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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. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Jefferson, via long debates on the chud forums, their main reviewer pointed out time and again (in an insulting and perfunctory manner) that Future Tom being real was DA's interpretation, based on his discussion of the film with him. You'd have to read chud to get that.

    I didn't include that to "win" the argument. It's outside of the film itself, so therefore completely outside our discussion on the film. Talk did seem to travel towards the idea that anyone who bought that argument (which sort of includes me, but not really) is hanging on to some thin evidence...I disagreed and brought it up to simply keep the crack open.

    I don't see it as silly. I see it as symbolic science fiction.
     
  2. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    Chuck,

    I read Devin's Fountain coverage, although I didn't venture too far into the forums. I know that "Future Tom is real" was Devin's position. Devin can certainly be supercilious, but I credit him with bringing a lot of attention to this film.

    I know you weren't trying to "win." Of course we're all winners with a film as rich and open to interpretation as this one. I certainly hope DA records a commentary and releases it to the web, as I've heard he's said he might.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Jeff,
    It was in the forums, and it's not worth digging through. He used it as a blunt instrument to beat up on folks who disagreed (caveat: Devin is a good writer, and a good champion for many films - but he uses the boards like a sanctimious bully [​IMG] ).
    Like I said, doesn't matter to much to me. And I agree we are all winners when a film like The Fountain gets made and discussed.
     
  4. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    After finally seeing it, I can finally talk about it. [​IMG]
    After thinking it over, I think "Future Tom" is "real" as far as what Tom is feeling, but I think most of it is really a metaphor for his internal struggles over Izzy's death. Since film is a visual medium, it is hard to show this kind of turmoil without some sort of metaphor to work through. This struggle could take place over years after her death, while he still fights down blind alleys fighting death. In the end, he finally realises that the only true immortality is to give in to death and move on to whatever is next.
    I have a feeling Izzy was working through the same thing with her book, and in her research she found the answers she was looking for, the peace in her soul that would allow her to accept death. I think she left her story unfinished to allow Tom to work through the same thing she worked through.
    Jason
     
  5. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    No need to repeat what was said, just that I am firmly in the Rice and Jefferson camp on interpreting this film. DA delivered another classic. I think The Fountain and Solaris (remake) make a nice pairing from 2 very creative directors in both visuals and soft, somber, contemplative tones.

    Way more ambigious and metaphorical than standard SF, and therefore neither were real crowd pleasers, but both have so much emotional and intellectual substance to them. I think both are on par with Blade Runner when it comes to studying the human condition of emotional needs.
     
  6. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    i wouldn't put solaris remake with this one. that was a disaster to nowhere. just as bad as sopranos latter seasons.
     
  7. Michael:M

    Michael:M Supporting Actor

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    Without wanting to derail the thread, I could not disagree more. In fact, after seeing The Fountain in the theater, I went and rented Solaris. [​IMG] I love the remake (admit to having not seen the original), and it's interesting to me how many similarities the two films have while still being very different from each other.
     
  8. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    The original Solaris is a cure for insomnia, considering that I slept through a good part of it.

    Jason
     
  9. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Personally, I love the Solaris remake and I like it more than The Fountain.
    Having said that, I think I'll need to revisit the Fountain. I watched it in theaters and left a little disappointed. I was expecting a powerful and epic love story that transcended life and death, but the movie just didn't quite hit the nail on the head for me. I didn't have the emotional reaction from it that I was hoping for. Some parts of it worked for me, but on the whole I was left a bit cold. So I'll need to watch it again, absorb more of it, and see how I feel afterwards. [​IMG]
     
  10. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I don't think that's really what the movie is about. It is hard to get in on that level, since you really don't get to know Izzy. Everything is from Tom's perspective.
    It is more about how we deal with death, either when it is happening to you, or to someone you love.
    Jason
     
  11. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    The 'real-time drive across Europe' can do that in a film.
    Back on topic: I rented the film and foolishly sent it back already. If there was a key to this movie in repeated viewings I feel it probably had something to do with the disappearing ring in the 'present'.
    Film Refrence Homage: Tommy, upon learning his cancer-cure doesn't work, wanders obliviously in silence across a crowded street and is nearly hit by a passing car which bring the noise of reality back into the picture. This is a perfectly copied reshot of IKIRU; Watanabe makes the same silent shuffle into traffic after learning he has inoperable stomach cancer. The volume again doesn't reappear until he is nearly hit by a bus.
    I Can't believe I'm the 1st person to write about that in 15 pages [​IMG]
     
  12. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Ah, so THAT's why that scene looked familiar to me. Amazing that I didn't pick up on it, since it hasn't been that long since I last watched Ikiru...

    Jason
     
  13. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    The Fountain…not for everyone.

    This film is not for everyone. If you want eye candy, it has some. If you want escapism, it has some. If you want to turn your mind off, this isn’t the film to do that with. It is a visual and metaphorical feast, but it will require attention and exploration to appreciate what is shown you. Don’t even begin watching the film with the idea that you can do something else while watching it. It will require your full, undivided attention, and perhaps several viewings to work properly.


    Mike
     
  14. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    mike were'd it go.
    the part i hadnt thought of myself but it is right there was
    deleted, one post after this was already enough.
    specially the bold section.
    it just occured to me that this section may be why you removed the post.
    i'll edit this out if that was it, Mike.
     
  15. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Finally caught 'The Fountain' on HDDVD last night. Just a hauntingly beautiful film in look. Incredible. The score was also amazing. And Jackman and Weisz were just outstanding with the material.

     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    We certainly do have an idea why Tom accepts death. It is because he only thinks of "immortality" in a physical sense, not in a metaphysical sense. Most of "future" Tom's time is spent living in the past. Instead of moving forward, Tom is living in the past. Tom realizes at the end that the only way to be reunited with his wife is to accept death and move to the next stage, whatever that is.
    While some might feel depressed with a view of being fertilizer, Izzy certainly viewed it in a much more positive matter, that her spirit would be one with nature.
    Jason
     
  17. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Tony, I deleted most of the post for two reasons. First I had not yet published it on my own site and second, I felt that the subject may have been beaten to death. But since you did notice it, and were inspired enough to ask...here it is again in it's entirity.


    The Fountain…not for everyone.

    This film is not for everyone. If you want eye candy, it has some. If you want escapism, it has some. If you want to turn your mind off, this isn't the film to do that with. It is a visual and metaphorical feast, but it will require attention and exploration to appreciate what is shown you. Don't even begin watching the film with the idea that you can do something else while watching it. It will require your full, undivided attention, and perhaps several viewings to work properly.

    Directed by Darren Aronofsky and leveraging the on screen talents of Hugh Jackman (sans sideburns), Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn, we are treated to some great thought provoking material and some very good acting. Ms. Burstyn gives a most memorable performance.

    But this is the director's film, not the actors. They are there to provide dialog only. The director, through his camera creates the moods and the imagery that propels us into each world. The cinematography is extraordinary and the special effects are used with purpose, not just to amaze us. The periods of time are reflected in both costume and feel. The richness of the visual images cannot be ignored here, they are a major player in why we feel as we do when viewing this film.

    The story is about love, the desire to live forever and the quest to find the secret of life. There are three stories presented to us, each in a vastly different time frame. One in a time long passed, one in the present and one in the future. To his credit, the director chose to use the same two actors (Jackman and Weisz) as the principle in all three stories, hinting at, but not directly slapping us with, the possibility of reincarnation. Yes, this film delves into religion as well.

    Jackman plays a conquistador, a research physician and an enlightened being of deep thought and meditation (a future monk) in three parallel stories. The director provides him with the same love interest in two of the story lines and allows us to fill in the last ourselves. Which we do, and we use the same love interest provided for us in the other stories. This is a brilliant move that forces the viewer to select something to care about. It is not often we get to make such choices in a film. We are made to provide the "futuristic monk" (for lack of a better word) with a quest, just as the conquistador and the physician have in the other story lines. The director gently guides us to where he wants us to be, he does not shove.

    The three stories are bonded together by this quest, and we see that the further into the future our story goes, the more the quest changes. At first it is a selfish quest to save a kingdom and its material riches. Then it becomes a quest to save a loved ones life. Finally it becomes a quest to unlock the riddle of death, and life. This shows us man-kinds progression from the near savage times to the enlightening times to come. The quest is the same, but the purpose of the quest changes with our growing knowledge of our inner self.

    The central character in all three stories is a tree. Actually it is THE tree. The tree of life. In each of our stories the tree has a vastly different significance, and yet it is still the primary vehicle through which the story is told. The conquistador seeks it's magic to save a kingdom (and his Queen) from runaway religious zealotry, the researcher wants to use its life giving power to save the life of his terminally ill wife and the "monk" wants to learn the secret of life…as he travels toward his own death.

    Although the parallel stories may be difficult to follow at first, things do begin to fall into place nicely within a respectable amount of time. We soon see the similarities in the stories and also the stark contrasts between them. We are manipulated to hate religion during the times of the conquistador and to marvel at the religious state of the "whole" during the enlightened "monk's" time. But the wonder of this was the complete absence of religion during the modern story. This omission could not have been accidental. So we are shown the horror of religion gone out of control, the beauty of religion when used to enlighten, and what lies between when there is nothing but science.

    Each of us will take something different away from this film. But the message is there and quite clear for those that seek it out. Just like the secret of life the tree holds, the secret of this film can be had with close study. Life is a vast circle and death is simply the beginning of more life, each feeding the other…that is but one of my understandings, but I suspect that it is not the "only" answer to be gathered here.

    I recommend this film with a caution that you must clear your mind and allow it to just soak in the meanings of the images and messages shown you. If you go in with a notion of what is right and wrong, your ideals will be confronted and you will reject some of the important information being offered to you. This is a visually stunning film, and if you allow it to be, it can also be intellectually stunning as well.
     
  18. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    It is my belief that "Tom" is a continuum. It is the same spirit in all three stories simply reincarnated in a different but similar vessel. Through the act of greed (wishing to be immortal) during the times of the conquistidor that incarnation of Tom was slayed as he selfishly drank too much of life. During the modern period, the same "Tom" now in a different body of course, has learned that using the tree to try to become immortal just makes you plant food, and pursues its powers to heal others instead...but again falls victim to his selfishness by being consumed with wanting to save his wifes life. True, a more noble goal than making himself immortal, but still short of the mark.

    When that also fails, the future Tom...still the same re-cycled spirit, only takes a little from the tree at a time so that he may prolong his life just long enough to discover why he MUST die and that it is not really a death, but a re-birth, allowing him to reach the stage where he can actually let it go.

    Each incarnation of Tom draws from the experiences and failures of the prior ones, and we can see that many generations of his spirit have been omitted from the story. Only after much study and understanding can Tom actually let himself go on to the final stage.

    His wife (Izzy) was able to reach this "point of enlightenment" long before he was.
     
  19. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Double post...admin please delete.

    Mike
     
  20. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    While watching The Fountain again, I noticed that Izzy mentioned that Xibalba is the Mayan underworld where dead souls go to be reborn. Perhaps that can lead us to believe that Present Tom's "soul" is essentially dead, and that Future Tom is actually the journey of Present Tom's soul in finding rebirth...just a thought.

    Izzy also mentions that her story starts in Spain, but ends at Xibalba. Perhaps Future Tom has a double meaning. Maybe it is also the spirit of Past Tom since he seemed to die at the Fountain. So maybe it is part of the Izzy's story, but also represents the journey of Present Tom's soul in finding rebirth...
     

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