[Marxism] A Hard Rain » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 4 11:55:34 MDT 2014

Noah, Revised
A Hard Rain

More Tolkien than Torah, Darin Arinovsky’s “Noah” is a cinematic tour de 
force that combines breathtaking CGI-based imaginary landscapes with a 
film score by Clint Mansell that hearkens back to Hollywood’s golden age 
of Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner. Even without a single minute of 
dialog, the film achieves the mesmerizing quality of Godfrey Reggio’s 
Qatsi trilogy, especially the last installment Naqoyqatsi, the Hopi word 
for “Life at War”.

Like other films that view the bible as a theme to riff on in the manner 
of Miles Davis improvising on a banal tune like “Billy Boy”, Aronovsky 
takes the material of Genesis 5:32-10:1 and shapes it according to his 
own aesthetic and philosophical prerogatives. As might be expected, the 
Christian fundamentalists are not happy with the film since it turns 
Noah into something of a serial killer on an unprecedented scale, acting 
on what he conceives of as “the Creator’s” instructions, namely to bring 
the human race to an end. Religious Jews who have a literalist 
interpretation of the bible have been far less vocal, no doubt a 
function of the Hasidic sects viewing all movies as diversions from 
Torah studies. (For those with unfamiliarity with Jewish dogma, the 
Torah encompasses the first five books of the Old Testament that are 
replete with fables such as the Great Flood, many of which have inspired 
some classic cinematography, such as Charlton Heston splitting the Red Sea.)

Unlike the fable it is based on, Aronovsky’s Noah never received 
instructions about being fruitful and multiplying. His intention is to 
leave the planet to the animals and wind down the human race’s 
participation in the tree of life, to use the title of Terrence Malick’s 
overrated 2011 film. In my view, Aronovsky has much deeper thoughts and 
more sure-handed cinematic instincts than Malick could ever hope for. To 
pick only one scene, the massive moving carpet of animals headed toward 
the Ark is a CGI tour de force. Instead of a stately procession in 
circus parade fashion, it is more like a zoological tsunami that 
anticipates the great tsunami soon to follow.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/04/a-hard-rain-2/

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