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The Fountain Missing Footage


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Ernest

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Posted August 06 2008 - 09:39 AM

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 of 12 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted August 06 2008 - 10:37 AM

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.
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#3 of 12 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted August 06 2008 - 01:27 PM

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 of 12 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted August 06 2008 - 03:10 PM

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 of 12 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 06 2008 - 04:14 PM

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.

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#6 of 12 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted August 06 2008 - 04:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRice
speculation of what was originally envisioned is kind of pointless.
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 of 12 OFFLINE   Nathan V

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Posted August 06 2008 - 04:49 PM

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.

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#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 06 2008 - 08:14 PM

You can download the missing commentary track on Aronofski's website for free, too.
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#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Simon Caleb

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Posted August 06 2008 - 11:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
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.

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...
It's a 'need to know' situation, Paramount need to know we want F13th 2-8's restored and uncensored. No amount of talking head extras will do.

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 07 2008 - 03:07 AM

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.

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#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted August 07 2008 - 09:47 AM

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.
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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Ernest

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Posted August 08 2008 - 12:21 PM

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.





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