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The Fountain commentary
September 17, 2007 4:30 PM   Subscribe

Darren Aronofsky has posted a bootleg commentary for his film The Fountain (the one with Hugh Jackman in a bubble with a tree flying through space) since the film company decided the actual dvd itself didn't need one. The direct mp3 download is here (16mg) [via].
posted by feelinglistless (72 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
A little background would be helpful.

The Fountain looks like a great movie!

The film company looks like a great company!

Or...whatever.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2007


I haven't liked Aronofsky since he impregnated my girlfriend, Rachel Weisz.
posted by Poolio at 4:38 PM on September 17, 2007 [11 favorites]


Big tai chi mess that it was I liked The Fountain. It isn't exactly a good movie but the things that are bad about it aren't the same things that are bad about other movies. In a sea of bad movies that are all bad in the same boring ways a movie that makes novel mistakes is worth a great deal.

There are scores of movies that are like little black book but better but there are damn few movies that are like 2001 a space odyssey but worse.
posted by I Foody at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was so disappointed by The Fountain. It was beautiful to look at, but so badly paced and fond of its own cleverness that it forgot it was, at its core, a love story.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:48 PM on September 17, 2007


Hugh Jackman? Fountain? Wha? Is this something I would have had to be conscious during any part of....*looks movie up on Netflix*...2006 to know about?

(Seriously, though, I've never heard of this. And knowing it "stars" Hugh Jackman doesn't give me a good feeling.)
posted by DU at 4:58 PM on September 17, 2007


Aronofsky is his own worst enemy.
posted by mek at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2007


And knowing it "stars" Hugh Jackman doesn't give me a good feeling.

He was pretty good in "The Prestige".
posted by Poolio at 5:02 PM on September 17, 2007


I haven't liked Aronofsky since he impregnated my girlfriend, Rachel Weisz.

Dear Rachel Diary,

Day of Rachel 1752.

Operation Rachel must be put on hold. My plan to eliminate that pesky interloper Aronofsky has become complicated. It appears I have one more delusional suitor to contend with... a Mr. Poolio. These fools. Can they not see? Our psychic love cannot be interrupted!... ha hhha ha hahahahahahahah.... etc

posted by tkchrist at 5:04 PM on September 17, 2007 [8 favorites]


To be fair, all I've seen him in are the X-Men movies and Van Helsing. But if are such a nebbish (albeit with long, sexy hair) that you are upstaged by your own sideburns, you don't really belong in any movie, no matter how bad.
posted by DU at 5:05 PM on September 17, 2007


I wonder if he goes into detail (or gets bitter) about the first attempt at The Fountain, starring Brad Pitt, which went so horribly awry.
posted by mullingitover at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2007


I'm excited to hear/watch this. Jackman- and Aronofsky-haters can go hang out on mehfilter
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:17 PM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cool! I liked The Fountain, but not in the same way I liked Little Black Book.

Oh wait, I didn't like Little Black Book.

I was disappointed by the lack of a commentary, so thanks!
posted by The Deej at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2007


I liked it. It's definitely not perfect, but I've enjoyed movies far worse than this one.
posted by utsutsu at 5:21 PM on September 17, 2007


Hey, Hugh Jackman was great in this.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:26 PM on September 17, 2007


MetaFilter: It's definitely not perfect, but I've enjoyed websites far worse than this one.
posted by Poolio at 5:28 PM on September 17, 2007


Excellent. Thanks! The Fountain was my favorite American film of 2006.
posted by dobbs at 5:55 PM on September 17, 2007


Damn, did anyone get a copy of the MP3 before he downgraded it?
posted by dobbs at 5:59 PM on September 17, 2007


The Fountain was one of the most genuinely fascinating films of this past year. Thanks for the post.
And seriously, you guys have never heard of this movie?
Thanks for taking the time to register your dismissal.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:02 PM on September 17, 2007


I liked The Fountain and absolutely loved the score. Put down the Haterade, peoples.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:03 PM on September 17, 2007


i love the word "haterade"
posted by Mikey-San at 6:03 PM on September 17, 2007


Wikipedia has some background on the production. Imperfect movie, sure, but I'll take an ambitious failure over an outright mediocrity any day.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:09 PM on September 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah it's flawed, but I think the problems with the pacing and what-have-you are quite modest compared to everything it gets right.

Very few movies have me leaving the theater feeling like I really *experienced* something, and this was one of them.
posted by Jezztek at 6:14 PM on September 17, 2007


We had a big Fountain discussion right here when digaman talked to Aronofsky about the movie.
posted by muckster at 6:35 PM on September 17, 2007


The Fountain was great, and I'm stoked to hear the commentary. I don't know of any other movies like it, really.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2007


Or rather, a big Fountain discussion.

This commentary looks interesting, thanks feelinglistless. John August did something like this for The Nines, which is still out in theaters -- you're supposed to take your iPod.
posted by muckster at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2007


I thought it was interesting but pretty broken. I can't wait to hear from the director, though. Thanks for the link.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:50 PM on September 17, 2007


Meh. Worst. Movie. Ever.
posted by Big_B at 6:55 PM on September 17, 2007


Great news!! I took pause before buying a pre-viewed copy down at the shop for fear another cut would soon be released with commentary. Glad my impatience was rewarded by the studios' generally unfailing idocy.

Great movie. Suck it, haters. *obligatory diploma waving*

Flawed? Compared to what? Definitely on my top ten of the year. I also found it rather charming that it could have gone by the title "Requiem for a Dream."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:02 PM on September 17, 2007


that idocy the fails so, so rarly.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:05 PM on September 17, 2007


when life hands you hate, make haterade.
posted by The Deej at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


The bubble spaceship was an interesting idea. The rest of the movie—meh, not so interesting.
posted by disgruntled at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2007


I love love love The Fountain. I will defend it to ridiculous degrees. I'm usually happy to let negative opinions about other movies/artists/books/etc. slide, but I have a completely irrational love for this movie. Some of that is on display in the previous Fountain discussion.

Don't mind me... I'm just jotting down some names for a list that I'll bring out once the Revolution comes...
posted by Kattullus at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]




Meh. Worst. Movie. Ever.LOOK AT ME!!!!

fixed that for you.
posted by mkultra at 7:48 PM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: At its core, a love story.
posted by thatswherebatslive at 7:51 PM on September 17, 2007


Didn't love it, but really enjoyed it.

A perfect film? Absolutely not.

A beautiful, flawed film? Absolutely.

As for Jackman, it's acting from him like we've (or at least I've) not seen before.

Worst movie ever? You need to get out to the multiplex a bit more often, friend.
posted by BartonFink at 8:11 PM on September 17, 2007


To make a film that was visually fascinating (to me, at least), without resorting to using CGI as a crutch was an achievement in and of itself.

I really feel like I should have seen it in a theater. I don't think a home viewing did enough for it. At least I live in a city that occasionally sees fit to host non-first run films. I'll see it again. I liked it enough the first time.
posted by ninjew at 9:05 PM on September 17, 2007


worst. comment. evar.
posted by matt_od at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2007


I loved The Fountain. Loved it. I'm looking forward to hearing the commentary.
posted by JWright at 9:29 PM on September 17, 2007


Flawed?

I love Aronofsky and I'll watch anything he should choose to do, but Fountain was still flawed. Beautiful/brilliant/etc., yes, but still flawed. That's not really a criticism. I'll take an ambitiously flawed film over an unambitious, formulaic, but perfectly executed one any day.
posted by juv3nal at 10:20 PM on September 17, 2007


>>>when life hands you hate, make haterade.

When life hands you hate, make peace.
posted by SaintCynr at 10:21 PM on September 17, 2007


the one with Hugh Jackman in a bubble with a tree flying through space

Incidentally, that's about all you need to know about the movie.
posted by limon at 10:48 PM on September 17, 2007


As I hinted at before, Aronofsky is undebatably talented, but his films are also generally deeply flawed. It's clear (to me) that he doesn't listen or respond to criticism, as his films all suffer in a similar way; overblown, overdramatic, oversimplified.
posted by mek at 10:52 PM on September 17, 2007


Goddamn, you people want all Spielberg all the time or what?

Kubrick: overblown
Coppola: overdramatic
Fassbinder: oversimplified
Lynch: oversimplified
Von Trier: overblown
Zemeckis: overdramatic
Jeunet: overblown
Raimi: overdramatic
Scott (Ridley): overdramatic
Scott (tony): oversimplified
Sirk: overdramatic
Ford: overblown
Coens: overblown
Linklater: overblown
Lee: overdramatic

Wow, works every time! If you don't like unusual artistic, creative pictures, there are certainly alternatives.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:05 PM on September 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


Thanks for this, I'm sure I would have missed it had it not been posted here and I'm a big Fountain fan. I too was disappointed that the DVD did not have a director's commentary, although the included making-of documentary was pretty good.

I can see why this film is so polarizing (its Rotten Tomatoes score is, appropriately, 50%), but as I suggested in the previous thread about this movie, you can at least give Aronofsky some credit for trying something original. After I saw it I was having trouble describing it to a friend who hadn't yet seen it, and I realized that is unlike any movie I had seen before (or since). We're so accustomed to the narrow range of genres and formulas that Hollywood is comfortable with that it can be jarring, and refreshing, to see the occasional risk taken.
posted by good in a vacuum at 12:09 AM on September 18, 2007


What ghastlyfop said.

In addition, The Fountain isn't perfect but it is a hundred times more ambitious than most films made in the Hollywood system and prepared to take risks with its narrative and imagery. I think Andre Previn said that you have to risk making a few bad notes so that the good ones sound all the better.
posted by feelinglistless at 12:44 AM on September 18, 2007


It was a splendid, beautiful movie, I thought, with some flaws, sure. I will definitely watch it again with the commentary this time, so thanks for the heads-up.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:59 AM on September 18, 2007


Does he apologise?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:04 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


To make a film that was visually fascinating (to me, at least), without resorting to using CGI as a crutch was an achievement in and of itself.

Arnofsky went for a specific look, and he got what he wanted with a different technique (using digital compositing, I'm sure).

CG isn't a crutch, it's a tool... which you can use or not.
posted by brundlefly at 2:32 AM on September 18, 2007


What flaws? Pacing was mentioned by eyeballkid way back in the fourth comment but other than that there's a lot of saying "it's flawed" without actually naming any flaws.

And for the record, I think the pacing is near perfect, the way all three stories build to the climax is the closest art has gotten me to understanding what having multiple orgasms must be like.

hyperbole? what hyperbole?
posted by Kattullus at 4:30 AM on September 18, 2007


Kattullus, I agree that pacing is not one of its flaws: I've probably seen it 5 or 6 times now beginning to end, and I still can't believe it's only a 90 minute movie, there just seems to be so much packed into it. It really rewards repeated viewings too, with the amount of scenes and shots that mirror other scenes and shots in other parts of the movie, like a big visual puzzle. I just finished listening to the commentary, and prior to that I hadn't noticed that the shot of Tommy climbing the stairs in the museum is identical to that of Tomas climbing the stairs on the Mayan pyramid. Or that Tommy's body as it is annihilated by Xibalba looks similar to the drawing of First Father in the museum (Aronofsky himself admits he didn't make this connection either until he saw a poster for the movie in a theatre). It's truly a work of craftmanship.
posted by good in a vacuum at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2007


Kattullus: Ok I liked the movie, I really did, and generally think highly of it. Even though I called it a tai chi mess I compared it to 2001 which I think is one of the best movies. My problem with it was there was a lot of sillyness in it. Why does Weisz write a novel in long hand in an antique book? Just because you can't feel cold doesn't mean you walk around barefoot in the snow. You know snow can give you frost bite. And lucky they came up found Thomas right as he had his crossbow trained on the leader of the inquistion. There is a lot of sillyness there. Because there is so much to like about the movie it is extra infuriating when sillyness/ indulgence (starting the action upside down and then as the action passes following it until it is right side up) bring me out of the experience.

I can understand loving the Fountain, I think it is a lot like The New World, that is a movie where it is hard for me even see its flaws. People said it was too long, but I was almost heartbroken when it was over. Wanting less of it seems almost unthinkable.

And I hate the tai chi.
posted by I Foody at 7:02 AM on September 18, 2007


I was profoundly moved by The Fountain, but I absolutely understand why other people might not like it. It was so absorbed in emotion and so subjective that I've discussed it with others, and it was like we didn't even see the same film. The way I understood the mechanics of the story was different from the person who was sitting right next to me. There's a lot of silliness, yes, but the way I imagined the movie, much of the silliness was from Tommy's point of view and highlighted his idealized view of Izzy and his inability to deal with her impending death in a realistic way. There's more to it than that, and there are some details that were irreconcilable, but they were overridden by the unique experience I took away from the whole film.

At any rate, part of me is excited to hear what Aronofsky was thinking, and part of me is afraid it's going to blow the whole thing for me by telling me what movie I was supposed to be watching.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2007


Unless the commentary is an apology, I don't want to hear it.

What flaws?

If you're going to repeat the same story three times, you should make sure that story isn't the dumbest thing ever written.
posted by Reggie Digest at 8:43 AM on September 18, 2007


If you don't like unusual artistic, creative pictures, there are certainly alternatives.

Um, we do, Ambrosia. That's the problem. Aronofsky may be a great Art Director, a great Editor, and a great Cinematographer, but he's a terrible writer and a terrible director. All sizzle, no steak. Ooh, shiny.
posted by Reggie Digest at 8:52 AM on September 18, 2007


(Not a fan.)
posted by Reggie Digest at 8:53 AM on September 18, 2007


Loved "The Fountain". Loved, loved, loved it.
Others didn't.
That's what makes the world go 'round.
Well, that and gravity.

Kinda pissed I didn't see this in time to grab the MP3 before the servers crashed.

Did any kind soul happen to grab it? I'm "willmize at gmail dot com".
posted by willmize at 9:27 AM on September 18, 2007


Sent it your way, willmize.
posted by ghastlyfop at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2007


Thrilled by this, thanks for the link!

I think that the primary flaw of The Fountain was that it didn't properly counter its audience's expectations in the beginning moments of the film. It's not really a love story as much as a story about Buddhist principles (life/death/rebirth; the nature of suffering as a state of continued existence, etc.). I hope those people who didn't like it can take the time to revisit it and find something worth their investment of time. ;)
posted by softriver at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2007


I guess I gripe because calling a film "flawed" just doesn't say anything. How subective and meaningless can a critique get?

So this film is a metaphysical fantasy, a fable of eternal fidelity, where a guy who lives in a space bubble on magic bark, and you don't like that the girl in it was goofball who didn't type? Its reach exceeds its grasp, but such quixotic pictures are so few and far between I can't help but cherish it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:21 AM on September 18, 2007


Put me in the LOVED IT camp. Looking forward to getting it on HD-DVD when it's re-released.
posted by papercake at 11:33 AM on September 18, 2007


So, I guess they won't be releasing a version with commentary then. Which is why I had not yet purchased the DVD. Damn. Bootleg will have to do.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:44 PM on September 18, 2007


16 milligrams?
posted by nzero at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2007


I'm with you slimepuppy. Lack of commentary is why I didn't buy this. I don't understand why a studio would balk at putting one on the disk if the director is willing to record it?
posted by subtle_squid at 3:14 PM on September 18, 2007


(ok yeah, not the worst. Just thought I'd poke the bear a little.)
posted by Big_B at 3:32 PM on September 18, 2007


(Going parenthetical to indicate this isn't so much about The Fountain -- so feel free to gloss it over! -- but first of all, Lynch isn't oversimplified; if anything, his films err on the side of total incoherence, which is why I still haven't seen Inland Empire -- it sounds like all his worst habits rolled into one three-hour tour, and I'm just not up to it right now. That said, I love Lynch, and am with AV on the whole just-because-art-is-flawed-doesn't-mean-it-can't-be-great tip.

I don't think Aronofsky is great, but he has his great points. I liked Pi a lot, thought Requiem was a mostly laughable -- but occasionally, inexplicably, awesome -- mess that should have been called Reefer Madness 2000, and have yet to see The Fountain. I guess that'll be the tipping point, for good or ill. I do appreciate that he's at least trying to make serious films, though, and has yet to sign on for Aquaman or some shit.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:08 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Roger Ebert just posted a much-delayed review.
posted by muckster at 8:41 PM on September 19, 2007


Put me in the "oh my god, what utter crap" camp. I hope they release it as a double feature with "What Dreams May Come" a similar new age mishmash cinematic clusterfuck.
posted by ranchocalamari at 8:41 PM on September 19, 2007


Its reach exceeds its grasp, but such quixotic pictures are so few and far between I can't help but cherish it.

Thank you. I'd rather have ambitious cracked-bell films than mediocre, competent ones. (I'll count Stay in that list, too, and at least it got a proper commentary track.) I just hope his contract is tight enough to allow him -- or Criterion -- to put out a version he wants.

Anyone got the MP3? [email in profile] I almost feel sorry for Darren A, since he's going to have to ask his wife to pay the bandwidth bill.
posted by holgate at 9:33 PM on September 19, 2007


If somebody wants to email me the mp3, I've got scads of bandwidth, and will host it and throw the link in here until and if it eats up too much of my limit. I forgot to grab it before it went bye-bye.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:00 PM on September 19, 2007


Torrents have now been posted of a higher quality mp3 (file's now 60 MB). I went with the Pirate Bay's copy, and had it in fairly shorter order.
posted by sparkletone at 5:17 PM on September 22, 2007


Fair enough. Thanks for the link.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2007


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