

  • Ali G Indahouse
  • An American Tail
  • BASEketball
  • Beat Bugs: Season 3
  • The Best of Me
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • King Kong (2005)
  • Made of Honor: Season 1
  • Outlaw King
  • The Perfect Man
  • La Reina del Flow
  • The Sinner
  • Spirit Riding Free: Season 7
  • Super Drags: Season 1
  • Treehouse Detectives
  • Waterworld
  • Westside: Season 1

Saturday, November 10th

  • Almost Christmas
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • Limitless
  • P.S. I Love You
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 11th

  • Arrival
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Monday, November 12th

  • Oh My Ghost: Season 1 (new episode)

Tuesday, November 13th

  • Black Lightning: Season 2 (new episode)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Surviving Twin
  • Warrior

Thursday, November 15th

  • Coach Carter
  • The Crew
  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • May the Devil take You
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Riverdale: Season 2 (new episode)
  • The Windsors

Friday, November 16th

  • 2 Guns
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Cam
  • Dogs: Season 1
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • The Kominsky Method
  • Narcos: Mexico
  • Ponysitters Club: Season 2
  • Prince of Peoria
  • The Princess Switch
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Season 1

Saturday, November 17th

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 18th

  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)

 

 

Friday, November 2nd

Three Billboards Day 04_118.dng

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Sunday, November 4th

  • Honey: Rise Up and Dance

Monday, November 5th

  • Black Butterfly

Tuesday, November 6th

  • A Christmas Cruise

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Nile Hilton Incident

Thursday, November 8th

  • Waiting for You

Friday, November 9th

  • Darkest Hour

Saturday, November 10th

  • Better Watch Out

Sunday, November 11th

  • Spinning Man

Monday, November 12th

  • Dark Crimes

Tuesday, November 13th

  • A Bramble House Christmas

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Let the Sunshine In

Thursday, November 15th

  • Stephanie

Friday, November 16th

  • Game Night

Saturday, November 17th

  • Mom and Dad

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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The Four Most Underrated Casino Movies of all Time

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When it comes to cinematic representation, there’s little room for the casino industry to complain. With built-in glamour and drama and no shortage of cash on the line, casinos are ideal locations to base critical moments and, indeed, entire movies. 

From Casino Royale’s nail-biting poker scene to Ocean’s Eleven’s daring casino heist and Casino’s, well, casino, there are dozens of amazing movies utilising casinos as central plot devices. 

But what about those casino movies which never seem to quite get the recognition they deserve? We’re talking about the less high-profile pictures that deserve your time just as much as the big boys. 

In this guide, we’re going to share with you some of our very favourite underrated casino movies. Let’s go. 

Bugsy   

Las Vegas, today a gambling haven, was not long ago a deserted wasteland in the middle of one of America’s least habitable areas. Bugsy (1991), directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam), tackles that very subject and boasts a 80% overall score at https://www.metacritic.com/movie/bugsy.  

The film reveals how gangster Ben “Bugsy” Siegel effectively built the industry in Nevada by starting large-scale development in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s a beautifully acted, stylish and fascinating picture which features the talents of Warren Beatty, Harvey Keitel, Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley. 

[Source: Pixabay] 

The Cincinnati Kid 

Steve McQueen, that cinematic icon, lent his talents to over 40 movies and TV shows during his tragically short life, but few roles are as underrated as his turn as The Cincinnati Kid (1965). 

Starring as Eric Stoner, he was the Cincinnati Kid, a young poker player out to build a name for himself as the best around. How do you do that? Well, you beat the best player around – Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson). 

What follows is pure drama, and shouldn’t be missed. 

Ocean’s 11 (1960) 

Overshadowed by its more recent remake, the original Ocean’s 11 deserves a critical reappraisal and is well worth a revisit. Originally thought of as little more than a vehicle for five members of the Rat Pack (Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop), it remains a rollicking heist movie about big risks and big rewards. 

Of course, with the likes of https://games.paddypower.com/c/daily-jackpots offering jackpots of over £300k on games such as slots and roulette, you’d sooner head there than plan the heist of the century these days. Anyone got a time machine? It’d save those boys an awful lot of effort.  

Owning Mahowny 

Based on a true story, Owning Mahowny (2003) discovers what happens when you give a man with a gambling problem access to millions of dollars. Full information about the film can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285861/ 

Bank employee Dan Mahowny (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) syphons off money from accounts at his bank to feed his habit, spurred on by sleazy casino boss Victor (John Hurt), as his life begins to spiral out of control. It’s a beautifully pitched film with a reliably stunning performance by the dearly missed Phillip Seymour Hoffman. 

And there we have it! Four casino movies which run the emotional gamut. Perhaps that’s the timeless appeal of casinos as a setting, that under one roof you can have thousands of stories, each as fascinating as the next. Think we’ve missed your favourite underrated casino movie? Comment below!  

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6 Great Smartphone Apps for the Film Fan 

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While on the set of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola once said that the prevalence of video would make it possible for everyone to be a filmmaker. He was almost right. It took a little longer than he anticipated but now, thanks to the digital revolution, everyone with a smartphone is a potential filmmaker ready to make the next big independent hit. 

But smartphones haven’t just allowed film fans to make movies but to enjoy them in more immersive ways, bringing a multimedia environment to the way we experience cinema. Here, we take a look at six must-see apps for the film fan. 


L’Odéon“ (CC BY-SA 2.0) by achassignon 

Trailers (for iPhone) 

For iPhone users who want to keep up to date with the latest movies hitting our cinema screens, there are few apps as useful as Apple’s Trailers. All available in high-definition and searchable in various ways such as genre, box office and user ratings, the app is a perfect place to start planning your future movie viewing. 

Pinnacle Studio Pro (for iPhone) 

Here’s an app for budding Steven Spielbergs. Pinnacle Studio Pro for iPhone is feature-loaded for creating films through your smartphone. You can arrange and rearrange the clips you’ve selected with a simple-to-use interface that includes functionality like titles and transition effects. You can add your choice of music too as well as do fancy stuff like slow-mo. 

DC Legends: Battle For Justice (for Android) 

Video games based on movies give us the chance to immerse ourselves inside the characters we have come to cherish. DC Legends: Battle for Justice is the stand out free game for Android users who love the world of Batman, Superman and DC Comics, as featured on https://www.androidauthority.com/best-batman-games-android-811074/. A character collecting game, you can choose to play in story mode or against other players online. Alternatively, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the game to have for both Android and Apple users, while popular casino-style entertainment based on these characters such as The Dark Knight Rises digital slot machine from Playtech, which you can play at Betfair at https://casino.betfair.com/c/slots, offers further excitement as you pit your wits against Gotham City’s villains. 

Scene It (iPhone and Android) 

Test your movie knowledge with the smartphone version of the popular board game, Scene It. It is omnipresent – from its DVD and card game beginnings to Xbox and PlayStation versions and even a Facebook-based adaptation – Scene It gives movie buffs the chance to test their knowledge in front of friends and family. 

Movie Vault (for Android and iPhone) 

Available on https://movie-vault-classic-films.soft112.com/, Movie Vault is the app for buffs wanting to sample classic and difficult-to-source old films that, in some cases, are available here for the first time in a digital medium. The charming interface – wooden shelves lined with a catalogue of authentic box art – allows you to stream films you’ve probably never seen before. Some are sourced from old VHS tapes and weathered celluloid, so it’s not the same as watching pristine high definition on Netflix. Still, Movie Vault opens up a world of interesting world cinema to fans who want to extend the cinema experience beyond the latest Hollywood blockbuster. 

RunPee (iPhone & Android) 

Okay, for true film buffs, there’s never a good time to take a bathroom break because you’re going to miss some of the drama. But if you’ve really got to go when in the cinema, RunPee tells you when the best moments to take a toilet break are, and fills you in on any plot points you might miss. 

 

Cinema in South Beach, Miami“ (CC BY 2.0) by hellostanley 

From keeping you entertained with films you might never have seen before, to prepping you for new movies, giving you the opportunity to make your own, and testing your knowledge, for film fans, these are the handy apps to keep on your smartphone. 

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