Monday, January 28, 2008

The Fountain


What if we could live forever?

In "The Fountain" director Darren Aronofsky explores love and mortality, death as creation, and the futility of trying to hold onto life too tightly. The story unfolds over the course of a thousand years within three stories: a Spanish Conquistador searching for the tree of life in the Mayan jungles to save his Queen from the Inquisitors reign, a present day physician frantically searching for a cure for his dying wife using compounds derived from tree bark from the rain forests of South America, and a futuristic meditating space traveler nurturing a withering ancient tree while encapsulated in a eco-spheric starship journeying towards a golden nebula.

Mythological themes abound with enlightenment, redemption, the Hindu concept of cycle of birth and death, the Biblical tree of life, the Buddha, and the world-tree Yggdrasil- even the possibilities of altered states of consciousness through psychotropics or grief-induced hallucinations are explored.

If you prefer, the film also has an atheist meaning explained by Aronofsky; "It's about this endless cycle of energy and matter, tracing back to the Big Bang. We're all just borrowing this matter and energy for a little bit, until it goes back into everything else, and that connects us all."

The cinematography is stunning; a surreal and beautiful visual language of ethereal transitioning scenes utilizing light and shapes. Aronofsky chose to do the special effects for the film by using micro-photography of chemical reactions on tiny petri dishes.

Reprising his duties as composer for The Fountain is Clint Mansell, the composer for Aronofsky's previous films, Pi and Requiem for a Dream. Mansell crafts a sound-scape both brazen and light, impressionistic and minimalist (reminiscent of Javier Navarrete's score to Pan's Labyrinth) involving cyclical rhythms and evolving variations of central themes. The San Francisco-based string quartet Kronos Quartet, who had previously performed for the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack, and Scottish post-rock band Mogwai also contributed to the film score.

Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn (who once again stays true to her old-soul self in choosing roles) star.

"Every shadow no matter how deep is threatened by morning light."

3 Comments:

Blogger iamthewhiterabbit said...

Enjoyed watching this with you, hubby!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Ethan said...

You see it on max or hbo? I just saw it too. Definitely agree on the artistry of the movie, found it visually stunning.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I saw it on the big screen a year ago... A lovely, beautiful film. Unfortunately, in the frame of mind I was in at the time, I really wanted something more prosaic and linear.

Maybe I should rent it when the mood is right. (A hookah would probably go well with it!)

1:02 AM  

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