Saturday, November 25, 2006

You are all going to hate me...

and probably lose tons of respect for me after I disclose this information. Especially since I've gone on and on in the last few months about my distaste for this particular film. But first, let me frame the situation: my cousins and I planned on watching Casino Royale tonight, but by the time we got to the theatre, the 7:15 show had sold out (and the next was at 10:15 or so.) The only film playing in the same time frame that all of us had interest in watching was The Fountain. I agreed to see it again, because even though I disliked it the first time around, I thought a second viewing might prove beneficial.

And gosh, it was a totally different experience this time around. I can't explain it; maybe back in September, my festival fatigue made me more pessimistic and impatient than usual. Maybe I was sitting too close to the screen. Can it be that my expectations were just too high that nothing would have lived upto them?

Tonight though, it worked. I was completely drained by the end, and had shed my share of tears. What does this mean? I don't even know if the film is a total success, but I feel that my prior review is kind of useless now. This is a very strange situation; never has my reaction to a film gone 180 in such a short span of time.

Anyways, just thought I would offer a sort of confessional post to explain the question mark.

13 comments:

adam k. said...

Hmm. I haven't really lost respect for you... but maybe I have, since now I definitely can't trust you when you say things like "don't worry, stick to your guns, you GOT it." Haha. Trying to convince me or yourself? ; )

Now I think I have to see it again, too. I could never quite dismiss it even if it didn't affect me much the first time. But I didn't care much for Pi (wherever the symbol is) way back when, so I wonder if I'll ever really groove on Aronofsky's "try-to-make-epic-problems-out-of-nothing" sensibility. Even though you'd think, based on my personality, that I would... whatever. I am seeing it again.

adam k. said...

Actually, come to think of it, Brokeback Mountain didn't really hit me the first time around either. It was mostly an expectations thing. Nothing could possibly have lived up to the hype I'd built up for it. Then on the second viewing I was able to experience it on its own terms, and suddenly I loved it.

And really, the whole theme of learning to live life for the moments instead of always trying to make sure I have more moments - fighting the lure of hollow immortality - has always resonated with me. So you'd think I'd love this film.

Maybe Nathaniel will help clear this up. I'm often bad at forming opinions of films without his guidance.

adam k. said...

Oh, also, for the record, I had assumed its budget was MUCH higher than it actually was ($35 million), so it looks like it at least won't go down as a huge financial failure... though I do wonder how much it can make. Hmmm...

Emma said...

No respect lost, just glad to know that The Fountain is a film worth giving a second chance.

lauren said...

Really Ali...

All this seeing of movies without me. I thought we had something special. Granted, Marie A. was my fault but it's almost my birthday so I can be forgiven. But a re-viewing of a movie I showed interest in? Clearly you have moved on (*sobs*).

No, I don't hate you, I'm more angry at myself for believing all your pretty talk about "watching all the must see movies of the year together" and "meeting every wednesday at 1 without fail".

I guess we'll have to shop more often to make up for your cinematic infidelity. I should have known, what with those eyelashes and all...

lauren

JavierAG said...

Wow. This is fascinating. Did you see David's blog today?

Ali said...

Adam - And I only wrote that comment a few hours before I left for the theatre. How quickly things can change; this is all a very humbling experience. But I would feel really guilty if I let the grade stand just to save face. It's a really difficult thing for me to admit that I am wrong. Wait, I'm not even sure that I'm wrong.

*tears out hair*

I think you're onto something with the "expectations" argument. At the festival, I was in line for SIX HOURS to get a seat, and I wasn't the happiest camper in the world. I don't know - everything that seemed hokey and facile the first time around didn't bother me at all last night. It still has its irksome elements, and I think the film is way too short in order to articulate all it wants to say. But I don't know if a "C" rightfully reflects this. B-? B?

My theatre was less than 1/3 full, so I think the box office numbers will be rather depressing. I'm sure it will break even with DVD - Warner Brothers isn't really putting much effort into the marketing. Haven't seen one measly t.v. spot.

Emma - Yes, now this proves that second viewings should be mandatory for all!

Lauren - But you see, the intention was for Casino Royale. And it was between The Fountain and Happy Feet as an alternative. Can you blame me? Singing penguins is not my idea of a good time.

I will surely see this again with you. If two viewings of a film hasn't given me any confidence, maybe the third time's the charm? Wednesday after your class? It's only playing at the Paramount.

Javier - Sorry. I must seem very indecisive about this particular film. It's my #1 anticipated of the year, it's my biggest disappoint, and now it's my biggest question mark.

*pulls out more hair*

Ali said...

/disappointment, I meant.

*is bald*

DL said...

God, I need to see this. Even before all these positive-to-super reviews started coming out amongst the overwhelming chorus of boos from the nation's top critics, it was still my most anticipated of the year.

And what a divisive year 2006 has become. Not only is everybody disagreeing about, like, every single movie but there hasn't really been one movie that has everyone enamoured (although I think Volver comes close), unlike last year with A History of Violence and Brokeback Mountain and the year before with Sideways. But there's still a couple of huge question marks (most notably Dreamgirls) that no one's really seen yet, so maybe I should just shut up and wait.

lauren said...

naturaly I forgive you. mostly because of the eyelashes.

jesse said...

This sounds like me and 2046!

So watch out, it might become one of your new favorite films. :D

Kamikaze Camel said...

Adam, the budget for the current incarnation is $35mil but remember this movie has been in various stages of production for about 4/5 years so I'm sure it wracked up a bit of coins in that time.

Shannon said...

The Fountain sure isn't a film for everyone but I thought it was great. It's amazing how films can be different depending on the context of which you seem them, and your expectations. You waited 6hrs at TIFF to see it? Geez, that sucks :( I'm glad that seeing it again was seeing it with new eyes!