Noah by Darren Aronofsky
«Show, don't tell, it's the rule of cinema», and it is important not to confuse art with advertising. This is very well understood by non-Christian producers, who instead of an open message usually trust the symbol and the metaphor ... (From the book "Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture")
In 2014, when the film Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, was released, the world was overwhelmed, confused. That year we went to the cinema hoping to meet us with a white-bearded Noah, a huge wooden boat, and animals of all kinds entering this boat in an orchestral organized manner.
But as the minutes passed, and the story unfolded, we found a Russel Crowe with his head scraped! "Stone monsters" guarding the ark, antagonists taken from some primitive dystopian comic! Noah aroused various reactions, for those who were not familiar with the original biblical story, it was an entertaining movie, for those who knew the original story, it all boiled down to one word: Heresy!
The magic of this art called cinema is wonderful, because it can take us to incredible universes created from worlds that we already know.
As rarely in the cinema, we were in front of a clear, very clear example of a work developed from a rereading.
Definition of rereading
: an act of reading something again especially from a different perspective
Whenever Hollywood releases a film based on biblical stories, usually with the director's private vision, the Christian audience gets their hair standing on end and their clothes are torn (this happened with ALL the religious films produced by Hollywood, from the famous Moises to The passion of Christ!).
Very well, we need to understand is that Noah is a reinterpretation of the recognized biblical history, but wait!! What is a rereading ?: Just as there are several interpretations of a work of art, there are several possibilities for rereading that work. A good rereading will depend on a good understanding in reading the work. Rereading a work is totally different from just reproducing it, as it is necessary to interpret well what is seen and to exercise creativity. The most important thing is to create something new that maintains a link with the source that served as inspiration. A good rereading proposal is based on prior knowledge of the artist and the work: the time in which he lived, his biography, artists he admired, other artists of his time, the theme of the work and other works of his, the technique used , etc.
The following step we must know before watching a film is about the director, the creative mind behind the story:
Darren Aronofsky is director, screenwriter and American producer born in Brooklyn. Her family is Jewish and her parents are teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky.
Deciding to become a filmmaker since his youth, Aronofsky studied at Harvard University and briefly passed the American Film Institute. During this educational period, he directed his short films “Supermarket Sweep” (1991), “Fortune Cookie” (1991) and “Protozoa” (1993). (http://www.alohacriticon.com/elcriticon/article5237.html )
The stories of Old Testament characters such as Abraham, Moses, David, or even Noah, in Jewish culture for many these characters are considered patriotic heroes, saviors of a nation, sources of inspiration. That is why the film Noah has this comic cartoon tone, because the style adopted was "comic".
The cinematographic language, unlike others, is a language in its own right, because cinema, unlike any other artistic discipline, works constantly supported by the challenge of interpretation and reading of symbols. For this reason, we can watch the same film 100 times, and we will always "discover" something new within it. Watching a movie with the same intuition that we have when we eat popcorn is something that hardly leaves anything transcendental to think about. Darren Aronofsky is currently one of the most influential Jewish artists in the Hollywood industry, a medium where producing a film with religious content is an "anomaly" because for logical reasons, not everyone is interested in spending money to do something that speaks of religion. For this reason, Noah's director took years to develop the idea of starting to produce this film.
Is Noah a movie inspired by a biblical character? yes, and it is told using the best comic style (in fact, there are hundreds of comic books about Jesus, and the biblical stories, and nobody considers them as something wrong!), the film was first presented as a comic book for later on these comics develop the proposal of the film. Noah is told from the point of view of a person who understands history much more deeply than any of us because of his Jewish culture and heritage.
Never watch a movie without needing to interpret, Noah is an excellent film loaded with moral values and principles, and not because the film's Noah doesn't have a handkerchief and a white beard, it doesn't mean it's a HERESY! (??)
If the director has risked his reputation in any way, by investing millions of dollars (investor dollars which is worse!) It is because something is believing on your film, don't you think?
Noah talks about family, talks about the responsibility that demands a commissioned mission, talks about the challenges of facing everyone for an ideal, talks about respect and selflessness towards the Creator of all things.
As well as the Bible, which is not a literal book, but a literary work, the purest form of art, be it through cinema, music, or any other form of expression, the main proposal for the viewer is to be able to interpret, analyze, to think. And Noah is a movie designed to make us think.
I think this movie is an example of how a religious movie needs to be constructed. First, it should give the privilege of interpreting freely, second, the author should immerse himself in a detailed study of what he intends to tell, and third, escape the obvious. And then feel free to write an original version (This in Christian cinema mainly does not happen!)
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