On the latest episode of the show we have talked about Darren Aronofsky’s 2006 opus The Fountain. In fact, I should point out that it is not the only film of his we’d be tackling, as I thought it was a nice pairing with mother! (which we have already recorded and it should come out shortly).
Now, I have always seen myself as a bit of an Aronofsky apologist and I was glad to find that I am not the only person in the room to have those feelings. What is interesting, however, is the fact that The Fountain has always been that one film of his I had slight problems with, so this was the perfect opportunity to confront my long-held opinions and perhaps rationalize my feelings. I don’t necessarily want to sound hyperbolic but I may have had a bit of a change of heart during the recording, as the conversation we had – amazing as it was – introduced me to slightly different perspectives one could assume when watching this film; or better yet, I was maybe alerted to a possibility that I could cut Darren Aronofsky some slack. But you will have to listen to the entire debate to find out the details.
All I will say is that The Fountain fits perfectly the parameters of a flawed masterpiece that nobody cared about. It failed to develop an audience and to this day it languishes as a persistently underseen movie. Over the course of the three hours we spent talking about it, I think we did our best to understand why this film got the treatment that it did and whether it was fair on behalf of wide audiences not to turn out for it. It is frankly fascinating to peel off the layers of complexity the filmmaker baked into The Fountain, understand what he was trying to say, what he actually said, and pontificate over the possibility he could have said what he said a bit differently in order to serve the story and characters much better. In any case, I had a fantastic time rewatching (even though it is far from perfect) and talking about The Fountain, so I hope you’ll have fun listening as well.