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The fountain [Edizione: Francia]
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"Ti preghiamo di riprovare"
|Versione 1 disco||
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The Fountain, 1 Blu-ray, 96 minutes
Sur trois époques, Tom, tour à tour conquistador, scientifique et explorateur, en quête d'immortalité traverse l'espace et le temps pour sauver la femme qu'il aime...
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Quality fo Blueray was hindered by darkness of scenes - lacking the usual punch of blueray films. Audio track was good however and extras about special effects and how the film was started, stopped, and restarted was well done and interesting.
I'm reminded of what I believe was a Charlie Rose, or maybe it was a magazine article, where either a doctor or a futurist made a reference to western culture's fixation on curing death, as if it were a curable disease like any other and not an inevitability. That this potentially poisons ourselves and through extreme fear & grief impedes our ability to be in-the-now is something eastern cultures seem to have come to grips with long ago. I found the subject matter heartfelt and do not have a problem saying "This film moved me." Because it did.
Thank goodness The Orleans Casino had a gal who knew what she was doing with the projector. There was some problem with the shutter not opening all the way at the beginning of the film, but eventually we got it worked out and the bottom half of the print became fully lit in all its glory. Those efforts were well rewarded. I found The Fountain visually stunning and did not at any time find it to be silly, though it has quite a few moments of abstract and open-endedness to it. For instance, why is the nebula bringing life back to this tree? Maybe I missed a part during the efforts to fix the shutter, but it seemed as if we are simply left to assume the power of the tree and the nebula are connected. The tree's life-giving abilities have been nearly used-up by this doctor who obviously has taken advantage of them and stayed alive far, far into the future. So far, in fact, that his space ship appears to us as simply an elastic, transparent bubble that is capable of making new bubbles (space ships) around him at will. We have no idea how it works, but it clearly does...at least to those viewers who allow the film to be what it is and make an initial and respectful suspension of disbelief to allow its own rules to be established and worked within. I think a caveman would say the same for my computer screen. So we are cavemen to this futureman. The technology is so advanced as to be, not to be redundant, literally and figuratively totally simple, elastic, and transparent to its end-user. Neat concept. Can any of you think of a better way to illustrate the ultimate technology of the far future? I can't.
Interestingly, because this new tree was planted on her grave, she is somehow now a part of it. This is a call-back from an earlier set-up accomplished by a story she previously told. Through eastern meditation and consuming of the bark, he appears to be reliving the elements of his past, reminiscent of Wim Wender's meandering and overly-long Until The End of The World. As in that film, this virtual living in the past is a kind of egotistical black hole of stagnation. Here I think it works better, since we as the audience are brought along on the narrative by his re-experiencing of the events from the very beginning, rather than it being a secondary structure at the end. Quite a number of people seem to think the conquistador thread was an actual historical past for the film characters, but forget that it is Izzi's book as "visualized" by Tommy as he reads (or read), and who injects he and his wife into the central characters. This historical allegory of unfinished novel, the past when he was a doctor, and the present-future are all three intertwined. The futuristic returning to the Garden of Eden to partake of the Tree of Life creates a new Adam and Eve, I think, both immortal in different ways. By doing so he has lost his perspective, though.
I found the duality curious that eastern meditation was both the key to exploiting this endless reliving in the first place with the Izzi-tree and the means to bring himself to end it, by finally visualizing a suitable ending to his wife's book. In order to re-attain wisdom and appreciate once more the true reality and, indeed the past-nature of, that beautiful relationship once more outside of this clouded, emotionally-distorted & fixational abyss of immortality, there is only one thing the doctor can do: partake of the Tree of Wisdom, which is death. In this way, just as the novel took on characteristics of their lives, life also takes on characteristics of a story, which is one way to find solace in mortality if that is something you are willing to accept, where life has a beginning, middle, and an end, yet is perfect in its own completeness.
Viewing The Fountain is not a passive experience, intellectually or emotionally, and you no doubt will bring a great deal of baggage on its subjects of love, death, immortality, consciousness, and eastern thought. I suspect the strongest feelings will oddly enough be on that last item, even though it is only a tool and framework to explore the rest. I can see quite a few people being turned-off seeing a bald Hugh Jackman floating in the lotus position to his literal and figurative finale. Is it silly? I don't think so. Gene Siskel once leaned over to Roger Ebert during their first screening of Fargo and whispered, "This is the reason I go to the movies." The Fountain made me remember why I go to the movies.