AICN EXCLUSIVE!! Aronofsky
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
The following e-mail just showed up in my inbox, hot on the heels of sighting Brad Pitt in the crowd at the first game of the NBA Finals. He’s got a huge mountain man beard going right now, and everyone I was watching the game with wondered what he was doing it for.
Today’s scooper has the answer:
This is Maxamillian Cohen reporting in. I wanted to let you know about what’s going on with Darren Aronofsky’s LAST MAN. You know the one. It’s the SF film at Warner Bros. that everyone says is set to start shooting in Australia soon. Except, maybe, it’s not. You see, Warner Bros. is trying to dump the film into turnaround.
They’re showing it to a bunch of other studios, I hear, and even though Brad Pitt’s growing his beard for the film and actors like Cate Blanchett and Ellen Burstyn think they’re reporting to Queensland in the fall, there’s no guarantee it’s going to happen.
Also, the film isn’t called LAST MAN. It’s called THE FOUNTAIN. The LAST MAN title got dumped a while ago. The script by Ari Handler and Aronofsky was here in our office last week, and I’m trying to get a copy of it for you. The guy who read it said it’s whacko. It’s like a science fiction film and a history film about South America and a story about God all at once. He said it was real hard to describe.
Anyway, if I hear anything else, I’ll tell you!!
That’s more than I’d heard about the film’s supposed themes before now, and the title change has me intrigued. I guess we’ll see if our new spy can come up with more details in the immediate future. In the meantime, I’d love to know who else Aronofsky is talking to about the film if Warner Bros. is backing out. Also, how is this going to affect their BATMAN relationship?
Time will tell...
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June 6, 2002, 9:10 a.m. CST
June 6, 2002, 9:16 a.m. CST
June 6, 2002, 9:20 a.m. CST
Like Terry Gilliam, this man should be able to filma any project he wants with a big budget and no interference. The description in this article alone has got me intrigued. Set in South America, and called The Fountain? Perhaps it has something to do with Ponce de Leon? Who knows what this guy will do?*******WB, let him make the film. There's not guaruntee it'll be a success (I guess that's all the studio cares about) but there's a high chance it'll be a great film.
June 6, 2002, 9:29 a.m. CST
Basically worth a short story on the new Twilight Zone, not a full-length movie. God, what won't studios throw away their money on? I don't give a FUCK who is writing or directing it!
June 6, 2002, 9:34 a.m. CST
like Maria Poppins and Wonder Twins. And how can they afford to do an Aronofsky & Pitt film when they have to pay ILM to artificially buff up Arnold's tired old ass for another Conan flick. Another studio NEEDS to pick this up.
June 6, 2002, 9:39 a.m. CST
Mad Dog. I would never normally comment but I would like to know what plots you do think sound good. Lets face it it was hardly a plot summary, and think about PI - story about a man that looks at the number PI. Hardly sounds the most entertaining of films and yet it was an amzing film, and Requiem was the most daring film of 2000! So let's hear a little more before you start using your vulgarities and wasting space. If Warners do pass this someone else will certainly snap it up!
June 6, 2002, 9:43 a.m. CST
WB passing on aronofsky/pitt/blanchett project. WB making 'wonder twins'. WB execs jamming heads into own assholes on regular basis. WB execs performing brain surgery on each other using broken whiskey bottles and soldering irons. WB execs fellating their dark, infernal master in return for supposed 'can't miss' movie blockbusters. WB joins "ted bundy" and "kinko the kid-loving clown" in the hall of eternal infamy. to quote cube, kane, flav and chuck, circa 'fear of a black planet': "fuck hollywood, man."
June 6, 2002, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Frank Black
So manny times a year, a major studio undermines their projects and it backfires in their face, and usually that studio is Warner Bros. So few of their films have been memorable in the last few years, if it weren't for "The Matrix," one wonders where they would be. The Warner Bros. logo doesn't really stir anything in me but a big sigh. Whether it be tampering with Eyes Wide Shut or only releasing many of their DVDs in Full screen, Warner indeed sucks the hardest. After watching the Japanese movies "Versus" and "Red Shadow" this week, I am convinced that fanboy enthusiasm for movies in America will sadly go unrewarded by mediocre crap dictated by numbers and test screenings from this country's lowest intellectual rung on the ladder. There is so little vision and imagination in Hollywood that it is a wonder any good movies are released at all here. Thankfully we have a dozen or more great directors in America with integrity and original ideas like Scorsese and Aronsky, but they have to fight harder than ever to get their movies made because it is all about box office and the numbers are skewered. I'm not complaining, it just seems kind of sad that in the sixties and seventies there was such an abundance of excellent films with visionary, artistic expresssions, and now it is all wallpaper.
June 6, 2002, 9:58 a.m. CST
Not surprising this was put into turnaround. AICN TB geeks aside, he's an acquired taste. I've been trying to glean further details about the plot, but either it's too weird to put into a sentence synopsis or under tight wraps.
June 6, 2002, 10:26 a.m. CST
Is it my imagination or did War Dog just flame this entire movie from a one sentence description. Sounds like a Studio exec.
June 6, 2002, 10:30 a.m. CST
June 6, 2002, 10:54 a.m. CST
...i don't even know where to begin with you, so i won't.
June 6, 2002, 11:09 a.m. CST
Normally I wold just ignore your obvious ignorance, but you've insulted my man, Darren. Darren Aronofsky is a genius. I wouldn't expect a boob like you to appreciate his films. Pi (NOT PIE) is a complex film with a great plot and a riveting ending. Anyone with an education past seventh grade should grasp the storyline. And Requiem For a Dream is the most intense, powerful movie I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor, see it... you may want your mommy present to hold your hand. As for ruining Batman. Ever hear of Joel Schumacher? He ruined Batman quite effectively for everyone who thinks movies should contain more than pretty colors. Darren should drop any relationship with WB right now... They are obviously as clueless as Wendingo(I was dropped on my head as an infant)Fett.
June 6, 2002, 11:12 a.m. CST
If it is indeed true that Aronofsky's film is being shopped, my current dysthymia is going to turn into full fledged acute depression. What the hell is happening? Warner's has tent pole films coming out of their butts. They have the comfort to take risks and this project, with a name like Pitt headlining, isn't even that much of a risk. My god, this is Aronofsky for christsakes! The number of quality directors doing very original work is getting smaller and smaller. Warners, a studio which is rapidly losing its artistic sensibilities, should be taking these kinds of risks. Warner Overlords, your Harry Potter checks will be coming in for the next two decades, you have your Matrixes, you have your comic back adaptations - Have some balls and takes some chances! What the hell is the point otherwise?
June 6, 2002, 11:27 a.m. CST
by Monkey Lover
Requiem was a good movie, but not the great masterpiece y'all proclaim it to be. Often Aronofsky went a bit overboard with the whole flashy visual style and therefore undermined the actors. In fact, one of the best scenes is the bit where Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly are talking on the phone near the end. It's a far less "BOSCH! IN YOUR FACE!" type scene to the rest of the movie, and works better. But I agree that the movie was good and directors such as Aronofsky should be allowed to make more projects. And surely Brad Pitt guarantees some kind of commercial return? WB are jackasses anyway. Nearly all their films are shit or badly marketed (Three Kings).
June 6, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST
Yeah, I know, she deserved an Oscar... but Lil' Bow Wow is a true star of the future. Like Mike is going to win 12 Oscars, including best supporting Oscar for Crispin Glover. I shit thee not. He's in it. http://us.imdb.com/Title?0308506.
June 6, 2002, 11:57 a.m. CST
Any real junkie would use any vein available to get his fix. ALL the dope between NYC and Florida dries up except for some pervert's? Shouldn't Leto and Wayans have had, like a TRIAL before they wound up in prison? I dunno. Visually is quite good, but there were too many problems to get me that excited about Aronofsky's followup. sk
June 6, 2002, 12:08 p.m. CST
Beard=Credibility boost. That does NOT mean that the person prior to the beard had no credibility, but merely that the credibility is SLIGHTLY enhanced. I'm not sure why. But I think Warner Bros. has seen the future and it is the past. "12 Monkeys" and "Fight Club" did NOT fare well at the Bizzox Office, so this is the kind of potentially big-budget film that scares 'em silly. Not being an apologist, just a realist. Here's to a studio that has half a testicle picking this one up pronto...Actually, I hear the WB has commissioned some quantum physicists and whatnot to construct a temporal displacement device so that they can go back and shop "The Matrix" to some other studio. Wouldn't want to have ANYTHING COOL on our roster, now would we? Oh, and while I could give A FUCK about the N.B.A. (Nothin' But Attitudes), the Kings-Lakers series was insanely good. But it was like a recurring nightmare; you know that in Game 7, no matter what happens, "Phillip" will serenely but victoriously walk off the floor with Kobe and "Kazam". Once the Nets sealed the East, I knew, I mean I FUCKING KNEW that Stern wouldn't allow a Kings-Nets Finals. This guy is so evil that he should change arenas to the film industry. P.S. Any studio that let Buffy walk is no friend of mine.
June 6, 2002, 12:10 p.m. CST
in the Jason X web-ad.
June 6, 2002, 12:53 p.m. CST
by Aronld Scazziger
Skip Warner Bros. Darren. Do it independently. Who needs those farts? Aronofsky has proven with his first two PICTURES that he's an innovator ... jus' like Spielberg, Coppola and Lucas have been in the 70s. These guys don't take any risks anymore, so leave it to the next Generation of filmmakers to redefine moviemaking of the 21st century with great stories, great cinematography and great storytelling. And Wendigo Fett your post is the shittiest talkback i read in a long long time.
June 6, 2002, 1:14 p.m. CST
by Trav McGee
Lessee, we've got science fiction, South American history, religion, a castawayesque beard on Pitt, and titles like LAST MAN and THE FOUNTAIN. What I'm putting together here is adding up to a tale regarding The Fountain of Youth... themes of immortality, perhaps? Of course, who knows what hell someone like Aronofsky's gonna do with that. Damn interseting to be sure. ... Thought PI was fascinating if a bit overwrought, chalk that up to being an ambitious freshman effort. ....And, I know a lot of people think differently, but I thought "Requiem..." was quite a bit overrated, though not due to bad filmmaking. I'd hesitate to call him "visionary" for it though, being essentially an adaptation, albeit a visually interesting one. I just think he's too hooked on visually overstimulating the audience, and he can milk the dark humor a bit. Also, I've only seen the "edited" version on the rental shelves, so shame on me. But mainly my problem (and I guess this as much or more a problem with the source material, which I never read) is that, like someone touched on this earlier, the young junkies' storyline was as much fantasy as Reign of Fire. Though well-acted by all, it struck me as so much 80s-leftover anti-drug propaganda cautionary tale fear-mongering. Anyone remember how quickly the crack catchphrase-warning became "THIS drug's so bad, it'll hook you with one hit!" (perhaps true) NOW, though, everything's gonna hook you after one hit. Use has become synonymous with abuse. Now, junk is BAD, definitely, and can and does ruin lives. (Who's going to be the first reactionary talkbacker to call me a junkie and/or child-killing dope-pusher?) But there's no need to lie or exaggerate about it at all. Why make it ridiculous, when the truth is bad enough? Right off the bat, this always bugs me. Hollywood, for all the smack done in that town, seems to think heroin = tracks. Every single movie junky (tho don't know about Vince Vega...) has tracks and itchy arms. Nope, a clean needle, some rubbing alcohol, and using different veins once in a while, and no tracks. Any experienced heroin user could tell you that. Yes, like an alcoholic, there's the addict who's so strung s/he doesn't care, know, or want to bother with the secondary health issues that interrupt or delay the bingeing. But those types would do the same with alcohol, coke, crack, whatever, they just found their Drug of Choice as the phrase goes. (Of course, any frequent drug-user, from horse to booze to nicotine, would seem to be inherently, willingly self-destructive.) But oh man, I swear, Leto shoving a needle into a puckering, seeping, blackened elbow joint made me, literally, laugh out loud as much as anything depicted in that other anti-drug propaganda cautionary tale fear-mongering flick, Reefer Madness. ....Now then, I've never done heroin or met anyone (I think) who has or does; I'm not a junkie or a cop, nor do I know any of either personally. This is just basic police procedural knowledge that the good suspense-crime writers of old (and some still) took as a matter of course to research, debunk and share. In other words, everthing I know about heroin I learned from John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, Ross MacDonald and the like. DON'T DO HEROIN! Horrible shit, to be sure! But no need to think you'll end up spiralling down into 3-ways for dealers or getting your arm lopped off, any more than smoking pot will make you eat glass and laugh at the blood coming out of your mouth. Hell, Keith fucking Richards is still walking around for god's sake. ....Holy shit did I get off on a rant, sorry! Just repeating a lengthy conversation I've had with others, it's the lunch hour, I got going. AGAIN, please, don't fucking DO heroin! As for Aronofsky, I think he's got a lot of promise, and I think he could do a wicked Year One, but I'd like to see if he's capable of doing a compelling, character-driven movie WITHOUT relying so heavily visual trickery for its vocabulary--it'd be a shame to think he's all propped up by camera "clever." ("How's that working out for you?")
June 6, 2002, 1:54 p.m. CST
I pray to the heavens that this movie gets made...Darren Aronofsky, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, science fiction...talk about a dream come true. Except that Warner Brothers is crushing the dream. Pi was a fantastic debut, but Requiem for a Dream was poetry in motion. What the heck is the deal with this complaining about the drug use not being realistic? Have you people even seen the movie? Requiem for a Dream is not realism, it's impressionism. The drug use is not literal so much as it is a metaphorical tool of Aronofsky's lyricism. There aren't many American filmmakers out there right now who are working with the kind of artistic sensibility that Darren has. The kid's an auteur.
June 6, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST
"Equilibrium," "Below" and "Harvard Man"? Are these going straight to vid?
June 6, 2002, 2:24 p.m. CST
You think that thw WB was EVER gonna let the director of Requiem for a Dream ever direct their little golden goose of a Batman film? Give me a break. God forbid Warner Bros. ever give any their Superhero movies the balls that some of them have in the comics. Batman: Year One directed by Aaronofsky is NEVER gonna happen and anyone who thinks it will is high! Of course I'd love to be proven wrong about this but chances are...well, you know...Hollywood sucks!
June 6, 2002, 2:26 p.m. CST
by Son Of Batboy
Some movies are so depressing I never care to watch them more than once. It's sorta like... "Hey Kids, lets stay in tonight and pop in Schindler's List!" "Gee Dad, Really?" "You Bet! Honey, break out the popcorn!" Or in the case of Requiem... "Gee Dad, that was swell, can we watch the part where his arm gets sawed off again?" "Well Ok, then its bedtime for you scout." "Thanks Dad!"
June 6, 2002, 2:38 p.m. CST
by Billy Talent
I can't help but feel this guy is way overrated. 'Pi' had a few interesting camera tricks which were repeated again and again, and recycled for 'Requiem'. But what really bothers me is his ignorance of his subject matter. Watching 'Pi', it was painfully obvious to me that Aronofsky knows nothing about higher math, numerology, Go, the stock market or anything else. 'Requiem' revealed the same ignorance of drug culture. There are two things they tell you right away in grade 12 creative writing; write what you know and avoid cliches. And let's face it, this guy has never made a big budget film and he's never had a major commercial success. I certainly wouldn't let him go nuts with $100 million of my money.
June 6, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST
by Ambrose Chappell
I'll bet it has something to do with Don Juan Ponce de Leon's search for the fountain of youth in South America during the 16th century.
June 6, 2002, 2:59 p.m. CST
Requiem for a Dream is based on a novel known to be one of the most accurate and horrifying accounts of herion addiction ever written. Maybe if Ebert pulled his head out of his fat ass once in a while he would have seen the impact of the film. Ellen Burstyn gives the performance of a lifetime and was robbed of her Oscar by America's Sweetheart herself, Julia Roberts. As for the spirals in Pi... The movie is about mathematic equations, the Chaos Theory and patterns. For a movie (remember kids, movies = make-believe) many of the concepts are accurate including the Hebrew, Torah Code and Chaos references. It's sad that moviemaking has become entirely about how fast a film can rake in $100 million and less about art.
June 6, 2002, 3:26 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
Well, for those of us who care about these things, while Warner's and their multi-media corporation bretheren produce weak-ass movies and weaker musical acts and shove them down our throats because they're easily packaged commodities, we have the work of folks like Aronofsky and the Ramones to always enjoy. And to give credit where due, it was Sire records under Warners that gave The Ramones a home, and recognized Aronofsky's talent enough to propose a project.
June 6, 2002, 5:08 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
Harvard Man, that played in one art house theatre here for a week. Equilibrium? Don't know nuthin' bout that one. But Below, seriously, what's the deal? An Aronofsy/Twohy collaboration should be of some interest out there. Also, what about Norrington's Last Minute? Is that ever seeing the light of day? Maybe Harry and Co. should start another regular column called "MAMA MIA" (Movies Actually Made And Missing In Action) detailing the plights of such projects.
June 6, 2002, 6:15 p.m. CST
I will admit that Requiem was a beautifully shot and edited film but the story was just the same old typical drug story. Guy gets addicted to drugs, suffers the awful consequences. Requiem was more intense than any other drug movie I've seen, but it didn't tell a new story.<p>PI on the otherhand was brilliant visually and the story was intriguing.
One of the New York papers, I think it was the Post, ran a picture of bearded Pitt but indicated he was growing it for the Coen's 'To the White Sea'.
June 6, 2002, 11:22 p.m. CST
or we can talk. Now now, everyone is arguing over Aronofsky's films and whether he's any good. He must be great because Warner Bros. wants to can the deal! WB has no interest in quality. Opening weekend is all that matters to those suits. What this says to me is Last Man is a story that Michigan J Frog just cant understand. It wont make 100 mil because the average Joe wont get it either. If the average Joe wont push it over 100 then WB doesnt want it. All that makes me want to see it.
June 7, 2002, 12:33 a.m. CST
Obviously Pi was aimed at more educated people than this retard who keeps talking about spirals, but I feel compeled to answer his question. The spirals you keep seeing are mathematical patterns called 'fractals'. These patterns are defined by complex mathematical equations and they have the interesting property that you can zoom in on any part of the fractal and get an exact copy of that fractal and keep doing this infinately. It reinforces the idea that the world is constructed of patterns on top of patterns on top of patterns. My advice to the guy who keeps asking about this is to stick to Disney movies, he'll probably be able to follow them better.
June 7, 2002, 2:09 a.m. CST
just stick to micheal bay or bad lucas movies and other 'popcorn' movie crap where your lack of braincells won't make you seem like such an utter halfwit. If you're so interested in "spirals" why don't you actually WATCH Pi [how you wrote that as 'Pie' and hit enter is unfathomable] intead of coming off like a twit who just read a review on imdb and chimed in because being part of the herd of haters is sooo easy and compelling. Sean Guillette's character is a mathematician, he's interested in fibonacci spirals or the golden spiral because it figures into his research and what the kabbalists are doing. FOR GOD'S SAKE, HE EVEN EXPLAINS IT IN THE MOVIE! ---- Summary, you're too dumb to even remember the proper title of a film, any of it's plot points or even the general story and haven't even seen Requiem, yet you're an expert on Aronofsky. Pathetic. Me thinks someone needs to off you. Your Darwin award is waiting ...
June 7, 2002, 2:18 a.m. CST
he doesn't "treppan" himself either. Lay off the X-Files reruns for a week, fanboy. He tries to lobotomize himself yo ease the extreme pain from his medical condition which may also be tied to how close he is to unraveling the mystery of the Kabbalah. If you can't accept the "fortune telling crap" that's your issue. Some people can't accept wall-crawling superheroes or or guys who dresse up in tights and fight crime or kids who see dead people. Guess the guys who directed those movies should be shot too, eh? Here's a clue for future movie watching - a movie doesn't have to be in color for it to be good, it doesn;t have to be directed by fanboy fave directors and it doesn't need hit action star Z to be profitable. Now maybe if some folks at warners knew that, then we'd see Year One in production already. then again, you probably think batman wore a cape and cowl in year one and think selina kyle as a bisexual hooker would NEVER happen in a comic book. Guess what - it did. In YEAR ONE, which isn't a cape and cowl Batman movie, kohai. sheesh
June 7, 2002, 2:32 a.m. CST
ey wendigofett, watch requiem
June 7, 2002, 5:06 a.m. CST
There is something seriously wrong with a society (albeit a small portion of it) that embraces cheap gimmicks over content and praises it as genius. Aronofsky, like Kevin Smith have put a dent in the credibility of independent filmmaking. Calling them geniuses only proliferates the succession of pretentious self indulgent student filmmaking that we've received. Aronofsky's films thusfar feel like the work of a student who has yet to grasp the basics of storytelling. Someone trying to show all his classmates how he can edit real fancy and fast and move his camera all "neat-like". If I saw the same image repeated one more time in Requiem for a Dream, I swear I was going to destroy my TV set. And what's the point we get in the long run from watching Requiem? That drugs are bad? No shit Sherlock! The characters are two dimensional, the plot is flimsy, and it offers very little that we have no seen before. I'm sure there's a myriad of defenders out there who are going to say, I'm missing the point. It perfectly captured what it's like to be an addict. Really? When you're an addict, you feel like you're in a bad MTV video? I also find it ironic that many of the people who claim how perfectly it captures the life of an addict, have never been addicts. Ellen Bernstein deserves the credit for her work, but that had little or nothing to do with the director. What's the matter with you people? Elia Kazan, Akira Kurasowa, Orson Welles, and even Steven Spielberg are more deserving of the title of genius. Darren Aronofsky has made two films and has relied on the same childish techniques both times. He can't even write a draft of a Batman movie without incorporating drugs and subject matter HE finds interesting but is inappropriate for the story. In the works of true storytellers, the characters go deeper. Their themes are more developed and universal. Style is effective yet doesn't distract. Aronofsky has a LONG WAY TO GO. But hey, maybe that's all some of you people need to enjoy a movie, flashy images that are rapidly edited involving dark subject matter. Dark subject because you feel rejected from society and want to cling to something maudlin. Do not confuse "dark" with deep. You want to blame the studio for wanting to off this sure to be "flimsy" endeavor entitled the Fountain. Get your head out of YOUR ass. Are the people at large going to embrace a meandering, incoherent self indulgent genre picture? What the hell do you think? I think it'll be the second coming of Battlefield Earth. I also think once his work reaches more people they're going to realize that the emperor has no clothes. Darren Aronofsky is no genius. You'll find his equivalent working behind the counter of your local video store, talking about the films he wishes he could make. He as did Kevin Smith, lucked out through their connections. If you want to defend their work, at least acknowledge their shortcomings. But hey, maybe there's more to his work that has yet to be revealed. I'll try keep an open mind.
June 7, 2002, 9:48 a.m. CST
by General Woundwor
I had to respond to Trav McGee's post. Like her/him, I dislike anti-drug moralising in movies. S/he is quite right - stop demonising drug use with inaccurate caricatures. But I didn't think Requiem For a Dream was doing that. In fact, I thought the film was admirably morally ambivalent. The message I took from the film wasn't that drugs are bad, or that everything is addictive. The message I took from the film was that PEOPLE OFTEN CREATE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS, and SEND THEMSELVES INTO A HELL OF THEIR OWN MAKING in a DELUDED SEARCH FOR NIRVANA. The drugs weren't at fault in Requiem For a Dream. The people were. Every obstacle they faced was thrown up by themselves, rather than by external misfortune, and every decision they made was a perfect illustration of the saying 'When you're in a hole, stop digging.' And yet, towards the end of the film, there is hope. The mother's friends consoling one another on a bench is a sign that compassion can survive the most dire misfortune.
June 7, 2002, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Frank Black
June 7, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST
A few enterprising immingrants decided to use film to make a buck and opened movie studios. Movies became 'film' and 'art' in the 1950's due to a couple of self-promoting French critics, who became directors. (All that term paper research didn't go to waste after all).
June 7, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST
letsbeobjective, you came out with clear, concise reasons why you didn't like requiem for a dream. but it is still my humble opinion, that darren aronofsky will make surefire hits that will satisfy both the hollywood machine and the artistic critic market.
June 7, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST
by Alec Cawthorne
I can't believe a filmmaker with only two films under his wing is creating so much discussion. To me that's proof enough that he is at least someone to watch in the future...... I thought PI was a good film, interesting in its comparing the obsessions of religion and mathematics. Anyone who can finance his movie by getting complete strangers to donate money to him, and then make enough to pay them back (which I assume he did), is ok in my book. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM was just simply one of the better films of the year, when it came out (you may not like it, but it made a definitive impact). Yes it is perhaps overstylish visually, yes it is repetitious, and yes, it is not realistic. On the last point - if you ever read any interviews with Arnofsky (or Selby for that matter), you would probably get a sense of the fact that the film is NOT supposed to be realistic; it is not supposed to be 'an accurate representation of the condition of a drug addict'. This film is supposed to be a nightmare. Perhaps the characters are cariactures, but I think that that is what they were going for (there is a reason that Ellen Burstyn dresses up in red and does the mambo). What impresses me most about the film is the RHYTHM of it. Now, perhaps this is more to Jay Rabinowitz's credit than Arnofsky's, but this is one of the most elegantly paced films (especially the last 20 minutes) that I have seen from any of the so-called 'new generation' of filmmakers......credit should also be given to the wonderful Kronos Quartet which made Clint Mansell's score for this film infinitely better than it could have been. The music is very minimalisitc, but overpowering at times - and just adds that much more to the rhythm that enchanted me..... Now saying all that doesn't mean that the man won't ever make a bad film. I do agree with the posters above that wonder why people rush to WORSHIP these filmmakers who have only made a few films. I mean, I LOVE Paul Thomas Anderson's films, but I recognize that not everybody is going to like them (though I still selfishly wish they would), and that it is probable that he will make a film that I don't like as much as the others (or not at all), eventually. ---Anyway, that's my spiel - I just have to say, about THE LAST MAN/THE FOUNTAIN, that ANYONE who attempts to make an original sci-fi movie these days (and by original, I just mean not based on a pre-existing comic book, another film, or a god-forsaken television series), should be applauded. Good Sci-Fi is sorely lacking these days, and even if it turns out to have failed more than it succeeded (like Spielberg's A.I.), it at least deserves some recognition in my book........
June 7, 2002, 2:38 p.m. CST
Of course I am exaggerating when I say that I worship Aronofksy. It was a reactive statement aimed at the people who are attempting to devalue Aronofsky's work. Let me just say this...if you don't like Aronofsky and Fincher, then you must not have any tolerance for current American cinema. That's fine. Panic Room was a glorified Home Alone sequel, I'll admit. And Mission Impossible 3...ugh, I can only hope that Fincher will soon tackle Rendezvous with Rama. At any rate, I praise Aronofsky because he has artistic integrity, and he most certainly does have vision. Just because Aronofsky uses extremely visceral techniques and hip-hop repetition, that doesn't make his films are bad MTV videos. Every technique that Aronofsky uses has a purpose, it is a detail that serves the narrative. Requiem is not a simple drug movie. It's about hopes becoming a form of self-destruction. It's not necessarily meant to say anything startling or new. It's meant to reflect on a truth of humanity in a way that has impact and clarity. Great poetry rarely seeks to tell us something new or portray realism. It tries to show us a facet of life from an artistic perspective. Requiem is no different. If you don't like the film, alright, I can understand that. I'm not going to try to pit Aronofsky against Tarkovsky or Kubrick or Kurosawa. He's young and a little naive, but he makes films that have passion and beauty for lifeblood. You can decry his films, but please don't turn around and praise anything else coming out of American filmmakers right now (with the possible exception of PTA). And please don't say, "Spiderman rules." Movies are primarily a financial enterprise, sure. Anyone who thinks that all movies are made for money are dead wrong. Try to convince me that Ingmar Bergman crafted his films in hopes of making a profit.
June 7, 2002, 3:05 p.m. CST
and said, "I wonder what I'd look like with a beard?" Why does everything have to be a conspiracy theory?
June 7, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST
by Det. John Kimble
Mimi's 3rd Nip has seen 'The Prophecy' recently... as have I. Viggo is pretty bad-ass as Lucifer, The Fallen, in there. The look of satisfaction after he tears out Gabriel's heart and munches on it is priceless.
June 7, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST
by Det. John Kimble
Mimi's 3rd Nip has seen 'The Prophecy' recently... as have I. Viggo is pretty bad-ass as Lucifer, The Fallen, in there. The look of satisfaction after he tears out Gabriel's heart and munches on it is priceless.
June 7, 2002, 3:10 p.m. CST
This is my first talkback post, although i've been lurking for years. To those who don't think Aronofsky has anything to offer, what makes a good film. At least the guy tries to make interesting films that engage some emotion and uses a style (I don't know enough about films to know if it's an original style) to reinforce some of the themes. If you hate that, you've got to be planning a firebomb for the studio that puts out the next Sandra Bullock romantic comedy.
June 7, 2002, 3:49 p.m. CST
Not to say that the guy's not good, but the guy's made two films, and they're fairly the same. And he really doesn't have style, so much as tricks. The body mounted "walking" camera and the quick inter-scene montages (a stolen Sam Raimi device.) The reason Requiem wasn't great wasn't because of Arronofsky. Selby's book provided the blueprint for something great, Cronos Quartet's score makes you tingle, and Arronofsky...well...he told the story well. I'm not knocking him, but let's not get too loose with huge words like "visionary." Wait until he has done more films with a broader thematic base and THEN see if he applies for such a huge word.
June 7, 2002, 4:20 p.m. CST
I just said that his films so far have displayed vision. Maybe I should define what I mean by vision when it come to film...Aronofsky's vision is his mental construction of every frame of his film, which he attempts to create in a stylized manner, with each frame fitting like a puzzle piece into his overall integrated visceral construction. Thus, Aronofsky utilizes shot repetition, certain camera movements, summer/fall/winter color schemes and compositions and editing techniques, subjective camera, decreasing signal degradation in Goldfarb's television, stage-line switching, music theme use and re-use, frame centering, progressive manipulation of sound effects, white fade-out symbolizing pipe-dream, before-and-after implementations, and so on and so on to put together his highly conceptualized presentation of the narrative. Sure, he has a lot of "tricks" but he uses them quite consistently and he uses them according to a carefullly planned structure. Claims that Aronofsky does not have his own style are ridiculous. All the diferent ways in which Aronofsky uses the medium of film to explore the story, all the "tricks," combine to form a distinctive aura for Pi and Requiem for a Dream, and what is that aura but Aronofsky's signature, his style. Kurosawa liked to quickly move from long establishing shots into progessively more extreme close-ups, he favored simple sound effects backdrops, balancing of longer cuts with brief bursts of quicker cuts, and so on...these were his "tricks." Kubrick liked long cuts, some frame centering, tracking and dolly shots that followed motion... his "tricks." What is a director's style but for the "tricks" which he likes to employ in a consistent fashion so as to tell the story in the best way that he knows how?
June 7, 2002, 7:25 p.m. CST
don't you love it when people who never had drug problems have problems about how it should look on film.
June 7, 2002, 7:38 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
So are you suggesting that Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali were only looking for a few bucks? The Auteur Theory was indeed a French creation, but to state that no filmmakers were interested in creating art prior to the 1950's is absurd. If your point was that in Hollywood, it's commerce first, art second you'll get no argument, except that even in the Hollywood studios there are some individuals with artitic vision. I mean Erich von Strohiem's Greed fer crissake, Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein, Carl Dreyer, F.W Murnau, King Vidor, and many other early filmmakers explored the "art" of cinema. Art has always been a part of film, same as profit.
June 8, 2002, 12:10 a.m. CST
by The Hillbrothers
These things also came together in my head...the Fountain of Youth idea... Glad I read the talkback first to see if someone else had thought of it. Couldn't have said it better myself. It really is quite obvious and I would be surprised if the movie turned out to be about something else. Right on, and sounds just too cool.
June 8, 2002, 2:58 p.m. CST
Darren Aronofsky and Brad Pitt? Fuckin' A!
June 9, 2002, 2:33 p.m. CST
They're taking in awful films, like Scooby-Doo and the upcoming craptacular Marla Poppins, and they're blocking out the good. I don't see any possible way how Warner Bros. thinks this is going to be a bad movie. An all star cast? Directed by the visionary who helmed Requiem For a Dream? COME ON! Warner Bros., I already hate MGM, don't make me hate you too. Maybe AOL Time Warner really is falling apart after all...
June 9, 2002, 4:18 p.m. CST
But I think I like the old title better: THE LAST MAN. They should've kept it. It's more fatalistic and intriguing than THE FOUNTAIN. If Warner Brothers is too chicken-shit to keep a potentially great sci-fi film, then let them dump it on an indie studio so they'll let Aranofsky work in PEACE. You can't mess around with GENIUS, and these big-budget studios certainly know how to ruin a great film. The last excellent sci-fi movie was "12 Monkeys." That movie may have made less money than, say, the remake of "Planet of the Apes", but here's the true test of longeviity.....people are still talking about "12 Monkeys" and NO ONE gave a nano-seconds' thought to "Planet of the Apes." 'nuff said!
June 9, 2002, 6:36 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
June 9, 2002, 6:36 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
June 9, 2002, 6:37 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
A real change from all the "who should play Daredevil" drivel. I've really enjoyed reading this, Thanks everyone. P.S. ATOC sux
June 10, 2002, 1:27 a.m. CST
Pi was pretentious nonsense. Anyone who says differently doesn't know half as much about mathematics as they think they do (much like Aronofsky). And that's just the premise; don't even get me started on the finer points of filmmaking. Requiem, on the other hand, was quite good. A bit too flashy maybe, but the camera tricks were generally in service of the story. Note to detractors: I don't think that the characters' experiences were meant to be representative of all drug users. There's no question that it dwells on some pretty extreme cases. But the message isn't that this is what *will* happen, but rather simply what *can* happen. And overall, the consequences depicted are plausible, unlike those depicted in Reefer Madness. Thus, the comparison is unfair.
June 10, 2002, 9:23 a.m. CST
Just have to say that many of you seem to have totally missed the point of both these films... Requiem For A Dream (the correct title) was not about drugs. It was about addiction. Drugs was simply one of the things that characters were addicted to. Television, Food, Slimming Pills, these were some of the others. Pi (the correct title) was not about mathematics but about stuggling to understand things. Some of the posters here should relate well to it.
June 10, 2002, 12:25 p.m. CST
Insert obvious joke about Aronofsky struggling to understand filmmaking, and failing. ***** To say that Pi was not about mathematics is like saying that Amadeus is not about music. Yes, it touches on more universal themes... Genius, obsession, jealousy, etc. But it's also about music. And if Amadeus had revealed a lazy ignorance of classical music, e.g. by having saxophones in the orchestra, I think it's fair to say that it would have hurt the film. This is not to say that Amadeus got everything right, and Pi got everything wrong -- it is a difference of degree.
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