Darren Aronofsky denounces Harvey Weinstein, addresses criticism on treatment of women in own films

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Oct 13, 2017 - 21:41
  • Updated : Oct 15, 2017 - 21:48
BUSAN -- Director Darren Aronofsky joined the list of Hollywood figures denouncing Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexually harassing actresses at the Busan International Film Festival on Friday.

“Sexual abuse of any type anywhere is unacceptable, unlawful, disgusting and needs to be battled by everyone. Men and women have to have absolutely no tolerance for it,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Busan Cinema Center.

Bigwig producer Weinstein, who was exposed last week for sexually harassing actresses over several years, has since been fired from Weinstein Company.

When asked about criticism he has faced for often pushing actresses too hard in their performances, Aronofsky replied, “I push male actors as much as I push female actors, no difference.

Aronofsky directed 2010’s “Black Swan,” featuring Natalie Portman as a dangerously anxious ballet dancer. 

Darren Aronofsky speaks to reporters at the Busan Cinema Center on Friday. (Yonhap)

“I’m interested in humans and humanity. I’ve always been less attracted to making movies with so-called ‘Hollywood’ endings where things end up pretty at the end, because I don’t know if that’s the only way to talk about reality.”

Aronofsky added that gratuitous violence or forced sexuality that is “fetishized with no consequence” is “disgusting.”

The 48-year-old American director is here for his recent film “mother!” screening in BIFF’s Gala Presentation category.

The film is a horrific allegorical tale starring Jennifer Lawrence as a homemaker and caregiver and Javier Bardem as a poet obsessed with creation and recognition.

Darren Aronofsky speaks to reporters at the Busan Cinema Center on Friday. (Yonhap)

Many motifs and the structure of storytelling were inspired from the Bible, he said.

“The Bible contains some of the oldest stories ever told. I’m interested in these ancient stories and I think they have tremendous power, and you can use them to better understand our reality as humans here in the 21st century.”

“Mother!” is firstly a personal human tale of how a home is invaded and falls apart, he said.

On a second level, it is an allegory of Mother Earth and humans’ misuse of its resources, the director said.

So far, “mother!” has received mixed reviews.

“I don’t really look at reviews I try to look away from them. My mentor always said bad reviews are bad and good reviews are worse,” Aronofsky said.

The director added he is trying to incite “either a boo or cheer” from audiences rather than anything in between. “I’m interested in creating films that get outside the comfort zone of what people are expecting, so they have a unique experience.”

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)