Tag: allegory

Back Catalog Review: Germany Year Zero

Germany Year Zero 2

The Back Catalog is a series following my quest to watch all of the films I own. Check out the index, or follow the Back Catalog tag to see what I’ve watched and what I’ve thought of the films.

The last film in Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy is a lot like the first, Rome, Open City. Germany Year Zero also uses a few days in the lives of some citizens to tell the story of a city’s relationship to the war. It, too, becomes a study of how the vicissitudes of life in wartime can provide momentary respite from suffering that just makes the rest of the characters’ lives seem even worse in comparison. But this time there’s a pretty drastic change from Rome, Open City and Paisan. German Year Zero is set in post-war Berlin. It’s Rossellini’s change of subject from his people to those who oppressed them that makes this a remarkable movie. He doesn’t hate the Germans, at least not most of them. Indeed, the young protagonist, Edmund (Edmund Moeschke) is given the same treatment as Don Pietro Pelligrini was in R,OC, an understanding, empathetic portrayal. It’s only the Nazi-affiliated characters that Rossellini clearly disapproves of, disappointingly recreating the gay depiction seen in the first film of the trilogy and adding in pedophilia for good measure.


Movie Review: mother! (2017)

It’s next to impossible, and I would say almost entirely fruitless, to try to talk about this movie without delving too deeply into spoilers. So this whole review will be a spoiler. That being said, here’s my brief opinion, which I’ll go into much greater detail with below: mother! is a movie so offputting that I can’t really recommend it to anybody, but I also think it’s a unique theatrical experience that, if you’ve got the stomach for some intense shit, I think is worth seeing in a theater. 

Mother 1

Friends, mother! is a trip. Though it touches on a lot of horror elements and is kind of an adaptation of one of the world’s most famous books, it is also unlike anything I’ve seen outside some very old books. Because mother! is really a film-length allegory for much of Christianity, and not only that, but also a critique of that religion’s inherent cruelty. The allegory is cemented early on, with versions of Adam (Ed Harris) and Eve (Michelle Pfeiffer) overstaying their welcome in a house newly renovated by a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) and her poet-husband (Javier Bardem). From there on out, each bit of weirdness can, through metaphors both tortured and kind of great, be explained as versions of biblical phenomena. But this isn’t an adaptation of the Extreme Teen Bible, this is an atheist’s nightmare vision of the foundational horrors in the book and religion.