Supercuts explore key visual motifs in Aronofsky’s films


Back in October, I posted a series of screencaps demonstrating the visual and thematic links between Noah and Darren Aronofsky’s earlier films. One of these days, if I ever familiarize myself with video editing software, I might do something similar in video form. In the meantime, “supercuts” that chart the visual links between Aronofsky’s films — up to and including Noah — have begun to surface. You can check out two of them below the jump, and I will add more to this post if any come along.

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The thematic and visual links between Noah and Darren Aronofsky’s earlier films: a gallery

vlcsnap-2014-10-03-16h13m51s23The six films made by Darren Aronofsky to date all tackle different genres and subjects, but they also have some striking things in common.

For one thing, they have generally been made by the same creative team, including composer Clint Mansell (who has scored all six of Aronofsky’s films), cinematographer Matthew Libatique (who has shot all of Aronofsky’s films except for The Wrestler) and a number of recurring actors (such as Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn and especially Mark Margolis).

But the films also have some thematic overlaps. As I mentioned in my review of Noah for Books & Culture, Aronofsky films often dwell on the notion that it is impossible to touch perfection and survive. They also tend to revolve around characters who are obsessed with something, often to the characters’ detriment. And more often than not, they tend to make references to the Bible, some more pronounced than others.

And that brings us to Noah. When the film came out, a number of critics (such as The Playlist’s Drew Taylor) noted that it had some striking things in common with The Fountain in particular. But Noah actually harks back — visually and thematically — to pretty much all of Aronofsky’s earlier films to one degree or another.

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Noah gears up for release in Japan and the Philippines

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has had a difficult time getting released overseas in some countries. First some Muslim countries banned it for its lack of piety, and then China — the second-largest moviegoing market in the world — banned it for being too religious.

The film also had to put off its release in the Philippines, due to a dispute between two distributors. But now at least that has been taken care of, as various sites are reporting that the film is due to open in the Philippines on June 11 — which might mean that the film has already opened there, given that that country is on the other side of the International Date Line.

Articles on the film, containing quotes from various people, have recently appeared on news sites based in the Philippines, but it is not clear to me whether these articles contain any new quotes or are simply repeating stuff from other articles.

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Flood Theology

NOAHDarren Aronofsky makes movies about obsessive people. To be the protagonist in an Aronofsky film is to be a mathematician who studies the stock market looking for hidden or even mystical patterns, or a middle-aged woman who takes drastic measures to lose weight because she thinks she will be on television soon, or a scientist who neglects his wife because he’s trying to cure her terminal illness, or a wrestler or ballet dancer who would literally rather die than miss an opportunity to give the performance of a lifetime.

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Box-office update: Noah slips out of the top ten; Heaven Is for Real and God’s Not Dead have decent holds

For the first time since it came out four weeks ago, Noah fell out of the top ten — and behind God’s Not Dead — at the North American box office this weekend.

Both God’s Not Dead and Noah are currently playing in about 1,600 theatres. But where God’s Not Dead took in an estimated $2.8 million and landed in the #11 spot, Noah took in $2.3 million and landed at #14.

Noah also took in another $11.1 million overseas, benefiting from strong holds in France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Spain, Turkey and especially Brazil.

Noah has grossed $97.3 million in North America and another $222.7 million overseas, for a global total of $320 million. God’s Not Dead, for its part, has grossed $52.7 million in North America and has presumably made more money overseas, where it has been playing for a few weeks now, but no foreign figures are available at Box Office Mojo yet.

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Noah interview round-up: d.p. Matthew Libatique

I already have “interview round-ups” for director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel, so hey, why not one for cinematographer Matthew Libatique, who actually shot the images without which a film like Noah couldn’t exist?

Libatique went to film school with Aronofsky and has shot all but one of his feature films (the exception being 2008’s The Wrestler). Libatique even shot a couple of Aronofsky’s early short films!

Libatique has also worked multiple times with filmmakers like Spike Lee (She Hate Me, Inside Man, Miracle at St. Anna), Joel Schumacher (Tigerland, Phone Booth, The Number 23) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens).

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