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Darren Aronofsky's sci-fi epic "The Fountain" set to go

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Vickie_M, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    Watched this again last night. My second viewing, the wife's first.

    Man, liked it even better the second time. The film had a lot more emotional pull on second viewing, since I wasn't so busy trying to figure things out.

    Wife liked it too, said it was unlike anything she's ever seen before.

    Still a 10/10 for me.
     
  2. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    I also re-watched this when I wasn't so tired and understood it alot better. My rating for the movie has also gone up. What a profound but beautiful experience. It reminds me of the first time I saw 2001 and how much I was affected by that movie.
     
  3. Richard_D_Ramirez

    Richard_D_Ramirez Second Unit

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    I was anticipating seeing this film in the theaters, but plans never worked out for me to see it there. I just saw it this weekend on DVD, and damnit, I should have made the extra effort to catch it on the big screen.
    What a mind-blowing experience. The Road to Awe indeed. I haven't undergone such an experience since 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, and Dark City. Definitely one of the most underated films of 2006, if not the last five years.
     
  4. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Finally got to see this after making the mistake of missing it in theaters.

    Picked up the Blu-Ray myself.

    It's films like this that keep me from giving up on new films.

    Absolutely stunning. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

    I went in with no preconceptions and gave myself over to the film, and I was rewarded.

    2006 was very kind in giving me two films that will live in my top 50 - The Fountain and Children of Men.
     
  5. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Do we need to spoilerize specific comments, 13 pages into a discussion about the film? Ok...

    Juan, I agree that it seems there may be something more to the astral projection portion of the film, but isn't the obvious explanation sufficient? That it's Tom coming to terms with his wife's death, his own death, and death in general (being a necessary and in fact glorious part of life), represented by "astral projection Tom" in the final chapter of the story begun by Izzi, written by Tom in deference to her dying wish that he "finish it", and which taken together with Izzi's conquistador beginning forms a sort of personal mythology of their relationship and Tom's internal emotional progress?
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    No, no need to spoilerize details from the film, there's a review thread for non-spoilery thoughts on the film (or require the use of spoilers in that thread).
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    just watched it tonight. WOW! first of all i didn't like darren's previous efforts pi and requiem. so coming from me, this is a good sign.

    secondly, the movie is great to look at, it's very visually arresting.

    third, are you guys REALLY sure there's no CG involved? the fx look out of this world awesome.

    finally, the ending is definitely very confusing. i've read most of this thread (which helped me out on first viewing, thanks). i would have been MORE confused, but currently am less confused... but *still* confused. at first, it looked like the spanish timeline was simply fiction and took place outside of the modern and future stories... but the ending reveals that even the spanish timeline intersects. i'm going to assume that symbolizes the fact that love is "timeless"? it's definitely the 2001 of today, only this one is more comprehensible than 2001. needs more viewings to process all of this, all in all it felt incredibly moving when tommy discovered that the tree did cure the tumor but when went to izzy, it was 2late. that hit me hard >).
     
  9. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Aronofsky was getting microscopic optical effect shots that cost in the $100,000 range to look like multi-million dollar effects. Someone posted a link to an article about the special effects somewhere in this thread.
     
  11. Michael:M

    Michael:M Supporting Actor

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    From what I can tell, digital effects were used mostly to composite shots, not create them wholecloth on a computer. So the "no CGI" really means he wanted to make the image sources as "real" as possible, rather than made in a digital environment.

    The BTS featurette talks about some of the effects he conceded on for time and quality purposes.
     
  12. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Of course the Spanish conquistador part was fiction, written by Izzi in her book "The Fountain" which she presented to Tommy and requested - essentially as her dying wish - that he "finish it".
    Tommy reads Izzi's firt part of "their" story (the conquistador part), and when he ultimately comes to to terms with her death (and death itself), he finally heeds her dying wish, finishes "their novel" and incorporates her section into his "astral projection" / (acceptance of death) ending.
    One might be a bit surprised that Tommy, a medical researcher by profession, turns out to be such an evocative and vivid author. Let's just say he was inspired.
     
  13. JayDerek

    JayDerek Stunt Coordinator

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    I took the 'futuristic space ending' to be the same scientist...500 years later finally coming to terms w/ his wife's ideas of death. At her funeral he states he wants to find a cure for death, that it's a disease. Since his team located that tree in S America, i assumed he used it to help himself live much longer...
    a GREAT movie, no matter how one interprets it! [​IMG]
    ~Jason
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Jay, that was my initial interpretation while I was watching the movie the first time, but since then I have come to accept more what Rich spells out. although, I'm not sure if Rich is saying the future portion of the novel is completely Tommy's creation, which it clearly is not. I take Izzi's request for Tommy to finish the novel as her own way of trying to get him, ultimately, to understand that death is part of life and that it will actually be the only way for them to continue on together. OK, kind of mushy, but I like it all the same.
     
  15. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    My first viewing via HD DVD tonight. In a word - Wow! Stunning, thought provoking and passionate. This one will take multiple viewings to soak it all in. Beautiful imagery, acting, themes, tones, and score.

    I loved it.
     
  16. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Cool Lou. Haven't had time for my second viewing but you echoed alot of what I felt. I didn't love it on my first time but liked it alot. I do feel another viewing will shed some light.
     
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    That seems to be exactly Izzi's motivation. She has come to terms with her own death, at least after the first trip to the hospital that we see. She tells Tom that she's no longer afraid to die, and encourages him to look beyond his simplistic view, to put aside his futile search for something else that's much more important: the time they have left together.
    One of my favorite images in the whole film is when conquistador-Tom - that is, the Tom that Izzi knew, the one that served as the basis for the conquistador-hero who is searching for the element that will save her (but who fails to realize both that his quest is futile and that it's obscuring the truth from his eyes) - finally approaches and drinks from the tree of life.
    It kills him, but then, from his body, a multitude of life blooms into being. And then the cut to astral-projection Tom, leaving the ecosphere and accepting his death, the death of Izzi (which the tree had come to symbolize)... and whatever may lie beyond.
    But I'm interested in what parts of the ending you don't accept as "Tommy's creation", as it seemed perfectly clear that it was Tommy's own dramatization of his internal quest and ultimate understanding (and final release). Nothing of the ending makes me want to step outside of that narrative structure (cleanly spelled out by Izzi very early on in the film), and think "oh, this part isn't part of their book, "The Fountain", but some "real event" occurring within the film, "The Fountain". I don't see how that interpretation could possibly add anything meaningful at all to the film, and arguably could be detracting from the main theme. What parts do you have in mind, John (or anyone)?
     
  18. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    And if I could add one more thing: I don't think this film is meant to be a puzzle, a Rorschach test, or some sort of Mobius strip. I think it was wise of Aronofsky to put in that early scene where Izzi explains her book (and the narrative structure of the film), and makes clear that Conquistador-Tom is her own invention within her own book (itself, a metaphor for their life together), and one that she hopes Tommy will finish as part of his own emotional development. And I think he wrote that scene and placed it so early in the narrative to remove any compulsion to tease out some other, clever underlying plot-structure as though we were solving a Rubik's Cube. So, rather than forcing the audience to wonder whether this really occurred or really didn't, or whether it's all a depiction of reincarnation or some sorta Nietszchean eternal recurrance, Aronofsky instead removes such questions from the table, and focuses the audience on the overarching themes of love, life/death, and what we do to make it all meaningful. And thereby he focuses our attention on the only place where any forward movement occurs: within Tom's psyche.
     
  19. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    Yes, part of the brilliance of the film is how it is relentless about making you focus on what you don't want to focus on, which is the same thing that Tom didn't want to focus on.
     
  20. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Rich, I think you misunderstood or I just poorly expressed where I think the source of the end of the novel was, or more accurately, what I consider to be the "end" of the novel. I think Izzi started the future portion of the novel. I take the novel to read in the same order as it is shown in the movie. The part Tommy wrote is the parts where acceptance is shown. Where the tree dies, then he eventually understands the cycle of events in all time periods. Where Tomas becomes "immortal", though not in the way he would have expected. then it is all tied together with the "I'm going to die" scene. Izzi is so pleased to finally see him understand. And yes, I interpret that Tomas does not technically die when hhe drinks from the tree. He becomes immortal in a sense, just not the way a person would expect.
     

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