Sunday, July 8, 2007

THE FOUNTAIN of Youth and Loss of KONTROLL

THE FOUNTAIN (Darren Aronofsky, 2006, USA) Here's a sobering thought: everyone reading this sentence will die. Everyone you know and love, every single person alive and breathing at this exact moment in time will cease to exist someday. And it's with this grim notion that THE FOUNTAIN begins its examination of the futile journey for immortality and the conquest of that fatal disease Death. Aronofsky channels Kubrick's 2001 and Tarkofsky's masterpiece SOLARIS but defines the film on his own terms. This is a story of love but it's not a love story; this is about mortality and our fight against the dying of the light. As I became involved with the film I had a vision of a Kandinsky painting, and I began to experience it as a work of abstract art. The movie began to evoke an emotional response from me even though I could not yet understand the story and the more I watched, the deeper I became immersed into the whole experience. It was quite amazing. I could feel compassion for Thomas as he tried to cure his wife's brain tumor and empathize when he fails. As he reads and tries to finish his wife's manuscript titled THE FOUNTAIN he imagines (or does it really happen?) the past and future of the story as wish fulfilment where he and Izzi live again forever. We are taken on this journey and the line blurs between fantasy and reality as the story jumps backwards and forward in time. This is a haunting story of loss and denial of death and the toll it takes upon the living. We all die alone, and die we must. I'm not sure you watch this film as much as experience it. (B+)
KONTROLL (Nimrod Antal, Hungary) The subway as a metaphor for reality and our religious preconceptions as we travel below ground “low realm-darkness” but aspire towards the streets “upper realm-light”. Kontroll are the people who check that all passengers riding the subway have their tickets and forcibly remove the violators. The specter of Death haunts the subway (subconscious?) as innocent passengers are occasionally shoved into the path of the train while one man desperately searches for salvation. (B)

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