The Fountain Missing Footage

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ernest, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1998
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    69
    I watched the Fountain on HBO and found the movie to short which resulted in frequently bouncing from 1521 to present time to 2500. Hugh Jackman begins as a conquistador during Cortez's conquest of the Aztec in 1521. Instead of looking for treasure Hugh is searching for the "Tree of Life" to save his queen from the inquisition. The movie moves to modern times with Hugh a scientist trying to save his wife who is dying of a brain tumor. The final time period is 2500 with Hugh an astronaut in a sphere floating around with what appears to be a dead "Tree of Life".

    The DVD cover describes the movies as a warrior, scientist and explorer coming to terms with life, love, death and rebirth. I didn't come away with that understanding with this movie in its current form. This could be a good movie and hopefully the studio will allow the director to add the missing film to complete the story line.
     
  2. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,131
    Likes Received:
    637
    Location:
    North of the 49th
    Real Name:
    Stephen J. Hill
    There is no missing footage. This is Aronofsky's director's cut, and it gains from repeated viewings.

    It's a personal favourite, so I had to comment.
     
  3. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,916
    Likes Received:
    365
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    David
    It's not a favorite of mine, but there was much to admire in the film. IMO, it did not quite come off, but it never struck me as missing any footage. I have the HD DVD of it and will probably revisit it.
     
  4. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    16
    Real Name:
    Brian
    IMHO, "The Fountain" is a terrific movie in it's current version but it's always going to be one of those "What might have been?" movies. The movie's budget was famously slashed in half after Brad Pitt backed out so Aronofsky DID have to make some major adjustments to his original vision to bring it in for the budget he had to work with. You get a sense of his original plans in the documentary on the DVD.
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,791
    Likes Received:
    201
    Real Name:
    John
    Ernest, you should pay closer attention to the story. Don't take it so literally. To me, it works best when you take...

    the present day as the "literal" story, and both the past and future as figuratively Tommy and Izzy in the form of Izzy's novel. IOW, that part doesn't actually "happen", but is Izzy's way of helping Tommy cope with her impending death.

    It's an excellent movie. It is certainly a different movie than originally intended, but that can't be assumed to be good or bad. This is what was made and speculation of what was originally envisioned is kind of pointless.
     
  6. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    16
    Real Name:
    Brian
    I wouldn't say such speculation is pointless. If nothing else, it's interesting behind-the-scenes drama and for anyone interested in how movies are made and the compromises necessary to get one made, it's facsinating stuff. That's why there's a market for stuff like the re-cut "Touch of Evil" or "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut" or any other "Director's Cut" you'd care to name. For another type of example, you have Spielberg making Kubrick's "AI," a film many assumed would never be made after Kubrick died. Regardless of one's opinion of the resulting products, those projects never would have seen the light of day without people wondering what was originally envisioned.

    As I said in my previous post, "The Fountain" is a terrific movie as is but it's hard to watch the DVD's documentary footage of the early pre-production (Before Brad Pitt bowed out) and not feel a tinge of regret that some of those things were never--and probably never will be--realized.
     
  7. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    0
    What JohnRice said.

    This is the director's original, final cut. There is no missing footage. For me, the film was good at first, then got astronomically better on repeat viewings. The overall emotional impact of the conclusion is quite devastating, actually.

    For those not in the know, there is an Aranofsky commentary, available in multiple places online.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  8. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,733
    Likes Received:
    1
    You can download the missing commentary track on Aronofski's website for free, too.
     
  9. Simon Caleb

    Simon Caleb Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 1999
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Technically that is incorrect.
    I was first alerted to several 'final' versions of The Fountain, due to our UK censor site listing a 15 and 12 rated print. One replaced the other.

    I wrote to the censor, and this was their reply.
    "We gave the original version a 15 rating and then the distributors made changes to reduce the violence to get a PG 13 rating in the States (It was originally granted an R rating). It was then resubmitted to us and the reduction in the violence meant that we could pass the work 12A. We do not have a list of the exact cuts as we did not request them.
    Sue Clark"

    So, Aronofsky stating it's his final cut, must mean he's OK with the studio requested cuts in order to obtain a lower rating...
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,791
    Likes Received:
    201
    Real Name:
    John
    Sure it is interesting to ponder what the movie would have been, but I am not going to assume that bigger would have been better. I am entirely pleased with what was made and I doubt the story would have been improved by making it bigger.

    Regarding the comment of the story being devastating. If you actually follow it to it's ultimate point, it isn't supposed to be. That does tend to be the first impression though. The critical moment is when...
    Tommy finally "gets it" and says "I'm going to die", and Izzy smiles. To me, that is the enlightening moment, and the point of the entire movie.
     
  11. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    People who want to know the original story should read the graphic novel version of The Fountain. It was released after Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett left the film. Aronofsky is a huge comic book fan, and he thought 'if I can't release my version at all, at least we'll get a comic book out of it'. Do note that the style of the graphic novel is totally different from the finished film.
    Also, I couldn't understand why anyone would have difficulty understanding this film. If you see it as a story about a man dealing with the death of his wife (don't know if this should be spoilered, I just did it just in case)
    you're pretty know all you need about it. It still is a brilliant and underrated film, though.
     
  12. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1998
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    69
    The first part of the movie needed to be expanded so we know who the Spanish conquistador is? Was he with Columbus on his fourth voyage to Mexico in 1505? Or with Cortez when he conquered the Aztec in 1521 or Pizarro fighting the Incas in 1561? Or maybe with the Spanish venturing deep into the Amazon looking for the lost city of El Dorado?

    When the movie moves into modern time we find The Fountain is a love story written by Rachel about a conquistador trying to save his Queen's life. The story is not complete so Rachel asks Hugh to finish the last chapter just before she dies.

    The movie ends in 2500 with Hugh being reborn after death traveling in a sphere through space with a dead or dieing tree of life. Hugh is trying to re-connect with his wife but is unable to.

    This is a wonderful movie that will result is varied opinions on what the story represents. And that is a good thing. For me it is just to short and should be at least 2 hours long so the three stories are equally developed. As an example, Amores Pores is 153 minutes, 2001 148 minutes, Traffic 148 minutes, etc. 95 minutes does not do this movie justice.
     

Share This Page