The Fountain: spiritual love odyssey through time, space and philosophy

The Fountain: spiritual love odyssey through time, space and philosophy


November 22
Granville Cinemas
Vancouver, BC
pre-screening event

(view trailer)



Darren Aronofsky has
written and directed an incredibly beautiful movie about love, death,
spirituality, and eternal life beyond death.  This movie ties
together metaphysics, ancient Mayan beliefs and
juxtaposes them against the physicalities of life and death in the
early 21st Century.  This movie belongs to the category of spiritual drama that inclu
des What Dreams May Come, and Peaceful Warrior.  Many people will not understand this
movie, and simply shake their heads and mutter words like
“bizarre.”  But life is not linear nor a monoculture. 

Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz
star as lovers in the present time.  He is a medical research
surgeon doing brain tumor research.  Ironically, she is dying of a
brain tumor.  Ellen Burstyn plays a research colleague or senior advisor.

In a past life sequence, Rachel Weisz was Queen Isabella of Spain,
during the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  Hugh Jackman was a
conquistador who travelled to the New World of America in search of
“The Fountain of Life” or in this case… “The Tree of Life.” 
Queen Isabella says that the bible tells of two trees:  The Tree
of Knowledge from which Adam and Eve ate the apple, and the Tree of
Life.  Jackman's conquistador is sent to the Mayan jungles from
which he is discover for the glory and savior of Spain.

In a spiritual sequence, Jackman is travelling through space in a small
globe containing the Tree of Life.  He meditates
in the lotus position.  This is probably representing his “soul”or
eternal being.  Bald, Hugh Jackman looks like Ken Wilber,
the prolific transpersonal pscyhology author, whose work I have read
since 1990.  It is too much of a coincidence that Wilber's wife
Treya died of a brain tumor, documented in the book Grace and
Grit
, which detailed their Buddhist spiritual beliefs.

The Fountain doesn't really go deep into explaining the ancient Mayan
beliefs of life and death.  The opening scenes are in a jungle as
conquistadors are attacked by Mayan warriors.  In present time,
Weisz's character Izzy, explains to her husband Tommy (Jackman) that
the Mayans believed a specific star constellation was home to the Mayan
underworld.  Some of the beliefs are explained when Tommy reads
Izzy's manuscript that she is writing, titled “The Fountain.”

This is definitely an art movie. The editing and sequencing between the
three time-lines flow in themes rather than linear story telling. 
The special effects are wondrous and beautiful, specifically the scenes
where the meditating Tommy and the “Tree of Life” are travelling
through space to the star constellation. The movie Brainstorm
came to mind because of the spiritual aspects of life beyond death
combined with special effects that try to translate the unknowing to
the audience. 

The Fountain is a brave movie that attempts to share spiritual wisdom
through the telling of a story. It balances three story lines that
challenge the notions of time, or the division of past, present and
future.  Everything blurs into a “now” as there are many scenes that are
repeated later in the movie which give
the viewer a more insightful understanding to the actions and context. 

While through many different cultures, there are many stories of the
after-life and of how we are actually spiritual beings having a
physical experience, rather than physical beings in quest of a
spiritual experience… it is difficult to explain to non-believers
what lies outside their belief structures.  The Dalai Lama was
once asked the question about his belief in reincarnation.  His
reply was a laugh, asking how could one not believe in
reincarnation.  It is like air.  We breathe it but we cannot
see it or touch it.  It simply is. 


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