|09.28.06||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2006|
Second viewing, this time with a packed house.
I liked it just as much, if not more this time around. The second viewing exposes just how intentional and designed every aspect of the film is. The constant use of gold throughout the lighting and costume and theme even, the parallels between time periods, motifs and all that filmy crap... it's all planned out to say something. It's not exactly clear what that something is... I mean sure something's have specific intentions but big questions of the film largely remain interpretive. There are several different ways you can think about this movie and I think all of them are possible.
I'm actually reminded of the book Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins a lot with this... somewhat less insane but there's still a similar quality that I think they share.
And Rachel Weisz's character's name is Izzi Creo. I'm sure that means something.
It's cool though. Nobody clapped through half of the end credits... all of us just sitting there watching an abstract effect on the screen. I think it's a really powerful film. Aronofsky answered about a half hour's worth of questions, ranging from pretty dumb to pretty good. Composer Clint Mansell was also in attendance and got a few opportunities to talk about his working relationship with Aronofsky, working with Khronos and Mogwai, and working in general. They let loose that a lot of the third act's score to Requiem for a Dream is actually made up of Mozart chord samples all chopped together. Aronofsky also made a cool point by saying he approached Hugh's character as a progression from darkness to light, almost like a vampire. There's one shot in particular toward the beginning of the movie where this is really apparent. (incidentally, that shot is like a reverse image of my dream journal... Aronofsky that hack... stealing my design!). he also called the movie a few things which I liked. Metaphysical chick flick, Spychadelic fairy tale, and a love poem to death. pretty good.
He also elaborated a bit on what the movie was back when Brad Pitt was attached. Apparently they had constructed this huge Mayan pyramid and had 150 Mayan extras hired and had poured 18 million into the movie before the plug got pulled and the project died. So I have to believe that both the Mayan and the future stuff would've been much expanded in that version, but you know what... It still works at a 30 million dollar movie quite well. I forget who he credited, but he said one of his colleagues said he turned the movie into a poem when he read the updated script. That makes sense to me, the finished film is quite poetic.
And then someone asked if he was aware that he had a few scenes which repeated in his film. Right, those just slipped in there.
Afterward, a few people separately told me that while they were watching it they were really blown away but afterward they couldn't really tell me what they liked about it. That's actually kind of understandable. I think especially the last ten minutes of the film are incredibly gripping and also pretty abstract... The picture coupled with the music create something vivid and powerful to the extent that I really haven't seen in a film in a long time... it's something you hate blinking because you have to miss a few frames... you just can't take your eyes off of it. but after it's over you're also not quite sure what the hell just happened or what it all means. Perhaps a little 2001-esque after all.
So yeah, I still really liked it. Everything about it is great and Aronofsky has now moved beyond the visual tricks and gimmicks that established him into a realm of mature filmmaking. I just hope it doesn't take him 6 years to do the next one.
|09.27.06||Alamo South Lamar|| so hey... yes we're all lucky to get to see this tomorrow with Aronofsky and his hot wife present... but when presented with an opportunity to see it at an Alamo a day early in a press screening, I am incredibly there. In fact, I am there early to hear about how they screened Pan's Labyrinth last night while I was watching Wilderness, and how Tim's planning on showing a print of something at 2am tonight downtown... I guess hanging out in the lobby early gets you tons of dirt... privy to certain information like how they've set up a Texas Chainsaw tour for the filmmakers in town, driving them out to the house and around the area and whatnot. It's ok... all of those guys go ahead and have a good time driving around in a bus... I'll be in the theater watching The Fountain with like 15 other people.|
I really liked this movie although it did not meet my vague expecations... The future fantasy stuff is kind of surprisingly sparse, most of the movie taking place in modern day... and it's also less a story of a guy who either reincarnates through the ages or lives forever but some kind of obtusely hinted at cinematic devices at work. If that sounds too vague, I'll just say that there's a book in the movie called The Fountain. How's that for obtuse?
But you know, whatever I was thinking it was going to be... this was a really good movie. It's a quiet movie, a deliberately-paced movie... a real change in approach from Pi and Requiem... yet it still has the Aronofsky crew team behind it and he managed to recruit mogwai to help with the music along with Clint Mansell and the Khronos Quartet.
I'm really interested to see this with a crowd, and even more interested to hear what they have to say tomorrow when they present it and answer questions. This is one of those movies where it ends and the end credits roll and the only music is a melancholy piano piece and we all just sat there in silence until the film unspooled and the lights came up. Really powerful film... I just hope any sort of sci-fi or fantasy expectation doesn't hurt it with crowds... if anything it's more of a romance movie than anything else... about love and death and life and living and dying... I hope no one boos because that means they have cold dark hearts.
so more on this one tomorrow when I see it again. This time around though, I really loved it.