Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

An Honest Answer: Darren Aronofsky Should Direct Everything

In defense of my favorite filmmaker. Even if Noah departs too much from the Bible it's still likely to be the best film of the year, like all of the director's previous films.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

October 23, 2013 - 1:30 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

requiem-for-a-dream-poster

Stephen Green asks the question and I give the answer: Darren Aronofsky, director of the upcoming $125 million biblical epic Noah, has been my favorite director since I was a senior in high school more than a decade ago. All of his films are awesome and anyone who disagrees with me on this is wrong. They have just not learned how to engage intellectually with the layers of meaning embedded in Aronofsky’s films. His five movies are each stand-outs in their genres:

1998′s low-budget, sci-fi thriller Pi is smart, artsy, and visually unique. It’s hard to think of more intelligent, creative science fiction films in the last 15 years.

2000′s unrated, ultra-depressing drug drama Requiem for a Dream remains my favorite film of all time, one I saw four times while it was in theaters. I have never experienced a film that delivers as intense of an emotional experience than Requiem. It is perfection in all realms across editing, music, acting, writing, and cinematography. The best drug film, the best movie about addiction, and really the scariest, best horror movie of all time too.

2006′s deeply under-appreciated sci-fi fantasy epic The Fountain is overwhelmingly beautiful, the opposite of Requiem. It’s Aronofsky’s 2001 except with soul. I could have this move on repeat all day.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
no kidding, I would put Chris Nolan up against anyone.


The fountain? really? it seemed overly masturbatic to me......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No disrespect, dude. I can sense your passion for film. Just be careful when you use phrases like "perfect" film, and then forget to give shout outs to Chris Nolan, JJ Abrams, Tom Hooper, and Sofia Coppola. I absolutely love Darren, but he has a VERY specific style. He loves tragedy and loss. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for that. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for Spielberg. And you cut off at 50 - with David Fincher being 51 years old.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is just silly.
I like Aronofsky's work very much, he's unquestionably one of the best younger filmmakers working today.
However - there is no such thing as a director who should direct "everything". Directors have individual sensibility and texture - as do individual films. Some directors are better for some projects than others. I don't think Aronofsky would be particularly suited for a large-scale action film, or slapstick comedy - and I wouldn't know what to expect from him working on a musical.
Aronofsky's particularity - which makes him great - also limits his scope. Directors who direct "everything" are necessarily generic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I don't think Aronofsky would be particularly suited for a large-scale action film, or slapstick comedy - and I wouldn't know what to expect from him working on a musical."

I disagree. I think truly talented, great directors are capable of learning how to master any genre over the course of careers that should span at least half a century, longer with today's technology. And I would like to see Aronofsky on a large-scale, Avengers-style action film. I would like to see his version of slapstick, and he could do musicals much better than that Baz Luhrmann hack. I even think Aronofsky could do a G-rated Disney film if he really wanted to.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're doubling down on silly. Stating that anything Aronofsky chose to do would be great - just because - is pure fanboyism. How do you have any idea what Aronosfky could do with a musical?

50 years is a very long career. Ridley Scott didn't direct his first feature until he was 40. Most directors don't begin their feature careers until their 30s, late 20s at least. "At least half a century" isn't realistic.

I can't think of any great director who's managed to even release a feature in _every_ genre - let alone mastered.

Scorsese failed with his musical.
Coppola's two comedies are far from masterful.
Kubrick never made a western.

Are these not "truly talented, great directors"?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since you're mentioning Del Toro, I regard Pan and Hellboy II superior to the best two Aronofsky, which to me would be "The Wrestler" and the even better "The Fighter." Those 2 Del Toro films are high spots in the history of fantastic film, especially that 2nd Hellboy. Ghettoizing films like that is a mistake many people have made for decades. Hellboy is no more "popcorn" than "Black Swan," and considerably more nuanced and unpredictable. Good film is good film; whether people are flying to the moon or dancing ballet is beside the point. Fantastic film, and literature, has been given the high-hat for a long time.

"The Fountain" is a dud. "Black Swan" is tremendously overrated.

I think "Watchmen" might equal Del Toro's two, but certainly not The Avengers. To me Pacific Rim was a dud. Terribly boring story where very little happens. I consider "King Kong Escapes" a better story, budget differences notwithstanding. Would it have killed Del Toro to have some submarine action and change of scenery - maybe a mad scientist, some spies - something.

"Cronos" was notable for going against type, a shake up of the usual. It's a good film.

Aronofsky's best 5 result in a score of average. I don't get the hub-hub.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Since you're mentioning Del Toro, I regard Pan and Hellboy II superior to the best two Aronofsky, which to me would be "The Wrestler" and the even better "The Fighter.""
Pan is perhaps superior to Pi and The Wrestler. Maybe better than Black Swan. The Fighter isn't one of his. He only produced it. But Pan is just one film and Del Toro has not demonstrated he can do that level consistently. (Though many of the ghost story horror films that he's produced are very effective. The Orphanage and Mama are both first-rate.

"Those 2 Del Toro films are high spots in the history of fantastic film, especially that 2nd Hellboy. Ghettoizing films like that is a mistake many people have made for decades. Hellboy is no more "popcorn" than "Black Swan," and considerably more nuanced and unpredictable."

I totally disagree that PG-13-rated popcorn films with superheroes should be compared to serious R-rated fare. That's like comparing a great cheeseburger with fine dining. It's not ghettoizing to call fast food fast food and then judge it by appropriate standards.

"I think "Watchmen" might equal Del Toro's two, but certainly not The Avengers."
A reasonable opinion. I'd need to rewatch Watchmen and The Avengers to decide which was better. They're both favorites of mine in the genre. But that's still kind of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Watchmen is a deconstructed, postmodern superhero comic. Avengers is just straight superhero done really, really well.

"To me Pacific Rim was a dud."
I found it immensely entertaining and just as satisfying if not moreso than the Hellboy films.

"I don't get the hub-hub."
Watch them again. Especially The Fountain. And make sure you're doing so on an effective set up with big screen, Blu Ray, and great sound.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If not liking Aronofsky is wrong, I don't want to be right. Pretension does not imply intelligence.

But to answer your ending question, Guillermo del Toro.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's fine. You don't have to be right.

Regarding del Toro:
1. Pan's Labyrinth is indeed one of the masterpieces of the last decade and an A+ film across the board. If he made 4 more movies at its level then I'd agree that he's a competitor of Aronofsky.
2. The Hellboy films are both above average, B+/A- level superhero movies. But they're just fun popcorn movies. (And Watchmen and Avengers are at a higher level.) Same deal with Pacific Rim, though were I still a film critic I'd have given it an A. Wonderful film experience. And likewise with Blade II -- fun action movie but no real depth or reason to watch more than once. (Unlike Pan which is infinitely rewatchable.)
3. I never got around to seeing his first film, Cronos, which I wager is probably pretty good. (Note to self - add to the Netflix queue. The Wife would probably like.) The Devil's Backbone was a solid ghost story and a nice prelude to Pan but not something I've ever felt compelled to rewatch.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All