Monday, January 22, 2007

The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky | 2006 | 96 min | USA

Hugh Jackman stars as a conquistador/ research scientist/ yoga instructor from the future who's love for queen/ cancer patient/ tree Rachel Weisz knows no bounds. This film slips back + forth between three different stories according to certain visual cues. The flipping between time periods may be a little tough for some viewers to get into, but letting yourself be absorbed by the story + slowly find the place of the characters is very rewarding. The technique, + indeed the entire film, is hypnotic. I cannot remember ever seeing a major studio picture as visually striking as The Fountain. It is gorgeous. Visually astounding + self referential to a point that will be familiar to audiences of the Cremaster cycle, but few else. The performances are spare, but wonderful. The sound of the world the characters occupy frequently give more clues to their feelings than any of the dialogue. After seeing this film, it's not at all surprising to me that it was a box office bomb; it's surprising to me that it was made at all.

Between this film + Children of Men, 2006 was an amazing year for intelligent science fiction. Even though The Fountain did terribly in theatres, CoM seems to be doing quiet well. I would be thrilled to see more films like these being made.

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