Mark Joseph is dead wrong about Aronofsky’s “Noah”


In a recent Hollywood Reporter article, Christian film consultant Mark Joseph commented on the controversy surrounding Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming film Noah, saying,

The director is there to serve the studio and the audience, not veer off into directions that go against the core audience’s beliefs — at least if the goal is to get them to come to the theater.

In other words, according to Joseph, the director’s job is to create propaganda–and money–not art.

My two-word response: bull-sh*t.

Since when is art supposed to affirm an audience’s core beliefs? To me, that’s not art; it’s propaganda. Great art always challenges our core beliefs. It provides us with a new way of looking at the world. That’s exactly how I would describe Aronofsky’s body of work up to this point. So the fact Noah rankles those who consider themselves “the keepers of the Book” should come as no surprise.

Furthermore, art is about interpretation, not representation. Case in point: Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Aronofsky’s job as an artist is to be faithful to his vision (and, to be fair, his initial agreement with the studio) not some evangelical’s particular literal interpretation of the Bible. And say what you like about The Passion, Gibson’s film proved an artist can be both iconoclastic and profitable.

Unlike Mark Joseph, I can’t wait to see Noah, precisely because I suspect it’s going to show me the character of Noah and the story of the Flood in a way I’ve never imagined before.

And for Aronofsky’s sake, I hope I’m not alone.

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