VFXShow 227 : Mother!

In this episode, Matt Wallin, and Jason Diamond discuss director Darren Aronofsky’s latest film: Mother!

From IMDBPro: Amidst a wild flat meadow encircled by an Edenic lush forest, a couple has cocooned itself in a secluded grand mansion that was not so long ago burned to the ground, devotedly restored by the supportive wife. Within this safe environment, the once famous middle-aged poet husband is desirous of creating his magnum opus, however, he seems unable to break out of the persistent creative rut that haunts him. And then, unexpectedly, a knock at the door and the sudden arrival of a cryptic late-night visitor and his intrusive wife will stimulate the writer’s stagnant imagination, and much to the perplexed wife’s surprise, the more chaos he lets in their haven, the better for his punctured male ego. In the end, will this incremental mess blemish irreparably the couple’s inviolable sanctuary?

This film was shot using 16 mm film with some sequences shot on the RED. This is the fourth time Darren Aronofsky has shot a film on this format.

The visual effects were extensive, — possible with even more visual effects than Aronofsky’s film Noah. including Hybride Technologies, ILM, Mr X. The DOP was Matthew Libatique, Visual Effects Supervisor was by Dan Schrecker , the animatronic baby was built by Adrien Morot (and Digitally taken over by MrX), and the VR previz was  by Merik Pelletier of Paper Ghost.

Dan Schrecker had previously worked with Aronofsky on  VFX for Noah, Black Swan and The Fountain. 

If you think you thought the script was ‘original’, Michelle Pfeiffer admitted to not understanding the script the first time she read it, describing it as «esoteric.» However, the actress committed to the project after becoming excited by the character she would be playing.  Audiences have either loved it or hated it, the film received both boos and a standing ovation during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The film is ostensibly  a telling of mother nature, hence the title Mother! And also explains the lack of names for characters (no character’s name is heard on screen).

  • The house represents Earth, with
  • Jennifer Lawrence representing Mother Nature.
  • Javier Bardem’s character (He)apparently represents God according to Arronofsky.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris are Adam and Eve.
  • With the Gleeson brothers being Cain and Abel.

The metaphors continue on throughout the film and are decoded spiritually  in our podcast discussion. The show was hosted this week by Matt Wallin, (Mike is on leave — and for the record: was not scared to talk to Jason about Mother!).

Matt Wallin    @mattwallin

Jason Diamond  @jasondiamond      www.thediamondbros.com

Special thanks to Matt Wallin and Ryan Pribyl for producing and editing the show. The podcast is only possible due to their great work and your support.