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Mother of Tears
(La Terza madre / Mother of Tears: The Third Mother)
Sponsored by: HMV
Italy / USA 2007
Hosted by Actress Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
Admission Ticket Network
“A very satisfying finale to the “Three Mothers” trilogy” – Mike Pereira, BLOODY DISGUSTING.COM
Director: Dario Argento
Screenplay: Jace Anderson, Dario Argento, Walter Fasano, Adam Gierasch, Simona Simonetti
Cast: Asia Argento, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Cristian Solimeno, Daria Nicolodi, Udo Kier
Producers: Claudio Argento, Dario Argento, Giulia Marletta, Kirk D'Amico
Distributor: Myriad Pictures
North american Premiere
2008 | 14 min
It’s been a long time coming—27 years, to be exact—but Dario Argento has finally completed his thematic trilogy of SUSPIRIA (1977), INFERNO (1980) and now MOTHER OF TEARS, an ambitious melding of the visual style that permeated these previous titles and his more recent explorations of the darker side of human sexuality. It’s a satisfying return to form by one of the genre’s greatest practitioners of cathartic, candy-coloured nightmares.
The trouble begins almost immediately when a crew moving the contents of a church graveyard accidentally unearths a coffin with an urn chained to it. The urn is sent to a sympathetic museum curator in Rome, but before he can examine it, museum workers Giselle (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) and Sarah (Asia Argento) intercept it. After poor Giselle cuts her hand while opening the urn and bleeds on it, a whole lotta crazy shit starts happening as the terrible, titular witch Mater Lachrymarum—Mother of Tears—is unleashed upon the world. As the cruel forces of evil tirelessly pursue Sarah, she discovers that her mother was a powerful white witch and that she herself may well have inherited powers which are only now beginning to reveal themselves as she struggles to survive.
While SUSPIRIA and INFERNO were only tangentially linked, set in locations designed by an architect who had created dwellings for each of the Three Mothers (themselves based on the writings of Thomas De Quincey), TEARS is the first of the three movies to actually link everything together. The self-referential shout-outs don’t stop there. Literally dozens of little reminders of Argento’s past oeuvre pop up throughout—as when Sarah falls into a pool of decomposing bodies and maggots right out of PHENOMENA. Another highlight for longtime fans is the reuniting of the Argento family in a single movie. Asia’s real-life mom Daria Nicolodi—especially resonant to this series, as she co-wrote SUSPIRIA—plays the ghost of Sarah’s mother, revealed to her daughter for the first time in a magical moment worthy of that film.