Noah art show opens, and an update on the soundtrack

With three weeks to go before Noah opens in theatres, directer Darren Aronofsky hosted the opening of an art show loosely connected to his film last night.

Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood, which will be open to the public in New York until March 29 (i.e. one day after the film comes out in theatres), features interpretations of the original biblical story “in painting, in drawing, in photography, in sculpture” — and it even includes four clips from the film, which are visible through peep holes.

At least two of these clips feature the Nephilim:

The footage––which is presented without sound and can be viewed by looking through four viewfinders positioned inside large rectangular columns––features a four-armed rock monster, wielding a chain and sword and knocking people away from the ark. In another clip, an angel made from what appears to be molten lava crawls out of the earth. (Funny enough, the backs of one of the columns was propped wide open during the exhibition, allowing any would-be bootlegger to take the footage and upload it to the Internet.)

Aronofsky has already tweeted several images from the exhibit, which I’ve embedded at this blog post, but you can see even more images here and here.

Note also Aronofsky’s intro to the exhibit, tweeted by The Film Stage:

At last night’s opening, Aronofsky also spoke with a reporter from Variety and told her that “there isn’t really a controversy” over his film:

“The controversy is all about the unknown and about the fear of people trying to exploit a Bible story,” Aronofsky said Thursday at a Gotham art exhibit promoting the film’s March 28 release. “It will all disappear as soon as people start seeing the film.” . . .

“The film was made for believers and non-believers,” helmer explained before guests arrived. “I’m more concerned about getting non-believers into the theater or people who are less religious. A lot of people are thinking, ‘Oh. I don’t want to go see a Bible movie,’ but we completely shook up all expectations and people will see that as soon as they sit down and watch the movie. That is kind of what this art show is all about.”

Aronofsky also commented on the making of Noah, which — having a budget more than double that of all his previous films combined — was the first of his films on which he was not guaranteed final cut:

“I come from a place where I have very limited resources and I keep making what I have better and better and better,” helmer said. “I think Paramount was about just trying everything that was possible. I’m very meticulous in my planning stage so I felt that it wasn’t going to fit together in different ways. The puzzle didn’t work that way, but you do learn things from the process (of not having final cut). It’s just a little bit painful. I’d rather just keep working on something and polishing it more and more.”

Studio re-cuts followed by test screenings of the $125 million pic made the 45-year-old director reflect on his next professional step.

“I love big movies and small movies and television,” helmer said. “I love storytelling, but I’m not going to make another (nine figure budget film) tomorrow. I need a break.”

It does not sound like any of Clint Mansell’s music for the film was included in the exhibit (or, if it was, none of the reports I have read have mentioned it so far). But fans of Mansell and his previous collaborations with Aronofsky won’t have to wait too long to hear his score; according to Amazon, it comes out on CD March 25, three days before the film.

Curiously, a search for “noah” at the Nonesuch website turns up a song called ‘Mercy: And He Remembered’, which is described as “Track 21 on Noah: Music from the Motion Picture by Clint Mansell + Kronos Quartet” — but clicking on the link takes you to an “access denied” page.

March 11 update: Flavorwire also has a post on the art show, with a few pictures and quotes from Aronofsky and others that have not appeared elsewhere yet.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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