I have to admit right off the bat that this blog is too little too late. I would have written it earlier but all that other stuff I was wrapped up in has prevented me to do so. So I’ll do it now, weeks prior to its official DVD release, and hope maybe one or two of you may interested in checking it out.
The film I speak of, of course, is Darren Aronofsky’s terribly under-appreciated The Fountain. A good friend of mine saw it last year at the Toronto Film Festival. Knowing how excited I was to see the first film from Aronofsky in six years, he called me to share the bad news about its apparent “disappointment” across the film universe.
He wasn’t the only one to feel that way either. It seemed that almost everyone on the planet hated this movie. The Fountain was the only movie I actually looked forward to all of last year and people I knew and trusted just kept telling me how disappointing it was.
After a while, I just stopped reading reviews and stories about people “booing” it at screenings. I didn’t care because those are probably the same people who told me that Chicago was a “great movie worthy of Academy Award nominations” or whatever.
So I waited it out. On 11/24/2006, the movie finally opened in my town, and Film Threat’s glorious Vonder Haar posted his review. I read it nervously, as he and I generally share some of the same opinions on films (though I always thought he was way too kind about this film right here), I then became a little concerned. Especially since I was leaving to go to the earliest screening I could find in just a few minutes.
After the credits began to roll, I sat in the theater for a good minute or two, contemplating whether I loved or hated this movie. I pondered over this all of Thanksgiving break. This movie has a guy floating through space in a clear ball while talking to a tree for a good portion of the running time. What’s to love about that?
So I saw it again days later. Some local writers in the area were in the same predicament as me – we kind of like it but needed proof that we weren’t crazy. After it ended the second time, I got so much more out of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, this movie is not a complicated movie to figure out, but there is no set way to intreperate
After it ended, the other two writers and I hung around afterwards and discussed it. An hour or two later, we each concluded that each of us was beginning to love it.
So I saw it again. For a third time. There have only been a few films I saw theatrically three times. Punch-Drunk Love, Return of the King, and 25th Hour. There isn’t any reason why I chose those to see so often than other films, it just sort of happened that way.
That third time, my mind was set. In my world, The Fountain was one of the best films of the year, and the film I thought about the most. I’d rather watch this movie than Babel. I’d rather watch this movie than Little Miss Sunshine. Hell, I’d rather watch this movie than the upcoming Spider Man 3, even though it looks like they actually attempted to make the special effects not look so shitty this go round. But is Sandman another evil scientist? I am not sure I can handle yet another scientist going after our Spidey friend.
“But I digress; you play Sorry, I play Chess.” – Neil Fallon
I put The Fountain in my Top Ten of 2006 at number 4. If I was to make that list today, it’d be number 1. Sure, I am perfectly aware of all of its flaws, but perhaps if it didn’t have such a horrible production nightmare, some of those flaws may have been sorted through. Give it a watch when it comes out on DVD. You’ll probably hate it, as so many others do, but a good few of you may find it as beautiful as I did.
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- FILM THREAT’S “WHAT THE ?!@%! DOES ‘THE FOUNTAIN’ MEAN?” CONTEST
- THE UGLIEST FOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD (WITHOUT A DOUBT)
- “WET DREAMS” COME TRUE: INTERVIEW WITH STEVE WILLIS
- EXCESS HOLLYWOOD: DOPE PUSHERS
- A CABIN IN TIME
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