Film Junk Podcast Episode #628: mother! and TIFF 2017


0:00 – Intro: Jay’s Phobia
13:00 – Review: mother!
44:10 – TIFF 2017: The Shape of Water, Thelma, Downsizing, The Disaster Artist, Brawl in Cell Block 99, The Death of Stalin, Love Means Zero, There Is a House Here, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
2:25:30 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:28:15 – Outro
2:32:40 – Spoiler Discussion: mother!

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  • schizopolis

    I definitely have trypophobia as well and never knew the term. And I totally remember that Richard Pryor scene in The Toy! Also in Weird Science, when Chet turned into that blob and he was all bubbles.

    Just listening to that segment made my skin crawl! For me, it’s all because of the patterns causing me think it’ll happen to my own skin. It’s soo gross!

  • Jake

    So was Jim Carrey’s crazy red-carpet interview from last week just marketing for this Andy Kaufman doc? I had no idea about it, but it is all starting to make sense now….

  • Lori Cerny

    Maybe everyone with Tryp developed it from The Toy?!?

  • Lori Cerny

    Jay, Your “art” on Deviant is more girly that I’d expect.

  • Sam

    Yeah, I also have exactly what Jay mentioned and pretty much exactly how he feels about it. I’m not scared of it, just unnerves me and gives me the chills. Honeycombs don’t bother me either.

    The earliest I could remember triggering that was this picture from probably well over a decade ago:

  • devolutionary

    heh, I’m sure that image will trigger more trypophobics in this thread. Those Zergnet/Facebook clickbait ads are rife with them.

  • Newtman98

    I will trade two mystery blurays for that batman drawing.

  • devolutionary

    “Love Means Zero” sounds really interesting. Andre Agassi was my favourite tennis player growing up, in spite of the fact that most tennis die-hards and instructors preferred Sampras or Becker. Having read most of his auto-biography “Open” a few years ago, it would be nice to see the other side of the story. Agassi eviscerated Bollettieri, along with his Dad’s decision, in the book for nearly killing his drive to become a successful tennis player. I’m sure Agassi’s meth addiction was another by-product of his mid 90’s self-destruction.

  • Tommy

    Jay “Kit Kat” Cheel

  • Tommy

    I was expecting 6’s after the Shape of Water discussions. Are they off the table?

  • Sean

    I don’t think Frank said this on the show, but I believe he was close to giving it a 6. They are definitely on the table. It just seems like there haven’t been very many movies so far this year to even be in the zone.

  • Jonnie123

    Surinam toad – shudder.

  • Sean

    Very nice. Will definitely need to do a glossary update in the near future.

  • Jr

    JAY! Film your drawing videos in landscape! WTF dude!?

  • 5s across the board for The Shape of Water!

  • Jameson

    I could not be more hyped for Shape of Water. The more I hear about it the more it becomes my most anticipated for the rest of the year.

  • iammattz

    Honestly surprised no one’s linked the boob/spider one yet (please don’t).

  • iammattz

    Sean, are you guys planning on going to the GdelT exhibition at the AGO?

    Looks pretty great and he’s doing a book signing next Wednesday too which Krystal and I are trying to go to. Maybe see you guys there!

  • Essie

    Jay often uses the argument that showing violence towards women or having misogynistic characters does not make a film inherently sexist because those things exist in the world and thus in order to make a point about said things they need to be shown. The problem with Mother is that it has nothing to say about the role of women in society other than framing them as unwitting victims and giving men more images of violence towards women to subconsciously get off to. Even if this is not the intent of Aronofsky his film is still reckless. There are plenty of feminist films that show the horrors of man but they don’t fetishize them, rather they focus on the causality of such things.

    I admit Mother! isn’t as bad as something like Everybody Wants Some or Nocturnal Animals in regards to its clear hatred of women but there is a very aggressive masculine overtone that makes it markedly threatening from a female perspective. I also find it endlessly frustrating that when discussing this I am often told I didn’t get the film or something along those lines. But anyway.

    thank you very much for the show. love you guys.

  • Sean

    I would definitely like to check it out but I don’t think I’ll be there for the book signing unfortunately.

  • Sean

    It’s interesting, I think from a male point of view, the movie is effective because it is forces you to realize that this kind of relationship is traumatic and dismissive and that women have to put up with it all the time. I can’t speak to the direct violence that is seen later in the film, I don’t know that it was really necessary but it certainly works as a gut punch. From a female point of view, however, all of this is probably obvious and I can see how you would get nothing out of the experience.

    I almost felt like Aronofsky was admitting to some of this kind of behaviour himself and trying to atone for it by being honest about it. But who knows.

  • Essie

    I can see that perspective certainly and that’s why I say it’s not as bad some other films in recent memory for me. Bad as in how much i dislike it. Craft wise it’s obviously incredibly well made. I just think that final act was so tone deaf.

  • Jay Cheel

    I don’t recall using this argument in the past, let alone often (although I don’t recall very much beyond yesterday) but I certainly wasn’t using that argument here. If anything, I was suggesting that the film CAN be considered misogynistic depending on the viewer’s own experiences and perspectives. I suggested that in order for him to make his point (successfully or not), Aronofsky felt the need to show what he showed, and that might inspire a response from people who feel he and his film are misogynistic. That response shouldn’t be (and I’m sure wasn’t) unexpected based on the material.

  • Essie

    I think you used it for True Detective, Detroit Rock City, and Spring Breakers off the top of my head. I understand the point and I have no issue with you making it. I wasn’t trying to hold your feet to the fire of something you said. I recognize it’s just you talking with a group of friends and having fun. I was just kind of saying my perspective.

    Thank you for the response!

  • Jay Cheel

    With those films (Detroit Rock City and Spring Breakers…I don’t True Detective) we were discussing sexuality, not violence. And I was suggesting that the women were the ones in control in the scenes we were discussing (pool threesome and car scene) and that suggesting it was sexist was in a way sexist because it assumed that by default, the women must be considered victims when faced with sexuality (even if it’s by choice.) As though they should be virginal and chaste by nature.

    It gets more complicated of course when you go beyond the text and think about the role of the male writer/director and the responsibility of the women taking on the roles, but I don’t think that those scenes are inherently sexist because I don’t feel that that men are the ones in control.

    And don’t worry, I’m not feeling my feet being held to the fire! Just responding.

  • I had a completely different reading of the ‘her’ character in terms of the sense of ‘agency’ awarded. I felt she was the true ‘creative’ in the relationship and the narrative. She’s redesigning and trying to rebuild this incredible house that she’s psychically connecting with. People are messing around with it, disrespecting her vision, ignoring her directives, slowing down the process, then ultimately destroying it (if you want to explore Frank’s analogy that it’s about the ‘studio system’). Meanwhile all ‘He’ does is jizz some ink on a single parchment…I feel ‘His’ level of creativity compared to hers is deliberate and darkly comic…and empowering. That said, filmmaking is a very male-dominated ‘universe’ (if I had a dollar for every time I was asked “who helped you with the script/sound design/VFX” when I did it all myself). Male screenwriters need to work a little harder when writing female characters (Age of Ultron?). But I feel Aronofsky has written some of the most vivid and engrossing female characters going. That’s my take, anyway.

  • Essie

    Well I think the Spring Breakers issue was, well, a non issue because I agree that we are shown females taking control of their sexual wants. As for Detroit Rock City I think it is probably sexist but mostly just dumb (although entertaining). I guess my only point is that something like Detroit Rock City has characters who are sexist and doesn’t show the consequences of their sexism. Of course I don’t think a film as frivolous as Detroit Rock City has any responsibility to do so but still it makes it have a sexist overtone.

    But mostly it’s just a minor annoyance in cases like that. I think the violence against women was what bothered me so much in mother! I don’t really think Aronofsky has any disdain for women like some filmmakers do (*cough* tom ford *cough*) but I could see people who do being fed by the images in the film. As an example I don’t think anyone could walk away from Gaspar Noe’s ‘Irreversible’ feeling anything other than disgusted by sexual violence. I think people can walk away from mother! and think little of the horrific reality of violence towards women. Like Frank was just talking about a studio controlling a project. Noe’s film, using graphic violence as well, leaves little room for one’s mind to room to such innocuous places.

    That post ran on too long. :P

  • Jay Cheel

    I would suggest the consequence of Trip’s immature/sexist attitude in Detroit Rock City is that girls find him repulsive and he is likely a virgin. This is evident by Natasha Lyonne’s response to his come on’s in the scene that Sean suggested was sexist.

  • Mathias Turner

    Why’d you have to post that image you fucking asshole. Its fucking gross you piece of shit.

  • Kyle Grimes

    You just don’t get the film

  • Kyle Grimes

    It is his rib Frank, your ribs wrap around your torso. And the very next day his wife showed up.
    Also fuck whoever decided to use a cover of mother as the end song.

  • Jameson

    My biggest issue with mother! was indeed how heavy handed the biblical allegory was. I actually don’t see a lot of room for interpretation because I feel like everything was so on the nose (it helps that I come from a Presbyterian family) and lifted straight from the Bible. I appreciated the craft of the film as Aronofsky is a very skilled director, but I would’ve welcomed more ambiguity.

  • Tory

    Women who do not support abortion rights are DEFINITELY mysoginistic and anyone who would say otherwise is just as bad. Frankly am sad that you guys who I normally admire so much did not speak up against hateful biggoted women who try to tell women what they should do with their bodies. They can all die for all I care. Fuck them all and any who would agree with them.

  • Falsk

    When your hypochondria extends to phobias and it takes you 3 days to get through the first 13 minutes…

  • Nobody

    One more notable Blu-ray title released this week: Takeshi Kitano’s Hana-bi appears to have finally been given the treatment it deserves by Film Movement. If Jay liked Boiling Point, I can see him being impressed by this one, which is arguably Kitano’s greatest movie.

  • Jr

    If his intent wasn’t misogynistic but allegorical then it’s not reckless. This just leads to the discussion of whether the meaning of art is in the intent of the artist or the interpretation of the viewer. Personally, I think that if an artist explains the intent or meaning of something then that’s the end of the story, if you interpret something else then you are just wrong.

    I think in these kinds of discussions people are too quick to jump to conclusions based on emotions and politics. Does anyone really have any evidence that Tom Ford hates women or do the events in Nocturnal Animals just serve the purpose of the story he’s telling. The same goes for something like Irreversible. Was it hard to watch? Hell yea and I don’t need to see it again but that was the point. I can look at the movie objectively and it doesn’t make me hate the movie or the people who made it.

  • Craig

    You’re forgetting people like to outraged for likes on the internet.

  • Essie

    Nobody here is outraged though. I’m just calmly expressing my opinion.

  • Gerry

    Love your logo Essie.

  • Essie

    Thank you.

  • Primal

    Holy crap Jay, I think I have Trypophobia also. Google MLB The Show Face glitch. If that qualifies, then I sure have it. That really really freaks me the fuck out.

  • Sam

    So…how long we gonna let Sean not pronounce the R in Javier? Been going on for years now. Kurt does this as well at Row Three but he also says “Michael” Ferrer instead of Miguel so he’s a lost cause.

  • Sean

    At the risk of opening the floodgates, pronunciation corrections are always welcome. I guess I was mixing up my French and Spanish. Thanks!

  • steini

    If this is referring to Javier Bardem, then you would be right to pronounce the r in the end, as he is from Spain and that’s the way they role.