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Archive for June 2nd, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USA 2006 96m) DVD1/2

A little natul tortuosa

p  Arnon Milchan, Iain Smith  d/w  Darren Aronofsky  story  Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel  ph  Matthew Libatique  ed  Jay Rabinowitz  m  Clint Mansell  art  James Chinlund

Hugh Jackman (Tomas, the Conquistador/Tommy/Dr Thomas Creo), Rachel Weisz (Queen Isabel/Izzy Creo), Ellen Burstyn (Dr Lillian Guzetti), Stephen McHattie (Grand Inquisitor Silecio), Mark Margolis (Father Avila), Fernando Hernandez (Lord of Xibalba), Cliff Curtis (Captain Ariel), Sean Patrick Thomas (Antonio), Donna Murphy (Betty),

If ever a film divided audiences and critics, it’s this one; the sort of existential fantastic work that comes along once in a generation or even two.  No-one can say they know exactly what it’s about, just as with Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey nearly forty years previously.  As with his enigmatic monolith, trying to find answers is not the point.  You get from The Fountain what you want to get, or more importantly what you want to believe.  It’s a leap of faith, or as the film itself might make you observe, the first step on the Road to Awe.  In an age where bookshelves are groaning under the weight of New Age books on ancient history and religions, we have a film that Maurice Cotterell and the rest of his ilk would love.  And for those who saw Aronosfky’s fledgling but brain-aching debut film, π, it was not in any way a surprise.  Welcome to the universe of New Age Cinema. 

            Dr Thomas Creo is a scientist undergoing crucial experiments into the reduction of ageing and finding a cure for cancer, spurred on by the onset of the fatal disease in his beloved wife, writer Izzy.  Meanwhile, in the 16th century, as Spain comes under the dark shadow of the Inquisition, the Queen sends her best warrior, conquistador Tomas, to Central America to find the truth behind the legend of the Tree of Life.  Concurrently, a shaved headed transcendental figure sees images of both these disparate events in time as if they’re his own memories, while cocooned with a tree in a massive bubble in space.  (more…)

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