Darren Aronofsky wants to make an “edgy re-telling” of the Noah’s Ark story for $130 million. I don’t know why; if you ask me, it’s a stupid story, on the order of wanting to do a live-action big budget remake of the Flintstones…and nobody would be stupid enough and unimaginative enough to do that, would they?
It does have potential as a bitter, nasty story: tyrant god kills everyone and everything on the planet in a massive, brutal catastrophe, leaving one family to salvage the entire worldwide ecosystem with a wooden boat; despite that, the first thing this family does when the boat lands is a mass slaughter of representatives of every species to propitiate their evil deity. Then Noah gets drunk and curses his son and all of his progeny with eternal servitude.
So it could be written as a grim, bleak, apocalyptic tale, but I don’t see much of interest in it…largely because the spectre looming over it is the fact that it isn’t true, and not just in a fictional way, but because we know it couldn’t have happened.
Also, the Christians (or at least, apologists for Christianity) are already girding themselves to hate the movie. Don’t you know, the Ark story is supposed to be uplifting and cuddly-cute, with all those animals?
First of all, the story of Noah has been told on the big screen before, most notably in John Huston’s superb film The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), in which one of the central episodes tells the story of the Ark with Huston himself playing Noah. The Bible features an all-star cast of Ava Gardner, Peter O’Toole, George C. Scott, Richard Harris, and Stephen Boyd. Huston’s retelling of the Noah’s Ark story is stylish and insightful. A real warmth and joy pervades the scenes in which Noah runs around the ark caring for and soothing the animals during their long voyage. This kind of warmth and humanity is notably lacking in Aronofsky’s coldly neurotic films.
I only vaguely recall that movie; it came out when I was 9. I do remember that it was cheesy and boring. Here’s the trailer.
Yeesh. A disaster movie about the obliteration of life on Earth is supposed to be filled with “warmth and joy”? Only by ignoring the magnitude of the events that occur in it.
These reviewers are very distressed at the possibility of a dark movie about an imaginary cataclysm.
Can we not see these demons in the much-lauded ‘edginess’ of Aronofsky’s films? Films like Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan are replete with masochism and bodily mutilation. Aronofsky seems possessed by a Manichaean viewpoint that sees the world and the flesh as fallen and subject to mortification of a kind usually only seen in medieval art and literature. Demented, self-flagellating figures are the villains in movies and books like The Da Vinci Code – but in Aronofsky’s films, they’re actually the protagonists we’re supposed to identify with. The madness and self-mutilation in Aronofsky’s films takes the place of any serious exploration of character or story and has only one motivation: to transgress life with violent images that abuse the human body.
OK. I will mention one name and one movie. Mel Gibson. The Passion of the Christ.
Maybe it will be a perfect fit to Christianity after all.