Second impressions: Noah (dir. Darren Aronofsky, 2014)

The first time I saw Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, I took six pages of notes, and I watched it with the memory of an early draft of the screenplay lingering in my brain. So I was distracted on at least two levels: by a need to jot down as many quotes and facts as I could, and by an awareness of how the script had evolved. Never mind people who obsess over how the film may or may not have deviated from Genesis; I kept thinking of how the film was deviating from that early script!

Needless to say, I don’t normally take that kind of background knowledge to the theatre when I go to see a movie, and I knew it wouldn’t be fair to Noah to hold that knowledge against it either. I also knew I needed to just sit back and watch the movie like a proper movie, to bask in the drama and let it unfold.

And so, on Wednesday morning, I saw the film a second time. And I can think of no better way to sum up the difference between my two viewings of the film than to say that I didn’t cry at all the first time I saw Noah, but I shed tears on a few separate occasions the second time I saw it. It’s a powerful, powerful film.

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Noah has a big first weekend, but what do audiences think?

The box-office estimates are in for this weekend, and the news on that front is very good for Noah, and perhaps for the Bible-movie genre as a whole.

Audience reactions to the film, however, are more of a mixed bag, which could affect the film’s long-term prospects.

Noah made an estimated $44 million in the United States and Canada between Thursday night and Sunday, and it has earned another $51.1 million overseas; the film opened in Mexico and South Korea one week ago and opened in another 20 territories on Thursday or Friday.

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A new Noah clip, and an early box-office report

Noah is out in theatres now, and many of you have probably seen it for yourselves already — but in case you needed to watch one more clip before buying your ticket, the studio has released one. And like every other clip they’ve released so far, this one is carefully edited to avoid any hint of the Nephilim. Check it out — along with some information on the film’s box-office performance so far — below the jump.

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Darren Aronofsky on “dominion” vs “stewardship”, and how the Exxon Valdez spill inspired his take on the Nephilim

Speaking of things that inspired Noah director Darren Aronofsky when he was young, he wrote an article for the Huffington Post today on a trip he made to Alaska in 1986, and how it affected his views on the environment and the stewardship of creation, etc.

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Aronofsky’s Noah: the poem that started it all is now online!

Variety has a story on Vera Fried, the now-retired teacher who inspired Darren Aronofsky to write an award-winning poem about Noah shortly before his 13th birthday. She attended the New York premiere of Aronofsky’s film last night, and she makes a few amusing comments about how he tracked her down years later, and how he seemed to have lost his knack for good punctuation in the interim.

She also reveals that she actually has two scenes in the film — one with Russell Crowe, which has been public knowledge for at least six weeks, and another one in which she plays one of the floating corpses, presumably in Noah’s vision of the Flood.

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Noah at the movies — the article’s up!

My article on the portrayal of Noah in film is now up at CT Movies.

It looks at how the story of the Flood has been told — and, in a couple cases, modernized — in Noah’s Ark (1928), Green Pastures (1936), The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966), Genesis: The Creation and the Flood (1994), Testament: The Bible in Animation (1996), Noah (1998), Noah’s Ark (1999), Evan Almighty (2007) and, of course, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014).

It’s not an exhaustive list by any means — I would have liked to include a note about the three short Noah-themed Disney cartoons produced between 1933 and 1999, in particular — but I think I was pushing my word limit as it was.


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