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Fountain explained?

8 years agoby:

Many movies come and go, and much like most of my evenings of late, are ultimately forgotten or never really thought about again. That isn't the case with all films though and when Darren Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN finally made its way on to the big screen last year, whether you thought it was a piece of shit or a work of genius, I think everyone could agree that the film wasn't necessarily the kind of motion picture which could be fully digested after only one sitting (it was my 2nd favorite movie from last year, but even I admitted in my review that I didn't really fully understand it).

One film that I absolutely didn't "get" the first time that I saw it was Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and it wasn't until recently that I really started to appreciate its odd structure, slow pace and many unanswered questions. Mind you, I was high as a kite when I watched it recently, so maybe that helped. But today, not only do we have Roger Ebert's review of THE FOUNTAIN (he's been catching up on his reviews and it's great to see him back), but also, a pretty cool theory about what THE FOUNTAIN is all about, via our very own Matt Withers, whose theory apparently impressed Mr. Ebert enough to post on his own website HERE. Check it out, I like it a lot myself. Good stuff, Mr. Withers!

Finally, the writer/director of the film himself, Darren Aronosfky recently launched his own site (apparently MySpace was a little too buggy -- don't blame ya, dude), on which he'll be posting his musings from time to time, but on which you can currently find a COMMENTARY TRACK to the film featuring Mr. Aronofsky himself...in his apartment, talking about the movie. I haven't listened to it yet, but I plan to sometime soon. You can download the file (for your iPod?) if you wait until the entire file loads, then RIGHT-CLICK on the QuickTime menu and SAVE AS QUICKTIME MOVIE.

Incidentally, Warner Bros didn't want to do a commentary track on the official FOUNTAIN DVD, which is why Aronofsky decided to record his own, with the help of documentary filmmaker Niko Tavernise of Antwrangler Films. Smoke 'em if you got 'em and enjoy the track, kids! 

Extra Tidbit: Darren Aronofsky was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Harvard University.

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9:58PM on 09/19/2007
The Fountain, 2001, and Solaris are a few of my favorite movies... So I guess I'm a big fan of slow, deep, sci-fi films. I can certainly see why some people don't enjoy them, though.
The Fountain, 2001, and Solaris are a few of my favorite movies... So I guess I'm a big fan of slow, deep, sci-fi films. I can certainly see why some people don't enjoy them, though.
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6:19AM on 09/17/2007
It's funny how some people enjoy "slow pace" while others just call it boring. I personally hated 2001 and didn't really like The Fountain, but won't hold either against people. I remember liking Unbreakable and calling it "dramatic" while everyone else said "slow."
It's funny how some people enjoy "slow pace" while others just call it boring. I personally hated 2001 and didn't really like The Fountain, but won't hold either against people. I remember liking Unbreakable and calling it "dramatic" while everyone else said "slow."
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3:45PM on 09/16/2007

The Fountain

I found this film had to be concentrated on but watching it more makes this film so moving, electric to watch from the settings to the fantastic oscar worthy performance from Hugh Jackman in three different roles and equally matched with Rachel Weiss. I found it moving, funny and heartbreaking and a film to give much thought to.

I find it difficult to understand that a high percentage of our film audiences do not like to have to follow or think about a film -= that is very sad. God gve us
I found this film had to be concentrated on but watching it more makes this film so moving, electric to watch from the settings to the fantastic oscar worthy performance from Hugh Jackman in three different roles and equally matched with Rachel Weiss. I found it moving, funny and heartbreaking and a film to give much thought to.

I find it difficult to understand that a high percentage of our film audiences do not like to have to follow or think about a film -= that is very sad. God gve us brain we should use on this fantastic film
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6:49PM on 09/15/2007

No

I don't agree with that analysis. Although interesting, it just doesn't sit well with me.
I always assumed that Tom 1 planted the seed above the grave then proceeded to become obsessed with the miracle tree that they accidentely found to save the monkey. Which is what helps him live long enough to bring her body to Xibalba. The showings of Izzy as the queen and just herself throughout the movie inside the bubble was just imaginations of Tom since the story and her are the two things he's been
I don't agree with that analysis. Although interesting, it just doesn't sit well with me.
I always assumed that Tom 1 planted the seed above the grave then proceeded to become obsessed with the miracle tree that they accidentely found to save the monkey. Which is what helps him live long enough to bring her body to Xibalba. The showings of Izzy as the queen and just herself throughout the movie inside the bubble was just imaginations of Tom since the story and her are the two things he's been obsessing over for the years and years he's lived.
But I dunno really. It can be interpreted in many different ways, Kinda like the movie Deja-vu. The Fountain is a wonderful film and have caused me many headaches trying to figure it out.
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2:53PM on 09/15/2007

wait a minute

it's been a while since i saw this movie, but wasn't there a part in there where they discover some kind of fountain of youth drug by accident while looking for the cancer cure?

i always assumed that Hugh Jackman's character took the drug and that's how he was able to live into the "Age of the "Space Bubbles" or whatever.

i don't know.
it's been a while since i saw this movie, but wasn't there a part in there where they discover some kind of fountain of youth drug by accident while looking for the cancer cure?

i always assumed that Hugh Jackman's character took the drug and that's how he was able to live into the "Age of the "Space Bubbles" or whatever.

i don't know.
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2:37PM on 09/15/2007
I absolutely loved this film. I only understood about half of it, but it held me in awe the whole way through. That explanation really makes sense and clears a lot of questions up for me. That would be awesome if a Director's Cut was released. I would buy it in a second.
I absolutely loved this film. I only understood about half of it, but it held me in awe the whole way through. That explanation really makes sense and clears a lot of questions up for me. That would be awesome if a Director's Cut was released. I would buy it in a second.
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1:53PM on 09/15/2007
ListersParanoia, my favorite scene from the movie was when he tattoos the ring into his finger. That part was extremely emotional for me and very powerful.

I understood the movie after one viewing and came to the same conclusions as Matt Withers (great explanation of the movie on Ebert's site!). However, there are plenty of movies that I didn't fully understand on first viewing, and for whatever reason this one just clicked with me. I hope Mr. Withers' explanation helps people realize
ListersParanoia, my favorite scene from the movie was when he tattoos the ring into his finger. That part was extremely emotional for me and very powerful.

I understood the movie after one viewing and came to the same conclusions as Matt Withers (great explanation of the movie on Ebert's site!). However, there are plenty of movies that I didn't fully understand on first viewing, and for whatever reason this one just clicked with me. I hope Mr. Withers' explanation helps people realize that yes, this movie actually makes sense and maybe it will help them appreciate it more.
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1:31PM on 09/15/2007

Am I Missing Something???

Wow um...I hated this movie, now granted I only saw it once and maybe this IS the type of movie that requires multiple viewings to really appreciate it. I thought Hugh was great in it (the scene where he tattoos a ring into his finger after "you know" actually broke me up a little) but Jeebus it was so damn slow, I can only handle so many random flashbacks and goofy space bubble ZEN poses before I begin checking my watch and shifting in my seat. Like I said maybe I missed something but I've got
Wow um...I hated this movie, now granted I only saw it once and maybe this IS the type of movie that requires multiple viewings to really appreciate it. I thought Hugh was great in it (the scene where he tattoos a ring into his finger after "you know" actually broke me up a little) but Jeebus it was so damn slow, I can only handle so many random flashbacks and goofy space bubble ZEN poses before I begin checking my watch and shifting in my seat. Like I said maybe I missed something but I've got to be honest, when the credits finally rolled up I was relieved.
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1:21PM on 09/15/2007
My interpretation was slightly different (past was a story, present and future were real), but that's still a pretty solid analysis of a shamefully underrated film.
My interpretation was slightly different (past was a story, present and future were real), but that's still a pretty solid analysis of a shamefully underrated film.
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1:04PM on 09/15/2007
Thank you so much for posting this, JoBlo!
It is great to see comments like that of the film below. When I first saw The Fountain when it was released I cried to see that on the big screen is an amazing experience. Of course, I didn't understand everything at first but the film hit me in the gut and made analyze how I was living my life and interacting with the people I loved.I still have the ticket for when I first saw the film. Ever since then I have been discussing it with people who may
Thank you so much for posting this, JoBlo!
It is great to see comments like that of the film below. When I first saw The Fountain when it was released I cried to see that on the big screen is an amazing experience. Of course, I didn't understand everything at first but the film hit me in the gut and made analyze how I was living my life and interacting with the people I loved.I still have the ticket for when I first saw the film. Ever since then I have been discussing it with people who may not understand or fully love the film like I do. I went out and bought every piece of merch related to The Fountain. I even gave a good friend the Oscar Ads that ran in a magazine...
So thanks for posting this. But more importantly Thank You Mr. Aronofsky!!!
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12:00PM on 09/15/2007
After watching that movie 3-4 times, I put the movie together the way he said. It makes sense when you think about. Plus, being high on PCP helps to while your watching it.
After watching that movie 3-4 times, I put the movie together the way he said. It makes sense when you think about. Plus, being high on PCP helps to while your watching it.
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11:44AM on 09/15/2007
Honestly I didn't like The Fountain when I first saw it in theaters, but catching up with it on DVD, I've grown to really appreciate it. Much like a David Lynch film, I don't think this is a movie with definite answers, I think each viewer is supposed to make up their own minds as to what happens. Thanks for bringing this news about the commentary, because I'm interested in hearing Aronofsky's thoughts on the movie, but I have to wonder why WB didn't include one on the DVD.
Honestly I didn't like The Fountain when I first saw it in theaters, but catching up with it on DVD, I've grown to really appreciate it. Much like a David Lynch film, I don't think this is a movie with definite answers, I think each viewer is supposed to make up their own minds as to what happens. Thanks for bringing this news about the commentary, because I'm interested in hearing Aronofsky's thoughts on the movie, but I have to wonder why WB didn't include one on the DVD.
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9:25AM on 09/15/2007
The Fountain was a rare experience: it's a "pure" movie, in wich the director never deviated from his ideas (beyond the excellent artistic and technical aspects). A total respect for the audience. Everyone can give his own explanations and theory. I myself felt dis-oriented the first time, but refreshed and eager to learn more !!
The Fountain was a rare experience: it's a "pure" movie, in wich the director never deviated from his ideas (beyond the excellent artistic and technical aspects). A total respect for the audience. Everyone can give his own explanations and theory. I myself felt dis-oriented the first time, but refreshed and eager to learn more !!
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6:30AM on 09/15/2007
I am so glad that I am not the only one who thinks that this is the correct interpretation of The Fountain, which I have been saying since I first saw it last October - wow, almost a whole year ago! - and that is that the only "real" story is present day Tom and that the "future Tom" is a projection of his mind, a visual portrayal of how he deals with and eventually comes to accept Izzy's passing. I truly am glad to see that Ebert also interpreted the film this way, and also agree with him that
I am so glad that I am not the only one who thinks that this is the correct interpretation of The Fountain, which I have been saying since I first saw it last October - wow, almost a whole year ago! - and that is that the only "real" story is present day Tom and that the "future Tom" is a projection of his mind, a visual portrayal of how he deals with and eventually comes to accept Izzy's passing. I truly am glad to see that Ebert also interpreted the film this way, and also agree with him that I am absolutely itching to see a future director's cut.
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3:34AM on 09/15/2007
I love this film. I recently took it on a trip to Italy with me and several other people who went on the trip spent an afternoon watching it on my laptop. I still get calls to this day about what is going on in the film. I try to explain it the best that I can, but it is hard to really explain. It is a deep and moving picture. It is good that the director is offering a commentary. However, this film still is open to interpretation. The fact that it can be interpreted so differently makes
I love this film. I recently took it on a trip to Italy with me and several other people who went on the trip spent an afternoon watching it on my laptop. I still get calls to this day about what is going on in the film. I try to explain it the best that I can, but it is hard to really explain. It is a deep and moving picture. It is good that the director is offering a commentary. However, this film still is open to interpretation. The fact that it can be interpreted so differently makes it timeless.
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1:49AM on 09/15/2007

i've spent way too much debating the fountain

Matt Withers is, in my opinion, 100% correct with his analysis.

After first seeing THE FOUNTAIN, it was my understanding that the film WASN'T supposed to be ambiguous. Even though it was all played out of order, the actual story was very obvious and linear... or so I thought.

Yet people keep debating me on its meaning. Am I the only one who doesn't find THE FOUNTAIN all that special outside of its visuals? Am I the only one who thinks the movie had a very simple "solution", so to
Matt Withers is, in my opinion, 100% correct with his analysis.

After first seeing THE FOUNTAIN, it was my understanding that the film WASN'T supposed to be ambiguous. Even though it was all played out of order, the actual story was very obvious and linear... or so I thought.

Yet people keep debating me on its meaning. Am I the only one who doesn't find THE FOUNTAIN all that special outside of its visuals? Am I the only one who thinks the movie had a very simple "solution", so to speak?

I think I'll listen to Aronofsky's commentary just to (hopefully) find out for sure what aspects of the story were real and which weren't. If my previous convictions were correct, then I have some gloating to do.
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12:33AM on 09/15/2007

Why does everything need a concrete explanation?


I actually enjoyed "The Fountain" BECAUSE it was so wildly subjective. That is, respectively, are the three stories:

Fantasy, reality and fantasy?

Or fantasy, memory and reality?

Or memory, memory and reality?

Or reality, reality and reality?

Erm, and so on.

I actually enjoyed "The Fountain" BECAUSE it was so wildly subjective. That is, respectively, are the three stories:

Fantasy, reality and fantasy?

Or fantasy, memory and reality?

Or memory, memory and reality?

Or reality, reality and reality?

Erm, and so on.
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12:26AM on 09/15/2007

That was phenomenal

I just read through his commentary and it practically pieced together what I had not thought of upon my first viewing. All I can say is the Fountain is a very emotionaly engaging film that really makes you question why is it we do what we do in the name of love sometimes.

Great write-up buddy
I just read through his commentary and it practically pieced together what I had not thought of upon my first viewing. All I can say is the Fountain is a very emotionaly engaging film that really makes you question why is it we do what we do in the name of love sometimes.

Great write-up buddy
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12:07AM on 09/15/2007
The Fountain was also one of my favorite flicks from last year. Extremely underrated. The two lead performances were nothing short of excellent. That combined with an original and heartfelt script, great directing and music score, made it one of the most emotional and affecting movies I've ever seen.

I thought it was much more mature and far superior to Aronofsky's other flicks (truthfully, I hated Pi and Requiem). But this one really won me over.

Too bad half of the critics didn't
The Fountain was also one of my favorite flicks from last year. Extremely underrated. The two lead performances were nothing short of excellent. That combined with an original and heartfelt script, great directing and music score, made it one of the most emotional and affecting movies I've ever seen.

I thought it was much more mature and far superior to Aronofsky's other flicks (truthfully, I hated Pi and Requiem). But this one really won me over.

Too bad half of the critics didn't care for it and that it didn't do better at the box office. My theater cleared the f#ck out as soon as a bald Hugh Jackman showed up in the bubble.

I guess those reasons made Warner Bros. dump the DVD on us with a poor transfer and no commentary. I think it's very cool of Aronofsky to go out of his way to record a commentary and make it available to the public.
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