“The Fountain” director answers reader questions
20 QUESTIONS WITH DARREN ARONOFSKY
You Asked. He Answered. Yep, the first of our ‘Ask our Celeb’ features is complete. Here are director Darren Aronofsky’s responses to all you folks that sent him a question to answer. And don’t forget to check out his new pic “The Fountain” at a theatre near you.
Jonathan Adams, W.A : Word is that those at Comic Con last year got treated to a 10minute preview of the film and LOVED IT. I also hear that some of the webmasters – Clint? Assumingly, too? – got to see the WHOLE uncut version of the film there. Now, how important is THAT audience… the COMIC-CON Audience?
Darren : The on-line community is a young, hip, independent, neuvo-dork audience that I am a proud member of. It was important to me to reach out to the community since they have been deeply supportive of Requiem, Pi and the making of The Fountain. So it was a thrill to show the film to the authors of many of the websites I visit all the time.
Ben : If I remember correctly, you came up with the idea whilst watching “The Matrix” with Jared Leto at a cinema. So, why isn’t Jared in the film? Was he ever considered? – Ben.
Darren: I really really wanted to work with an Australian actor, since Ozzies
make the best actors. Hugh was the obvious choice.
John, Sydney : What are your thoughts on the comparisons that people make between “The Fountain” and Kubrick’s “2001”?
Darren : Way premature.
Flassy, Wellington, NZ : Thanks for casting New Zealand’s Cliff Curtis in the movie. What was it about Cliff that you liked?
Darren : He’s a tremendous versatile artist.
Marie, Coff’s Harbord : Did you look at any similar movies in your preparation for “The Fountain” and also, how long did it take to write the script?
Darren : Many movies inspired The Fountain. Herzog’s Aguirre, Leone’s Once Upon a Time In America, Jodorowski’s The Holy Mountain to name a few. I wrote and re-wrote The Fountain pretty continuously from 1999-2005.
Andy Glass : Hi Darren, I am a big fan of yours. I especially love the music in that you have used in your films so far. What can you tell me about the process of creating the soundtrack for your films?
Darren : Making the music is always a war. Clint and I really push each other to do work unlike what we have done before. I get Clint involved at the story level and he’s there till pretty much the end.
Rob : Here is my question for Mr. Aronofsky: Darren, from what I have seen in all three of your films, the most interesting aspect to me is how you seem to play with the theme of obsession versus absence. Your protagonists have a particular obsession that drives them to the edge, but this obsession seems to be a means of filling a void or absence in their personal lives. For example, Max in Pi pushes himself to find this theoretical code to existence that suddenly shows up on his computer, but his drive seems motivated at points in reaction to his inability to cope with his desires for his neighbour Devi. If this is the case, do you intentionally give your characters these grand desires and diminish them with such basis human follies or is it something that inadvertently shows up in your work?
Darren : Wow, quite the question. Thank you for thinking about my work it is flattering. I do spend a lot of time thinking about the characters and what drives, what they love and hate, what they want and don’t want. But to be honest so much of the writing especially when it’s good is unconscious and i never really know what the film is until it is done anyway. So, I guess it’s a combo.
Mrs Caffeinated Clint : How did being a parent affect your professional life? Did you find that being a father gave you less time to work on your projects – how else did it change your life?
Darren : Time will tell. New father, no idea yet.
Candace : I’m so sad that you never got to make this film in Australia. Will you try and make something else, here?
Darren : I loved living and working in Oz. The crew we had was some of the best mates I’ve ever had. I was just learning to surf when they shut us down so yes I’d love to come back.
Melanie, Benalla : Is there an actor you haven’t worked with yet that you’d like to?
Darren : Many. Russell Crowe to start.
Daniel Estrella, New York City : What was your take on Batman going to be like? Were you going in the direction Chris Nolan went, or would you have retained some of the dark fantasy feel that Tim Burton brought to the character? What villain(s)would have been there to battle Batman, and would you have retold the origin story, or pulled a Singer and made your film a continuation of the past series?
Darren : I was never planning to direct Year One. I was more interested in
writing a screenplay with Frank Miller on Batman. My pitch was always very realistic. I wasn’t interested in fantasy, I was interested in the psychology of a real man dressing in a disguise to pay out real vengeance. The batmobile was a souped up lincoln continental with a bus engine. It was technical and rusty and extremely violent. They would have never let us have violence.
Christopher, Kew, Victoria : Why did you decide on Jackman and Weisz for the lead roles in “The Fountain”?
Darren : Jackman is the greatest entertainer in the world right now and Rachel is one of the great beauties to ever inhabit the silver screen.
Derek Green : Dear Mr. Aronofsky, You make what many could say as “risky” films, as they advance your unique and creative vision and do not conform to any Hollywood mold. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, how were you able to effectively make the artistically free films that we see today? What’s the secret to breaking in and doing what you do?
Darren : Direct from your heart. Tell the story you want to tell your friends, your family. Don’t worry about what might sell in China, tell your personal story. The more honest you get the more it will connect.
Jeannette, Ivanhoe : Darren, can we get an update on “Lone Wold and Cub” and “Black Flies”? I so can’t wait to see the movie versions of those
Darren : Both being written.
Peter, Footscray : Could you have done this movie say, in the 1980s? Or is it only possible to do now – with all the technology?
Darren : I could have done it but it would have been different. Always take
advantage of what’s around you in the Now.
John, North Ryde, NSW : Hi Darren, I heard that “The Fountain” took over 6 years to make. What was the experience of making this film compared to your past films such as “Pi” and “Requiem for A Dream”?
Darren : It’s all the same. Work Work and More Work.
Martin, East Brunswick : Will there be an extended cut of film on DVD, and are you doing a commentary?
Darren : The cut in the cinema is MY final cut. You are seeing the finished film on the screen and it will be the same on the dvd. There will not be a commentary.
Warlock, Wgga Wagga, NSW : I hear you’re involved in a film called “The Hunt” – but I don’t know any more about it than the title. Can you fill us in?
Darren : The Hunt is a great action film in the spirit of Predator. It is being
scripted by Lucas Sussman a college roommate of mine and the project is at Universal.
Oliver : Do you still make short films, if so, why?
Darren : Haven’t in awhile.
Mario Z, Vienna : My name is Mario. I am from Vienna, Austria and here is my question for Darren Aronofsky: Mr Aronofsky, Im looking forward to your new film “The Fountain”. I would like to know where did you get your inspiration for this very complex and ambitious story? Thanks in advance!
Darren : Mario – got the idea in a flash. Go see it and you will see what I