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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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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Noah interview round-up: director Darren Aronofsky

When I interviewed Darren Aronofsky in New York four weeks ago, it was the first time I had heard him discuss his film Noah in the context of midrash, a form of Jewish narrative interpretation of the scriptures. But he has certainly brought it up quite a bit in the interviews he has done since then.

For example, it’s right there in the headline that sits atop the interview that Huffington Post religion editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush did with Aronofsky and his co-writer Ari Handel (‘Noah: A Midrash by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel’). A couple sample quotes:
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Noah video round-up: Tubal-Cain rallies the troops in a new clip, plus a new featurette on the animals and a new TV spot

I’m too busy actually writing about Noah these days to spend much time analyzing the videos the way I used to, but the film comes out in two days so you’ll have a chance to see it all soon anyway. In the meantime, here are a few new videos that the studio has released since yesterday.

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Exclusive: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel on how they developed the script and where they really got the name for Emma Watson’s character in Noah

My interviews with Darren Aronofsky: 1998 | 2014 pt 1 | 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 two of our conversation. You can read part one here. The film comes out Thursday night.

I’ve heard multiple times about the poem that you wrote, was that high school or is that late elementary, or–?

Darren Aronofsky: That was seventh grade, so I was like 12, 13, probably.

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Noah video round-up: a new clip, a new music video, and soundbites from faith leaders and filmmakers alike

The movie officially comes out in North America on Friday, but plenty of theatres will be showing it Thursday night. So with three days to go until the film comes out, the studio has released another clip from Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. You can check it out below the jump, along with a new (and possibly unauthorized) music video for the theme song that Patti Smith wrote for the film, as well as some interview clips with the filmmakers and with “faith leaders” who have endorsed the film.

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