i saw what might become one of my favourite films this week…darren aronofsky’s ‘the fountain’ is collapsing at the u.s. box office so badly that it may never get a release outside this country – which would make it one of those cinematic travesties to rank alongside the butchering of ‘the magnificent ambersons’, or the fact that the long version of ‘heaven’s gate’ has hardly ever been seen.
‘the fountain’ is a film about life, death, beauty, and love, and manages to say more about these themes in just over an hour and a half than i’ve seen at the movies in a very long time. sure, it’s not a particularly coherent narrative, and you need a couple of viewings before you can work out what’s going on – but for the sheer imagination of putting a character into immortality for the sake of resurrecting the love of his life, when really what he should have done is spend more time with her when she was alive…call me sentimental, but it’s things like this that affect us all, every moment of every day. it’s what great art is best at. ‘the fountain’ risks alienating its audience (though i was the only person at the screening i saw) by focusing on things that can’t be conveyed in words. it’s repetitive, confusing, moving, truthful, and alive to the possibility that love might just conquer all, and that death isn’t all its cracked up to be. (and ellen burstyn’s in it).
it’s the most imaginative and beautiful film i’ve seen this year.