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Sunday, 6 April 2014

I Smell Ararat

A fascinating read, this interview on the man who made Noah. No, I don't mean Methuselah. Although I'm still obsessed by the all-important question - did Methuselah die in the flood? Or did God let him die first?

I don't think anybody can complain about additional material in the movie. If Aronofsky had stayed true to the Good Book, he had two choices - either the film would use all the Biblical material in about 10 minutes, or else it would be immensely long, and include 40 days of people looking out the window, wondering when it was going to stop raining, and feeding animals. Neither would be great. Sure, he could have done the 10 minute version followed by a 2-hour sermon on why we should repent or be drowned for our awful gay ways. In fact, maybe somewhere in Uganda or Arkansas that very movie is being produced. But it wouldn't have been Hollywood box office.

So I think, if you're doing Noah, you have to pad it out. Of course, the story is one overloaded with myth and metaphor - it's about faithfulness and commitment, both God's and the Family Noah's. It's about that all-important Jewish concept of remnant - we can rebuild, again and again, from the few that held on, through divine mercy, their own tenacity or an enemy's foolishness. And it's about the sneaking suspicion that God is more awesome and less predictable and cuddly than the bearded grandad-on-a-cloud we sometimes like to think.

Obviously though people will complain about the film. But they - whether atheists or fundamentalists - just want to get some attention. Don't let them spoil it for the other children, I say.

So good luck to the film. I must make time to go and see it. I wonder if there's sea-elves?

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