Thursday, February 4, 2010
The 9 Most Influential Films of My Life: #7
Rottentomatoes score of 48%, which is indeed considered rotten. Undoubtedly, it will end up costing more than it will ever earn. Soon enough its name will quietly fade into the ever-expanding list of dramas at Blockbuster Video. This is a pity.
What we have in "The Fountain" is a visual account of the great fears and ponderances of a man in his thirties artfully articulating his own anxiety of death. What is death? Where will it take us, and how does it work? The film is a breathtaking work that was made in much the same vain as Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal", which forced the viewer to acknowledge the inevitability of death for everyone everywhere eventually, ungracefully. The plot of "The Fountain" roughly follows the frantic struggles of one man through various embodiments in time, desperately grasping for immortality. Through different avenues in time, our protagonist seeks everlasting life by exploiting the 'tree of life' as documented in the book of Genesis' Garden of Eden. From thence on, the plot of the film is up for debate. But what is important about the film, what is of surmounting impact, is that the filmmaker is worried about this death thing.
Perhaps an obvious answer to this harrowing reality of apathy is that Christians are assured that with death comes life eternal; nothing to sweat about. Non-Christians, I suppose, either expect some form of happy afterlife, or are resigned to understanding death as an inevitable nothingness. In either situation, the argument maintains that death is not a matter for much concern or consternation.
For everyone, there remains in front of us a great finality in death. Once death comes, there is no more room for grace; what's done is done. This brings a sudden sense of immediacy to what we do here.