Apocalyptic horror ‘mother!’ was conceived in five days, director says

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Darren Aronofsky’s horror film “mother!” about humanity’s unstoppable destruction of the earth was conceived in just five days, the US director said ahead of the film’s world premiere on Tuesday.

Aronofsky, known for “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler”, said at the Venice film festival that most of his movies take years to create but this was different.

He was inspired by what he saw around him and his inability to do much about it: from the United States pulling out of the Paris climate deal, an iceberg melting in the Arctic to people starving, while others live in opulence.

“I just had a lot of rage and anger, and I just wanted to channel it into one emotion, one feeling,” the Academy Award nominee told reporters. “And in five days I wrote the first version of the script. It just sort of poured out of me.”

The result is an apocalyptic metaphor, rich in religious, environmental and political undertones.

Jennifer Lawrence plays mother, a young wife who lives with her poet husband -- Javier Bardem -- in a secluded country house. While he is trying to overcome a serious bout of writer’s block, she is busy restoring his family home.

Their seemingly idyllic existence starts falling apart when unexpected guests -- starting with Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer -- arrive at their doorstep.

Lawrence, whose roles usually focus on strong female leads, is thrust into portraying someone living to make her husband happy and asked to give and give until she can give no more.

“It was a completely different character from anything I’ve ever done before, but it was also a completely different side of myself that I wasn’t in touch with, didn’t really know yet,” the 27-year-old Academy Award winner said.

The two-hour film is set in one house, a massive villa surrounded by fields of grass. Aronofsky said he wanted to build on the idea that while we may ignore what’s happening on the other side of the world, we all can identify with the discomfort of someone invading our home and privacy.

Inspired by Luis Bunuel’s surrealist film “The Exterminating Angel”, he wanted to stick social structure into one home and watch it while it “becomes undone by humanity”.

This movie is about “how people are insatiable. There is this endless consumption,” he said.

The working title for the film was “Day 6”, referring to the day God created mankind.

The house was painted in natural browns and greens to resemble the earth, but “slowly as humanity invades, they start to bring in all the different types of colors and materials that are not natural to the planet”, he said.

The movie received mixed reaction in Venice and was booed after its first screening, but Aronofsky remained undeterred.

“It’s a very, very strong cocktail,” he said. “This a roller coaster ride, only come on it if you’re really prepared to do the loop to loop a few times.”

Top Content Trending