"The Fountain" - a visual & intellectual savorable - No spoilers

Mrs. WeHaveCookies and I lucked out with an admission ticket for two to an advanced screening last night, with director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Pi) on hand for Q&A.

Visually stunning and rich, the unrelenting and thought-provoking story is superbly delivered by a truly wonderful performance by Hugh Jackman. In three storylines spanning thousands of years, from Spanish Conquistadors exploring South America, to a minimalist space-traveling future unlike any you are likely to have experienced, Hugh’s character(s) struggle(s) to come to terms with the age-old quandries of life, love, death, spirituality, and the individual’s place in existence.

Virtually every frame is a feast for the eyes, and I lost track of how many times I caught myself gawking at the screen, breathless and open-mouthed. What few criticisms I noticed were given only passing thought as I was continuously provided more beautiful and complex things to ponder.

One of the more interesting things gleaned from the Q&A was that no CGI was used. All of the amazing visuals were captured through a camera lense and film, utilizing footage of microscopic chemical reactions and natural processes, such as yeast metabolism and growth. Some digital painting was used, but only to enhance the captured footage. It might not sound beautiful, but you just have to see how the techniques translate to effects on the big screen.

Darren also discussed the universality of human myth that can be found across time and space. He discussed one particular scene that he had written using only his own creativity, and then came to find through his research that an ancient Mayan myth contained virtually the same ideas.

There is also a rich science-related storyline, largely contributed by Darren’s writing partner, his roommate from college, who has a PhD in Neurobiology. The validity of the scientific detail adds a lot to the aspects of the film that are more tangible and rooted in our contemporary experiences.

I’ve never had such access to a renowned filmmaker. What a treat it was. Pretty much all of my questions were asked by other members of the audience. If there had been more time, I might’ve gotten the courage to reach for the mic an ask him if he’d consciously incorporated any of Joseph Campbell’s perspectives into the mythological aspects of the film.

I highly recommend checking it out. Two cookie-crumb-covered thumbs up!


It opens nation-wide on Nov. 22nd.