The Fountain

November 26, 2006 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment


I had a teacher once you always criticized my writing, becuase it didn’t mean anything. At the time I was fairly convinced that most authors of literature and media made their pieces from feeling with a good background in reading. Meaning is emergent something that comes out of the subconscious. Of course such things are somewhat true, but it is the truly gifted artist that can turn an idea into a clear concise and point that rings with a certian truth. Julian Barnes comes to mind as the most immediate heir to that type of literature and Hal Hartley always reminds of how remarkably easily film can be made into a dialog. But such principles have eluded Darren Aronofsky who has made one intelligent and interesting piece of film called Pi a somewhat predictable number on drugs addicts called Requiem for a Dream and now leaves us with The Fountain. The Fountain is a sci-fi film that interleaves a story of Spanish conquest, a Doctor’s travails into bioprospecting, and drug research with a story of a man flying through space. If the space story and the Spanish stories are in fact just delusions of the two main characters playing out their desires for each other, then all the better, but The Fountian, like Pi, hints at some internal structure that will eventually lead to meaning and certianly any film with as paradoxical a structure as The Fountain could be interpreted many ways such as the one above, but it lacks the sense of resolution that Harlety or Barnes can give us. Aronofsky is a good film maker and has managed to traverse a ground larger than say his contemporaries like Kevin Smith, but like Smith (and for that arguement check out the link to Marxy’s blog awhile back) his indie cred does wear thin when everything seems grandoise, but doesn’t quite touch on anything. Darren is a smart dude and so tech obsessed that this time around he substitutes the pc geeks of PI for biotech geeks working on a cure for tumors, but his films always seem like a lot of brilliant ideas only somewhat well executed that in the end lead to an open and not entirely unpleasant structure, but one which lacks the sophsication of the references he makes. While Pi had the worldiness to mesh kabbalh, number theory, and a little deconstruction together, but it never managed to become what it documents, The Fountain is similar, not a bad film and perhaps worth seeing, but ultimately it’s just about exhaustion and lust it’s characters chained to the same motives of love and loss that drive any other hollywood blockbuster. It could have been more.

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Entry filed under: media.

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