No, Noah is not Gnostic. (Say that ten times fast!)

Thanks to a lengthy blog post by Brian Mattson, a theologian with the the Center for Cultural Leadership in California, the latest meme to work its way into public discussion of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is that the film is somehow Gnostic, and that it presents a worldview in which God is really Satan and vice versa.

Is there anything to Mattson’s claims? Not really, and here’s why.

[Read more...]

Exclusive: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel on biblical accuracy and combining science and religion in Noah

My interviews with Darren Aronofsky: 1998 | 2014 pt 1 | 2014 pt 2 | 2014 pt 4

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and speaking to both Aronofsky and his co-writer/co-producer Ari Handel immediately after the screening. The following is part three of our conversation. Click on the links for parts one and two. The film comes out tomorrow night.

Warning: This section of the interview begins with a spoiler from the film’s third act.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the question of “accuracy.” It’s a word that comes up constantly in relation to Bible films, I think because people are afraid of creativity, and yet of course your film does definitely follow certain things like the measurements of the Ark, and yet on the other hand your film has only one wife for one of Noah’s kids–

[Read more...]

Exclusive: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel on the meaning of “righteousness”, whether villains can believe in God, and the hurdles they faced when pitching Noah

My interviews with Darren Aronofsky: 1998 | 2014 pt 2 | 2014 pt 3 | 2014 pt 4

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and speaking to both Aronofsky and his co-writer/co-producer Ari Handel immediately after the screening. The following is part one of our conversation. The film comes out Thursday night.

I don’t know if I should admit this, but a copy of an early draft of your script drifted my way, so when I read it, I was struck by the justice and mercy theme, and it was really interesting to see that here in the finished film.

Darren Aronofsky: Well, that was a big part of the movie for us. I think when Ari and I started working on the project and we started reading the Bible over and over again, there’s this term where they call Noah “righteous,” and so what does that word mean? People sort of have a sense of what the word means, but there’s a lot of ways to define it when you really try to figure it out, and so we started talking to a lot of people and looking it up and tried to understand it, and a lot of the different theologians and scholars that talk about it, we came upon this idea that it was a perfect balance of justice and mercy.

[Read more...]

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

It’s tempting to say that Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has brought back the Bible epic. It’s certainly the first major live-action Bible movie to be produced by a Hollywood studio in decades. But the fascinating thing about this film is how utterly different it is from the Bible movies that came before it. Aronofsky has not revived the genre so much as he has utterly transformed it.

Unlike most Bible films, which take place within decidedly historical contexts, Noah is based on the earliest, most “mythic” chapters of Genesis, as well as some of the Jewish legends that have grown up around those chapters. Building on the ancient otherworldliness of these stories, Aronofsky has created a grounded yet somewhat fantastical environment that is, at times, strikingly reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings movies.

But the core biblical themes — of temptation, wickedness and punishment — are still there, and Aronofsky infuses the genre with his own personal style, not least in his use of haunting dream sequences and in his focus on a morally ambiguous protagonist.

Put it all together and you’ve got something quite unique.

[Read more...]

Review: π (dir. Darren Aronofsky, 1998)

It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a good movie, just a good dose of moxie. For proof, look no further than Darren Aronofsky’s brilliant first feature film π, which he shot for a paltry U.S. $60,000, a sum he raised by asking everyone he knew to give him a hundred dollars. The film was an out-of-nowhere success at the Sundance Film Festival last January.

Aronofsky won the best director prize and a distributor snapped up the film for a cool million bucks. It is now in limited release across the continent.

π has something for everyone, at least if you’re a fan of chaos theory, stock markets, techno music, cyberpunk conspiracy thrillers and/or Jewish mysticism. It follows the travails of one Max Cohen (played by co-screenwriter Sean Gullette), a brainy mathematician convinced that there are patterns underlying and determining the course of this seemingly chaotic universe. To test his theory, Max gives his room-sized computer the task of analyzing and predicting developments on Wall Street.

[Read more...]

Interview: Darren Aronofsky (π, 1998)

Darren Aronofsky shot his brilliant debut feature film Pi for a paltry U.S. $60,000, a sum he raised partly by asking everyone he knew to give him $100 in exchange for a place in the film’s credits.

The film concerns a brainy mathematician named Max who is convinced that there is a pattern — perhaps of divine origin — underlying the apparently chaotic universe. Wall Street brokers and Kabbalistic Jews agree, and they want to use the secrets locked inside Max’s brain.

Inventive imagery, creative montage and, above all, some truly interesting ideas raise this film above the more pedestrian flicks that fall under the “independent film” umbrella these days. Aronofsky discussed some of those ideas with Two Chairs during a phone interview shortly before his film opened at the Fifth Avenue theatre.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X