Pro­duc­tion Design Most Wor­thy of an Ex­cla­ma­tion Point

MOTHER

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - INCREDIBLY SPECIAL EFFECTS AWARDS -

Mother! director Dar­ren Aronof­sky’s hal­lu­ci­na­tory night­mare about a young, im­per­iled wife (Jen­nifer Lawrence) cy­cles through sev­eral metaphors, in­clud­ing Bib­li­cal al­le­gories and some blunt com­men­tary on en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion. Her house cy­cles right along with the movie, in­ex­pli­ca­bly mor­ph­ing into the set­ting for a riot, a rave, and a ground war.

“We called this last part of the movie the fever dream,” says pro­duc­tion designer Philip Messina. It takes place in an ac­tual house, not on a green screen, so that the sur­real en­vi­ron­ments would feel real to Lawrence. The crew used the same house built on an 25 x 35-me­tre stage in Mon­treal for many of the night scenes, which meant they had to turn it over for each scene as quickly as pos­si­ble. “We worked in a spi­ral,” Messina says. “As Aronof­sky’s team was shoot­ing, we came in be­hind them and re­dressed for the next thing. By the time they got back to us, they had a whole new back­drop to shoot in.”

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