Mother! and the Wisdom of Silenus
I saw Darren Aronofsky’s film Mother! when it first came out and I’ve been mulling over it for awhile. I was hesitant to see it because of reports that it was a horror film, but I didn’t think it was difficult to watch in the same way a horror film is. It is unrelenting in the Second Act, but the unrelenting nature is purposeful. Marc Maron had a just awful reading of it on his podcast after he interviewed Aronofsky, but mostly, astute viewers saw the allegory to Christianity and to the price the artist exacts from his material. What I’ve been mulling over are the ways that the film is a critique of Christianity–of God as the artist and of Christianity as a practice of consuming the creations of the artist.
In what is to my mind the central scene of the film, Jennifer Lawrence’s character realizes that The Poet who represents God is trying to take the newborn baby from her. So she holds the baby to protect it. Eventually she falls asleep, and while she is sleeping, The Poet / God takes the baby and presents it to the people who tear the baby to pieces and liturgically eat the pieces of the baby guided by a priest in a clear depiction of Communion. Read more