As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

The Fountain - WTF heaped upon mountains of WTF.

Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
edited May 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
So I just saw it...finished about 5 minutes ago. I mean, it took a bit of Wikipedia browsing for me to actually understand the film, but I have to say that was a really strange film. I applaud Aronofsky for branching out and producing another thought-provoking film(just like Pi and Requiem of a Dream before it), but I feel he may have mish-mashed too many philosophies at once. I did like it quite a bit, the use of color and minimal CG are actually beautiful.

What did you all think?

Zephyr_Fate on
«13

Posts

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Based on my own interpretation of it, it's a beautiful story.

    What I've heard of the official interpretation, well, it's like the end of AI.

    But the way I saw it was awesome.

    Incenjucar on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I thought it was an excellent love story, and an absolutely beautiful film, visually.

    The story is... odd I guess. But it felt secondary to the concept of life and love being eternal.

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'm not usually a fan of love stories, but I do agree it was very, very fucking beautiful. Not many movies get that praise from me.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    that's four posts in a row with the word beautiful.

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It's just so beautiful, though.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    In general, there's been a lot of awesome quasi-fairy tale movies lately.

    Amelie, The Fountain, Mirror Mask, Pan's Labyrinth...

    Beautiful, all.

    Incenjucar on
  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So it takes place in the future that is looking back on the past, while the past is reading a book about the even further... past...er.

    I understood it, I think. But I thought it was great. Anyone with a soul would enjoy it.

    It's.... beautiful.

    tardcore on
  • AntibodiesAntibodies Used to live in a psychic city. Never knew what would happen in a day. Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    In general, there's been a lot of awesome quasi-fairy tale movies lately.

    Amelie, The Fountain, Mirror Mask, Pan's Labyrinth...

    Beautiful, all.

    If you dig on all those then you ought to check out Terry Gilliam's Tideland- really insane but pretty cool.

    Antibodies on
    XBL: thetinwoodsman
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Tardcore, you broke the fucking chain. >:/

    Anyways, I actually loved both Mirrormask and Pan's Labyrinth, but both of those had respectable stories..this one, not so much.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I was ecstatic when I went to see this in the theater and had built this movie up in my head for a good 6 months before seeing it. Result: partly disappointed and afterwards kind of pissed off... probably because I had built it up so much before seeing it.

    This movie did have some breathtaking moments and visuals, but ultimately, it caved under its own weight--the story was trying to carry too much:
    He's an astronaut flying through space eating tree bark! No... He’s a conquistador seeking the fountain of youth! No... He’s a doctor testing monkeys while actually seeking a cure for his wife's terminal illness! No... He’s all of the above, yo! but none of the above--total slyness from the writer/director's standpoint, yes? No.

    Two scenes ruined this movie for me:
    The scene where the flowers overtkae his body. Why? Even if there's a good reason for it, it fucking sucked goat balls visually and did nothing for my engagment in the story. Also, Lotus Astronaut floating in front of the Aztec warrior was just... stupid and pretentious.

    What I liked:
    Izzy's death scene. Her funeral. The bathtub scene was very well done. Izzy and Hugh (can't remember his characters' names) on the roof stargazing in the snow. Some of the space/tree scenes
    .

    At the end of it all, I felt like I had watched a film by an art student who had a substantial budget and was given a couple of good actors, but the student decided to wank off with his story rather than engage his/her audience.

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The flowers growing through Tommy's body is actually part of Mayan mythology. In death, a valiant warrior will have flowers and plants sprout from his corpse.

    I do agree the Buddha-Tommy floating in front of the Mayan spiritual king was...very unnecessary.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The problem a lot of people have with the movie is that it doesn't make narrative sense, but if you look at it from the perspective of the future version of - what was his name? Lucas? - he's obviously looking back on the past from a distance, confused, traumatized, scared, having fiction blend with memory, more and more as he nears the end of his journey.
    At that point he sees not only what happened but what he should have done, and what he could have done, and what could have happened.

    I want to see it again, it is really a wonderful movie.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I actually noticed that too. It does make a lot of sense through future-Tommy.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So let me see if you guys agree:
    The future Tommy finally wanted to die, so he blasted off into space with the tree he planted over his wife's body. All those marks on his arms were how many lives he has lived after discovering a cure for death. He blasts off to the Mayan underworld, the dying star, and dies.

    That's what I got from it. I'll probably end up re-watching it.

    tardcore on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    tardcore wrote: »
    So let me see if you guys agree:
    The future Tommy finally wanted to die, so he blasted off into space with the tree he planted over his wife's body. All those marks on his arms were how many lives he has lived after discovering a cure for death. He blasts off to the Mayan underworld, the dying star, and dies.

    That's what I got from it. I'll probably end up re-watching it.

    Almost what I got.
    He didn't want to die. The tree he planted over his wife's body was grown from the tree of life they found in South America, and just like the legend about that tree (IIRC) the body becomes the tree, so he sees the tree as his wife. Based on an amalgam of mythological information, he believes that the tree will be reborn if he brings it to the Mayan underworld/dying star.

    He wants to have her back, and defeat death; he wants to live forever with her. He can't accept that he came so fucking close (which is really the hardest part of the movie for me, that he almost cured her, and if he had just given her the treatment she would have been fine god dammit). But he can't have this perfect situation; the end of his journey makes him realize that. He ALMOST cured her but he didn't; he ALMOST got the tree to the star, but didn't. He finally realizes that the lesson is that there cannot be a defeat of death - mirroring the death by flowery growth of the conquistador-self, when he attempted to drink from the tree - and so he finally accepts death, and lets the star consume him, whereupon the tree does come alive through his sacrifice. I'm not sure about the meaning of that last part.

    Also note that the death of the Tommy character in both fictional past and future becomes a source of growth for some form of plant life.

    So yeah, big struggle with mortality, the lines are years/lifetimes/what have you.

    The strange narrative inconsistencies, as I said, can be traced back to his fading or confused memories and the fallibility of a human brain, even if it's all magic'd up.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    General rule, do not let the term 'astronaut' enter your mind in regards to this movie.

    If you do, you are only hurting yourself.

    Incenjucar on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    tardcore wrote: »
    So let me see if you guys agree:
    The future Tommy finally wanted to die, so he blasted off into space with the tree he planted over his wife's body. All those marks on his arms were how many lives he has lived after discovering a cure for death. He blasts off to the Mayan underworld, the dying star, and dies.

    That's what I got from it. I'll probably end up re-watching it.

    Almost what I got.
    He didn't want to die. The tree he planted over his wife's body was grown from the tree of life they found in South America, and just like the legend about that tree (IIRC) the body becomes the tree, so he sees the tree as his wife. Based on an amalgam of mythological information, he believes that the tree will be reborn if he brings it to the Mayan underworld/dying star.

    He wants to have her back, and defeat death; he wants to live forever with her. He can't accept that he came so fucking close (which is really the hardest part of the movie for me, that he almost cured her, and if he had just given her the treatment she would have been fine god dammit). But he can't have this perfect situation; the end of his journey makes him realize that. He ALMOST cured her but he didn't; he ALMOST got the tree to the star, but didn't. He finally realizes that the lesson is that there cannot be a defeat of death - mirroring the death by flowery growth of the conquistador-self, when he attempted to drink from the tree - and so he finally accepts death, and lets the star consume him, whereupon the tree does come alive through his sacrifice. I'm not sure about the meaning of that last part.

    Also note that the death of the Tommy character in both fictional past and future becomes a source of growth for some form of plant life.

    So yeah, big struggle with mortality, the lines are years/lifetimes/what have you.

    The strange narrative inconsistencies, as I said, can be traced back to his fading or confused memories and the fallibility of a human brain, even if it's all magic'd up.

    the part you don't get and your "also note..." part
    I understood as life living on, though not in the form we would have thought. She didn't die because she became that tree. the life essence never goes away, thus essentially, we live forever. same with the flowers growing on the conquistador

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    tardcore wrote: »
    So let me see if you guys agree:
    The future Tommy finally wanted to die, so he blasted off into space with the tree he planted over his wife's body. All those marks on his arms were how many lives he has lived after discovering a cure for death. He blasts off to the Mayan underworld, the dying star, and dies.

    That's what I got from it. I'll probably end up re-watching it.

    Almost what I got.
    He didn't want to die. The tree he planted over his wife's body was grown from the tree of life they found in South America, and just like the legend about that tree (IIRC) the body becomes the tree, so he sees the tree as his wife. Based on an amalgam of mythological information, he believes that the tree will be reborn if he brings it to the Mayan underworld/dying star.

    He wants to have her back, and defeat death; he wants to live forever with her. He can't accept that he came so fucking close (which is really the hardest part of the movie for me, that he almost cured her, and if he had just given her the treatment she would have been fine god dammit). But he can't have this perfect situation; the end of his journey makes him realize that. He ALMOST cured her but he didn't; he ALMOST got the tree to the star, but didn't. He finally realizes that the lesson is that there cannot be a defeat of death - mirroring the death by flowery growth of the conquistador-self, when he attempted to drink from the tree - and so he finally accepts death, and lets the star consume him, whereupon the tree does come alive through his sacrifice. I'm not sure about the meaning of that last part.

    Also note that the death of the Tommy character in both fictional past and future becomes a source of growth for some form of plant life.

    So yeah, big struggle with mortality, the lines are years/lifetimes/what have you.

    The strange narrative inconsistencies, as I said, can be traced back to his fading or confused memories and the fallibility of a human brain, even if it's all magic'd up.

    the part you don't get and your "also note..." part
    I understood as life living on, though not in the form we would have thought. She didn't die because she became that tree. the life essence never goes away, thus essentially, we live forever. same with the flowers growing on the conquistador

    That works pretty well

    In one case it is sort of a punishment and in the other it is a very positive image, but in either one it remains persistent and extant

    Evil Multifarious on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    In general, there's been a lot of awesome quasi-fairy tale movies lately.

    Amelie, The Fountain, Mirror Mask, Pan's Labyrinth...

    Beautiful, all.

    Amelie? A fairy tale?

    Anyways, Seen all but the Mirror Mask. Pan's struck me as a pat fairy tale with a lot of darkness and excessive gore, and The Fountain struck me as being simultaneously preachy and scatterbrained. Both were visually very nice, though. And the monster from Pan's with the eyes in the hands is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. Kudos tot hat at least, but I wasn't terribly impressed.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    In general, there's been a lot of awesome quasi-fairy tale movies lately.

    Amelie, The Fountain, Mirror Mask, Pan's Labyrinth...

    Beautiful, all.

    Amelie? A fairy tale?

    Anyways, Seen all but the Mirror Mask. Pan's struck me as a pat fairy tale with a lot of darkness and excessive gore, and The Fountain struck me as being simultaneously preachy and scatterbrained. Both were visually very nice, though. And the monster from Pan's with the eyes in the hands is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. Kudos tot hat at least, but I wasn't terribly impressed.

    How is it preachy to say "you're gonna die, deal with it"?

    Evil Multifarious on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Honestly, considering how many people in the world these days really suck at -living-, if it's preachy, it's some good preaching.

    Incenjucar on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    How is it preachy to say "you're gonna die, deal with it"?

    I don't like hearing "don't even try".

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    General rule, do not let the term 'astronaut' enter your mind in regards to this movie.

    If you do, you are only hurting yourself.

    Well, dude... for lack of a better term. I mean, if you want, we can use Spatial Traveler or Tommy III or Etheral Husband or Vast Mover or whatever else that works.

    What Evil said about the narrative being basically broken... yeah, I think that's a big part of the problem with this film. I do enjoy films that skip around with the story, time, plot, and flow, but there must be some type of overall cohesiveness. I dont' think this film estbalished that. I think Darren tried to presume that, but it was never in his script in the first place. I think he had an overall cool idea that took place across 3 timelines, and had some cool ideas for each time line, but was never able to marry all of them in a way that ultimately made the audience feel like they had watched something fulfilling.
    Also, I do understand the whole flower myth--the visualization of it was poorly handled, and was the first scene during the film where I said: "...the fucking hell? That looks like ass." The rest of the film lost me after that scene... I had had enough, and when grasshopper was floating in front of the Aztec dude, I just got pissed about badgering my wife to come and see this movie with me.

    Edit: In terms of quality with story, directing, acting, and FX, Pan's Labyrinth is light years beyond The Fountain. Actually, there isn't even any comparison--PL is a masterpiece. Fountain is, in my opinion, a student art film.

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It was "Don't get so caught up in death that you neglect life."

    The point wasn't "You're going to die LOL" it was "You douche don't neglect a dying person."

    Incenjucar on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    How is it preachy to say "you're gonna die, deal with it"?

    I don't like hearing "don't even try".

    If you're getting "don't even try" from it, you're looking for a message from too literal a perspective, I think.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    It was "Don't get so caught up in death that you neglect life."

    The point wasn't "You're going to die LOL" it was "You douche don't neglect a dying person."

    Well, yeah man, that part of the movie was very well handled, and I also found myself very engaged with it--I was more engaged with all of that rather than the space/conquistador stuff, and I thought I'd enjoy the latter much more than the former.

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    NexusSix wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    It was "Don't get so caught up in death that you neglect life."

    The point wasn't "You're going to die LOL" it was "You douche don't neglect a dying person."

    Well, yeah man, that part of the movie was very well handled, and I also found myself very engaged with it--I was more engaged with all of that rather than the space/conquistador stuff, and I thought I'd enjoy the latter much more than the former.

    That may be part of why you are caught up in the narrative fracture, since it does only make sense when viewed through future Tommy, as memories blending together, etc. If you put less emphasis on the future scenes, the narrative becomes entangled.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It was basically a story about reincarnation or patterns.


    Hell, the timeline was basically Fantasy->Realism->Sci-Fi

    Incenjucar on
  • astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I kind of thought that only the the present was the "reality" of the movie.

    I interpreted that most of the "past" was Izzy's book...her note to him. That she loved him and that in his quest to cure her, he was neglecting her. The present Izzy was researching the Mayans for her book, not because of some past life connection, but to fit the metaphor.

    The future is Tommy finishing the book, learning to accept that death is a part of life. I don't think any of the other lives "actually" happened.

    This does open up the issue of a what level any story is "true".

    Then again, maybe I just read too much post-modern lit and tried to apply something that wasn't there to the movie...I've done it before.

    astrobstrd on
    Selling the Scream Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeremy-donaldson
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well, there's also the possibility of Her View/Fantasy Fiction->Reality->his View/Psionic Mind Scape

    There's a few dozen ways to work with it.

    Incenjucar on
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Hell, the timeline was basically Fantasy->Realism->Sci-Fi

    Good point and true. I just wish those 3 parts were all more fleshed out and engaging overall.

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yes, the movie did feel a little short/rushed.

    Probably a budget or "Oh god nobody will sit through this whole thing except Arts students"

    Incenjucar on
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    astrobstrd wrote: »
    I kind of thought that only the the present was the "reality" of the movie.

    I interpreted that most of the "past" was Izzy's book...her note to him. That she loved him and that in his quest to cure her, he was neglecting her. The present Izzy was researching the Mayans for her book, not because of some past life connection, but to fit the metaphor.

    The future is Tommy finishing the book, learning to accept that death is a part of life. I don't think any of the other lives "actually" happened.

    This does open up the issue of a what level any story is "true".

    Then again, maybe I just read too much post-modern lit and tried to apply something that wasn't there to the movie...I've done it before.

    That's how I viewed it for the most part, although, there were parts of the movie that eschewed that train of thought. It's been at least 6 months since I've seen it, so I can't pinpoint or quote specific scenes, but I do remember contradictions in the story that refute all of the above. For example,
    why does Lotus Tommy float in front of Aztec Priest near the end?

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Circular history?

    Incenjucar on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    imagery being more important than a straitforward narrative?

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    NexusSix wrote: »
    astrobstrd wrote: »
    I kind of thought that only the the present was the "reality" of the movie.

    I interpreted that most of the "past" was Izzy's book...her note to him. That she loved him and that in his quest to cure her, he was neglecting her. The present Izzy was researching the Mayans for her book, not because of some past life connection, but to fit the metaphor.

    The future is Tommy finishing the book, learning to accept that death is a part of life. I don't think any of the other lives "actually" happened.

    This does open up the issue of a what level any story is "true".

    Then again, maybe I just read too much post-modern lit and tried to apply something that wasn't there to the movie...I've done it before.

    That's how I viewed it for the most part, although, there were parts of the movie that eschewed that train of thought. It's been at least 6 months since I've seen it, so I can't pinpoint or quote specific scenes, but I do remember contradictions in the story that refute all of the above. For example,
    why does Lotus Tommy float in front of Aztec Priest near the end?

    Originally I interpeted it with the present as the "real" time, with the future as the finish of the book.
    The conquistador dies, so who's the guy in the globe? It would have to be Tommy from the present, inserting himself into the story, maybe as the reincarnation or descendant of that conquistador. But in that case, the future tommy appearing in front of the Aztec doesn't make any sense, except that Tommy is gone batshit out of grief and conflicting emotions and confusing the narrative. Or maybe he's conflating them because he is trying to show how they are essentially the same story.

    I think it's a valid interpretation to make, but I prefer the future-as-reality one. The fact that you can go with either one is part of what makes the film good, in a sort of postmodern fashion.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It's how he ended the book?

    astrobstrd on
    Selling the Scream Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeremy-donaldson
  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    After watching the movie, I don't think I saw that part as the 'future' and I connected it more to the main character's...uh...mind?

    Phonehand on
    pmdunk.jpg
  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Trying to think of a better way to put that.

    Phonehand on
    pmdunk.jpg
  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Again, it's a bitch for me to talk about the film in this thread, because none of it is fresh in my mind since I saw it like half a year ago, but...

    I'll say this, from what I remember from the film. The conquistador portions seemed like Izzy's reaction to what she was dealing with in the present (that was all based on her story). The future space scenes seemed to be Tommy's reaction to his lot in life in the present (he was inflicting wounds on himself with her pen she used to write her book, right?).

    I'm not saying the past and future scenes didn't happen, but those scenes seem to rise from both individual characters. Or something.

    NexusSix on
    REASON - Version 1.0B7 Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
    Ng Security Industries, Inc.
    PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE - DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
    -ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-
Sign In or Register to comment.