Fountain (The)

Fountain (The)
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Fountain (The)
États-Unis, 2006
De Darren Aronofsky
Scénario : Ari Handel
Avec : Ellen Burstyn, Sean Gullette, Hugh Jackman, Mark Margolis, Rachel Weisz
Durée : 1h36
Sortie : 27/12/2006
Note FilmDeCulte : ******

A love story through three times: a Conquistador and the Queen of Spain ; a scientist trying to cure his wife ; and a man journeying through space.


Eagerly awaited by fans since the project was announced back in 2002, The Fountain is finally out and it’s more than just a film: we are in front of a poem dedicated to eternal love. After his two first films, which are remarkably coherent (Pi and Requiem for a Dream) Darren Aronofsky has just made one of cinema’s most beautiful and memorable love stories. There’s no sap in The Fountain, on the contrary. Aronofsky tackles a very hard and subject: accepting one’s mortality and those of your relatives, living with death and learning to cope with grief. Three times superpose each other: the past with a Conquistador going on a quest for the Queen of Spain; the present in which a scientist tries to cure his sick wife ; and the future. But Aronofsky is smart and rigorous and never tries to confuse us. There is no plain-out drug-laden confusion like in Jan Kounen’s Blueberry. The Fountain is on the contrary remarkably clear.


With The Fountain, Aronofsky erases the last doubts we could have on his talent. Three scenes are proofs of his genius: a dissolve that transforms a woman into a tree trunk, the secret meeting between the Conquistador and the Queen, and the discovery of the Tree of Life. The Fountain was originally a 90 million dollar blockbuster that slowly changed into an almost independent venture. Art is born out of restrictions and with two thirds of his budget missing, Aronofsky had to go back to basics and focus on the mad love story between Thomas and Izzy through the ages. The Hugh Jackman/Rachel Weisz duo works wonderfully and their complicity is not faked. Aronofsky doesn’t need any long speech or demonstration to show us what’s going on between them. One scene is enough: teary-eyed Thomas is slowly washing his wife’s dying body, while the film’s theme goes on forever in the background…


It’s impossible to dissociate the images from Clint Mansell’s beautiful music. Darren Aronofsky and his favourite composer called on Scottish band Mogwai to help them craft a soundtrack that carries the viewer through a real trip up to the final scene, an incredibly powerful rollercoaster of sensations. One may find that Aronofsky relies to much on religious symbols, be they Buddhist, Catholic or even Maya. But that wouldn’t be recognizing his uncanny ability to build a work of art that’s universal and unique via the use of known codes. The movie references 2001, Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix, even Genesis, but it never waivers from its main objective. The Fountain isn’t the ultimate movie about eternal life and reincarnation, but it’s a simple and beautiful love story brought to the screen with great sensitivity by a real poet and dreamer.

par Yannick Vély