Director’s despair sends Lawrence in new direction

Director Darren Aronofsky’s says his latest film, “mother!”, a dark, allegorical portrayal of an unravelling couple starring Jennifer Lawrence, was born of despair at the way the world is going.

“Most of my films take many many years to come to life. This one happened in five days,” the “Black Swan” director said Tuesday after his latest horror-infused production had its world premiere in Venice.

“It came out of seeing what is happening around us and not being able to do anything about it,” he said.

A committed ecologist, Aronofsky said his concern over man-made environmental destruction had been compounded by the futility of events such as the siege of Aleppo, generating a rage that enabled him to produce a first draft of his script in days in a process he described as akin to a “fever dream”.

The end result has a trippy, is-it-really-happening quality to it: Lawrence is required to flush a heart down the toilet at one point and there is worse to follow over the course of a nightmarish pregnancy.

“It is a completely different character to anything I’ve done before. I had to get in touch with a side of myself I wasn’t in touch with and Darren helped me do that,” said the 27-year-old star.

– Attracted to dark –

“We did three months of rehearsal. It is the most I’ve had to pull out of myself.”

A by-product of the creative process that went into the film is that its director and lead actress are now a couple, something Lawrence jokingly alluded to on Tuesday after co-star Michelle Pfeiffer said she was attracted to “dark” directors.

“So am I!” interjected Lawrence with a throaty laugh. “So I’ve heard!” shot back Pfeiffer.

The film starts from the premise that there is nothing as ominous as an unexpected knock on the door. Lawrence’s character hears one and never feels safe again.

The isolated wooden pile that she shares with an older famous poet (Javier Bardem) is already haunted by the ghosts of his previous life with his first wife.

Rebuilt from scratch after being razed by fire, she’s trying to transform it into a cocoon of contemporary chic while he locks himself away in an inner sanctum and battles with writers’ block.

They are not quite in meltdown mode but neither is all completely well between the couple.

The arrival late one night of a visitor who ostensibly mistakes the place for a B&B starts to expose the faultlines in their relationship.

Against her better judgement, the poet insists on the elderly visitor, a dying physician (Ed Harris), staying over.

– Whistles –

Flattered to meet a fan of his writing, neither does he object when the doctor is joined the following morning by his overbearing drunk of a wife (Pfeiffer).

Soon the house Lawrence is trying to turn into a home is invaded by their entire family and their tensions over changes the father has made to his soon-to-be executed will.

A scuffle between siblings results in blood being splashed on Lawrence’s lovingly sanded and stained floorboards but Bardem’s poet is a case study in artistic egocentricity and he proves oblivious to her wincing discomfort.

The escape from domestic routine has re-energised him: he starts writing again and Lawrence suddenly finds she is pregnant.

It is what they both wanted but for him it is not enough. And as she nears delivery, the home is once again subjected to an invasion that he, driven by narcissim, encourages, driving the couple’s connection to breaking point and the film to its gory finale.

Despite its stellar cast, “mother!” was greeted with decidedly mixed reviews and a few whistles of disappointment from the international press audience in Venice.

Aronofsky shrugged that off. “Just read the newspaper and try to feel what’s going on,” he said.

“It is a very strong cocktail, it’s a rollercoaster ride. Only come on if you are prepared to loop the loop a few times.”

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  1. Avatar Macduff Okuom March 14th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Overwhelming mandate when 49.97% of the votes were cast against you? I wonder whether you people choose you words correctly.

    1. Avatar Gabby March 14th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      You are wrong because it was not a 2-way case of heads or tails but an 8-way competition. That’s why some of the other candidates will jump over on not. Your math is also defective because the spoilt votes are included in your tally.

      1. Avatar Gathii March 15th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        Go tell it to the birds. We have a constitution so deal with your emotions.

        1. Avatar Gabby March 15th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

          I have no idea what you are ranting about. Macduff Okuom asserts a 49.97% counter vote as regards the winner. Of course that should have been 49.93% for his post to read; voted ‘against’ the winner’s 50.07%. That is an absurd assertion because voting for Mudavadi for example does not mean voting against Uhuru? Neither is Macduff’s supposed total percentage that clearly includes the spoilt votes to make up the 100% tally of votes cast correct. He clearly got his math wrong but your interjection regrettably misses the point too let alone the inaccuracy of the emotion tag you hurled at me. Please look again at the string of posts …….

          1. Avatar Gathii March 15th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

            My bad….

          2. Avatar Gabby March 16th, 2013 at 12:02 am

            I have actually read your posts here and in the Nation blog and I was beginning to get surprised at the wavering, more so I reckon you contend the win was Jubilee’s just like I do. Nice for the acknowledgement. Thanks.

    2. Avatar mishi March 14th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      50+1 as per the rule jameni mtavuruga mpaka lini?

  2. Avatar UWIANO March 14th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Why are u still hurting?,…..u either choose to move on and start working or continue with hate speech and politicking…..even other candidates have joined in the moving train…bury the past and move on brother…..UWIANO

    1. Avatar Sam Humble African March 15th, 2013 at 9:38 am

      I wonder where the world you are living in today would still be with people like you – pessimists! Ours is a struggle like many that were before us, including the “Mau Mau revolution”. Bitter fights have been fought before – remember our colonial regime terming the mau mau as a fight against civilisation. Remember the home guards(Michuki & the like) were against Mau Mau also. Always remember my brother that no force can stop the river Nile from reaching its destiny. So if you or anyone else is not ready to be part of history then SHUT UP in your comfort zone.

      1. Avatar Gathii March 15th, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Let me guess, you changed your account name after Uhuru was declared the winner, right?
        I have noted many CORD supporters have done the same some even pretending to be ‘sheep’……. very interesting. This is a good research topic.
        Acceptance in society is important but you do not have to go to such lengths.
        Just learn to be tolerant of others’ views and accept the principles of democracy.

      2. Avatar Kenyan Truly March 15th, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        You Nyanzans only understand Lake Victoria, River Nile, Fish and Omena. Is Raila more special than others to concede the election? Kenya is now united, so idk whether yo gonna start your small stupid country back there known as Nyanza Republic or something.

        1. Avatar Keyur Amin March 16th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

          Very true and well said. I support your saying.

  3. Avatar Gabby March 14th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    It would be better for then to say how the poll was defective and prove beyond doubt that the outcome would have been otherwise. A tough one but necessary effort.

  4. Avatar PatrioticKenyan March 15th, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Kiyapi emphasised the need to build bridges across the political divide in order to bring all Kenyans together.

    Safina leader Paul Muite urged the President-elect and his deputy reach out to all leaders, saying that legal battles will not secure the healing the country requires.

  5. Avatar D. Mati March 15th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    This is how to run a gvt.

  6. Avatar chumbibye March 15th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Oh my. i was expecting MM running mate Kioni to be present…after all they came 3rd after the giants! no easy feat i tell you.

    1. Avatar Kenyan Truly March 15th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      You’re wrong, there was only one giant Uhuru, the other one is a dying horse that rushed to utter nyef nyef before dying.

      1. Avatar Keyur Amin March 16th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        lol, you won my heart with that saying. Very true. The horse is already wounded. lol

      2. Avatar chumbibye March 18th, 2013 at 9:18 am

        u miss my point entirely on that. I SAID I WAS EXPECTING MM RUNNING MATE 2BE PRESENT! as to who was the giant i repeat they were 2 but among the two LET THE COURT DECIDE!

  7. Avatar Botlhe March 15th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Health politics!! i like

  8. Avatar Keyur Amin March 16th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I love this one. This is going to be the strongest government Kenya has ever had. Unite and rule and give people what they want. I welcome Uhuru as president of Kenya


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