Sound editors give Aronofsky a special award + interview round-up with the sound editors and designers of Noah

NOAHSound plays a key role in Darren Aronofsky’s films, and Noah is no exception. From the sudden silences (one of which highlights Ila’s sobbing after Noah announces his plans for her child) to the unexpected sound effects (such as a giant breath shutting the door to the Ark after Noah stumbles inside), Noah relies on its sound design as much as it does on its strong visuals and its edgy, provocative script.

So it makes sense that the Motion Picture Sound Editors announced today that they will be giving Aronofsky a special award at the Golden Reel Awards on February 15.

This does not necessarily mean that Noah is a shoo-in for any of the more competitive awards, either at the Golden Reel Awards or at the Oscars. Recall how Exodus: Gods and Kings was left off the Academy’s shortlist for the visual-effects award even though the Visual Effects Society is giving director Ridley Scott a lifetime achievement award at its next awards ceremony on February 4. But it’s a nice nod just the same.

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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 interview round-up: the visual-effects artists

vlcsnap-2014-08-07-21h30m54s105Noah has been out on Blu-Ray for over a week now, and new interviews with the filmmakers are popping up here and there. The Chicago Sun-Times has a new interview with Ben Snow, who oversaw the visual effects on the film, so I figured I might as well create an “interview round-up” for the visual-effects artists similar to the round-ups I’ve already created for director Darren Aronofsky, co-writer Ari Handel (updated today!) and cinematographer Matthew Libatique.

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Noah on Blu-Ray: some quick notes on the bonus features

noah-target-aThe Noah Blu-Ray is here — and with it, a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff that we have never seen before. Here are some quick notes on the bonus features.

First, a reminder that different editions of the film come with different bonus features.

As far as I know, seven bonus features have been released one way or another so far, and all of them are available on the “exclusive” Target edition of the Blu-Ray. (The bilingual packaging on the disc I bought here in Canada listed only six bonus features, but the actual disc had all seven.) But only three of them are available on the Blu-Ray that is available everywhere else.

Also, three bonus features are apparently included if you purchase the film directly from iTunes (if you use iTunes to get the free “digital copy” that comes with your disc, you won’t get any bonus features, just the film), but one of the iTunes bonus features is actually from the Target disc and not from the regular Blu-Ray.

Confused yet? I’ll try to sort it all out below.

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Noah Blu-Ray options: do you want more bonus features, a steelbook package, or a Christian pop music CD?

One of the more regrettable trends these days is the tendency on the part of some studios to release multiple versions of a single DVD or Blu-Ray release. Nowadays, it’s not enough to put out two basic versions — a single disc with just the movie and a two-disc set with a bunch of bonus features — and release them both to all the retailers. Instead, the studios sometimes release multiple editions that are specific to individual retailers, so that each retailer can offer a different set of bonus features that none of the other retailers have.

Paramount Home Video is one of the worst offenders when it comes to this — just ask any Star Trek fan — so it comes as no surprise to hear that they are doing something similar with Noah, which comes out July 29.

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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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