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DOI 10.12887/35-2022-2-138-17

Marcin KĘPIŃSKI, Mother Earth, Home, and a Lost Paradise: The Transcendent Cinema of Darren Aronofsky; On the Symbolic Appeal of Mother!

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Both popular culture as such and contemporary Hollywood movies are intended primarily as a form of entertainment, and a culture researcher is not expected to trace hidden symbols, myths or meanings rooted in traditional cultures in them. Modern popular mythologies by no means manifest the mythological pattern described by Mircea Eliade. Today’s popular culture incorporates diverse images, ideas, references, and fragmented meanings and, as such, constitutes a conceptual patchwork. However, I claim that the cinema of Darren Aronofsky delivers more than pure entertainment. It does not consist in a free juxtaposition of elements of popular culture and exhibits tropes and motifs, as well as a symbolic language and archetypal protagonists, pertaining to the myths constantly recurring in the history of culture. The goal of the paper is a discussion of Aronofsky’s Mother! against the concepts of hospitality, home and strangeness (otherness). In his pursuit of answers to the questions he deems as essential, the director (and author of a culturally significant narration) refers to the topoi and tropes characteristic of Mediterranean mythologies and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Keywords: transcendence, popular culture, cinema, myth, symbol, hospitality, home

Contact: Zakład Antropologii Kulturowej, Instytut Etnologii i Antropologii Kulturowej, Wydział Filozoficzno-Historyczny, Uniwersytet Łódzki, ul. Lindleya 3/5, 90-131 Łódź, Poland
E-mail: marcin.kepinski@uni.lodz.pl
ORCID: 0000-0003-4367-3224

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» Kepinski.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887