December 13, 2006
Movie Review: The Fountain ... and thoughts about the content of existence
Two nights ago I went to see the movie The Fountain with a couple friends. This was one of the most visually amazing cinema experiences I've ever had. I read that Aronofsky decided to use bacteria cultures magnified to represent star dust, rather than computer generated affects, which I really appreciated. The nebulae are memorizing and have a natural quality that I doubt any synthetic computer generated effects could duplicate. While watching the film I felt like the characters, and the imagery, seemed to represent something more, like elements of the film were tapping into Jung's concept of the Collective Unconsciousness (i.e. Hugh Jackman was the same character, existing in three separate times). Basically the story of the film literally transcended the characters experiencing it.
There have been a fair amount amount of negative reviews for The Fountain, which I can only attribute as perhaps many of the critics were carrying certain expectations when they went to see it. One of the reasons I've been anticipating this film is that I read Aranofsky described The Fountain as what happens when you listen to David Bowie's Space Oddity while you are writing. I think The Fountain is ahead of it's time. If for no other reason than the rich imagery this movie deserves a positive review, but the story and concept of the movie, along with excellent performances forve me to give this movie no less than 4.5 out of 5.
...I have some tangents to investigate...
On the ride home from the movie we were talking about the number Pi because it is the title of another Aranofski film, and how remarkable a mathematical concept it is. And that got me thinking how mathematics are truly universal -- mathematics are the study of the unchangeable textures of existence. And since I do believe there must be a God responsible for the possibly for a universe to exist, it kind of indirectly occurred to me that maybe the ultimate way to communicate with God will be threw mathematics; or another way to look at it, maybe God has left us a message in the mathematical constructs of the universe; perhaps we will uncover this message by solving Einstein's “theory of everything”, the unified field theory. Maybe traditional notions of communication do not apply and the message is lived in our human experience; essentially our lives are the message. I have a philosophy that humans are the creative manifestation of God's awareness. That's how I interpret the “golden rule” and the message from Jesus that we should love God by loving each other. If God is responsible for everything, then of course God is communicating to us threw mathematics, and threw every aspect of experience, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Then God's message is in time itself, in space, in the chemical reactions in our bodies, but most importantly in the smile on a friend's face.
Thinking about the consistency of mathematics, which are a conceptual framework that the forces of nature all adhere to, it occurred to me that human experience is made up of two things: 1) certain unchangeable phenomenon (such as mathematics, or the shape of a sign-curve, the forward direction of time, the structure of the periodic table, and so on) that structure the environment we have named the universe, and 2) our ability to be creative with these rudimentary components of existence; such as the way we are able to take those basic colors of the visible light spectrum and create an image with infinite shades and tints; we can paint a picture that transcends the image on the canvas, and touches some part of our shared experience. What we think of as Art is exactly this creative manipulation of the components of existence.