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Darren Aronofsky Loves Receiving Hate Mail For This Divisive Film

Writer-director Darren Aronofsky now has seven films under his belt, with two more in the works, per Deadline. His first film, the psychological horror "Pi," came out in 1998, launching his career. Since then, he has made a string of films that have grabbed the attention of both critics and audiences, including 2000's "Requiem for a Dream," 2010's "Black Swan" and 2017's "mother!" He even received a best director nod for "Black Swan" at the 2011 Academy Awards (via Entertainment Weekly).

While "Black Swan" was almost universally praised, some of his films have been more divisive. For example, "Requiem for a Dream" divided critics. In a 2009 review, Slant Magazine questioned if it was really an "ugly, flashy piece of empty-headed propaganda," while U.K. outlet Shadows on the Wall called it "remarkable in every way" in its review published around the time of the movie's release.

This divisive quality can be applied to another, more recent entry in Aronofsky's oeuvre. This particular feature from the director arguably takes the cake for eliciting the strongest reactions amongst viewers, to the point that those who abhor it are still sending the director hate mail for making it — and he loves it.

Aronofsky says he gets the 'best hate mail ever' for mother!

According to Variety, Aronofsky recently gave a masterclass at Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival, during which he took a significant amount of questions from people in the audience. After audience members began asking about the environmental allegory in "mother!", Aronofsky spoke about the controversial nature of the film. He revealed to those in attendance that he is still receiving feedback from viewers about their strong "mother!" opinions. The director said, "We were nervous about how controversial it was going to be, but then when you release a movie to the world, and there's so many angry people, you start to wonder, 'Hold on, what did I do?' I get some of the best hate mail ever, which is great." 

Aronofsky's 2017 film follows a married couple, Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem), who invite another couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) into their Victorian mansion. Chaos immediately ensues. It soon becomes clear the narrative is an allegory for the human destruction of the earth, with Mother representing Mother Nature and Him representing a God-like figure. The finished product divided audiences, as evidenced by its 68% critics score and 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Aronofsky also revealed that one person wrote in to tell him that they were going to take extreme measures to contribute to the destruction of the planet as a way of revolting against the message in "mother!" to protect the environment. He ultimately has an optimistic outlook on those types of reactions, concluding, "But also out of that, the type of excitement and passion you get from other people that really connect with the film reminds you why you're doing it."