Thursday, November 14, 2013

Darren Aronofsky's Noah Heralds In The Return Of The Biblical Epic

Isn't it funny how the film industry always seems to move in patterns? How 3D came and went and came and went and finally came again? Well it looks as though this trend will be forthright with the Biblical Epic in suit.

Noah appears to be the first such flick to bring us back to the heyday of the 1920s and later the 1950s. It comes at a time when I don't know if it's the kind of film anybody was expecting. But there is a great history of quality Biblical Epics from the titular The Ten Commandments (1956) to one of the greatest films of all time, Ben-Hur (1959). Such films always seemed to break the mold and go for bigger and grander ideas... and budgets.
What's so interesting to me this time around is the subject chosen by Aronofsky. Noah, to my mind, has never had a truly big budget interpretation on film. And up until now I suppose I can understand this. The concept of Noah is one of questionable decisions. It creates a fearful idea of what a god could be while also allowing its main character to make incredibly questionable decisions. If I remember the story correctly, Noah is chastised in the end for not further questioning his god's choice to kill everyone on the planet.
So I get why no one really wanted to pick this project up back in the 50s when religion was still seemingly in control of the vast majority of the population. Between Black Swan, The Wrestler, and Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky has proven himself to be a great filmmaker. And even with the stumbling of his The Fountain, that film was still quite beautiful and, were he given the budget and cast he had initially begun it with, had the potential to be great. I'll trust him with this material. In fact, between these two trailers I think he's already proving the story has much more depth than I initially would have assumed.

I think you'll see me there at the theatre on opening weekend.

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