Thursday, July 31, 2014

In The Beginning

The 'more senior' members of the Bahm Family recently watched Darren Aronofsky's Noah on Blu-Ray.  I kept hearing mixed reviews and reactions to the movie, so I waited until its disc release when I could burn my rental store credits to see it for $1.25.  Plus, I wanted to see it in a more open environment with my 'senior' children so that the 'senior' adults could dialogue with them a little better about it.

I was actually surprised at the pace and craftsmanship of the film.  I was prepared for a sleep-rendering grind, something a'la the old Hollywood sand-and-sandal flops, but Aronofsky is a deft filmmaker.  Crowe was very good, although I was a little worried when he started to sing a lullaby per my previous experience with him crooning during Les Miz.  I was most concerned about the notorious "rock people" so many had ridiculed, especially having interpreted the legend of the Nephilim my own way in The Warrant.  But Aronofsky's "Watchers" were ok to his story if clunky.  I had already dismissed any literal adherence to the biblical account prior to the film (Noah and his family built the ark by themselves over a 120 year period, not ten with the help of the Watchers), so all the other plot devices didn't bother me.  Nor was I bugged by any of the heavy environmentalism of the script and Crowe's Noah's redemption from its radical conclusion; I can see that type of political dogma coming like a huge tidal wave.

But for two days now, something else has been vexing me about the film, and I just now put my finger on it.  In search of what might be troubling me, I did some web-surfing with my Google Ark last night.  I already knew of Aronofsky's cryptic comment prior to the film's initial release that Noah was the "least Biblical film ever made."  I was familiar with the Director's atheism.  I was aware of the face-off between Hollywood and the evangelical community over marketing:  the distributors desperately wanted the Passion of the Christ crowd segment to show up; evangelicals didn't want to help sell tickets by the inevitable and compulsory trashing of an unliteral interpretation, as happened with The Last Temptation of the Christ.  I was tuned in to the loud debate and criticism of the film by young earth creationists.  On the Internet, I found post-release condemnations that Noah was infused with Gnosticism, as well as wild, over-the-top claims that the movie was Illuminati-driven spirituality.  But, none of these controversies were really what were bothering me.

I found the source of what had been bothering me when I looked up Clint Mansell's soundtrack on Spotify.  The first score track is entitled, "In the Beginning There Was Nothing."  This is the line Russell Crowe uses to begin telling the story of creation to his family inside the ark at sea.

Well, that's not what the Bible says.  It says, "In the Beginning God created..." in Genesis and "In the Beginning was the Word" in John's gospel.  There has never been nothing, in other words.  And this is what bothers me the most about any work of art that purports a past point of nothingness:  it is contradictory and hypocritical.  It is pathetically dishonest, not to mention arrogant, for someone like this movie's creator to state that in fact, some time in the past, something was formed out of nothing.  Darren Aronofsky didn't make his movie out of nothing!

Anyway, felt I needed to get this out.  Now I can resume my blog again after my lengthy hiatus.  I was busy trying to win an election, but fell short.  Don't worry about me though; it was nothing.