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Noah (2014)

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I agree.  Great thoughts Peter.

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I also deeply appreciate your thoughts, Peter.

 

I admit that I am very anxious for this film. So much money on the table simply does not bode well for anyone except the suits. Worst case scenario, Aronofsky doesn't get what he wants, Evangelical Christians don't get what they want (which is inevitable), and everyone else is let down by a product that tried to give the Evangelical Christians what they wanted. It's a lose-lose, and the studio is most likely not going to replicate Passion's success either way. I mean was it really that surprising to anyone that Gibson's 'faith-based' film scored so well with Christians? His patriotic melodrama and romanticized violence was already super accessible to mainstream Evangelicalism before Passion ever came along. Aronofsky's previous films, on the other hand, are anything but. And Noah is his baby just as much as Passion was Gibson's. 

 

I would have been far, far happier if Aronofsky had built this film on a budget of a couple million, even if it had forced him to go with a minimalistic production. At least then it would have been under the saving grace of (relative) obscurity.

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FWIW, my blog post on why *of course* Noah isn't a "biblically accurate" film, nor should it be. Includes a brief comment on the leaked trailer.

 

Good stuff. And one could further argue that Aronofsky re-thinking the story is akin to the evolution of flood narrative myths across ANE history. Which in an odd way does make this film historically accurate, at least in terms of scripting method.

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Oooh, even better, The Film Stage has two ultra-brief clips from the film (only six or seven seconds per clip) that include a few new bits, including a line of dialogue from Noah's worried daughter-in-law Ila (Emma Watson) -- "The choice is in your hands, Noah" -- that hints at the "dark, complicated" nature of the character that the studio has been hiding for the most part so far:

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Another, seemingly earlier version of the church-conference trailer has been up on YouTube for the past two weeks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_9Huh5AYYY

I say "seemingly earlier" because, compared to the Gawker video (which is *still* online more than three weeks after it leaked!), the YouTube trailer is missing:

* the serpent

* the meteor shower (or falling angels)

* the instant forest

* the cgi doves, and

* the flock of birds circling nearby the ark.

These are all CG-heavy shots, whereas the shots that are unique to the YouTube trailer do *not* have any noticeable CG. Hence my verdict.

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My shot-by-shot analysis of the two Noah trailers released so far. A few excerpts:

Also, I am intrigued by the fact that the credits at the end of both new trailers say the screenplay was written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Hendel, period; there is no mention of John Logan, who was hired to rewrite the script (or at least give it a polish) when Paramount came on board to produce the film. The screenplay I read a few months ago was also credited to Aronofsky and Hendel only, so who knows, the finished film may be closer to that script than we might have thought. . . .

Noah sits down for a conversation with his grandfather Methuselah. As images of violence (including our first look at the movie’s villain, Tubal-Cain, as well as possible glimpses of Cain killing Abel and angels falling to earth) play out on the screen, Methuselah says: “My father said that one day, if man continued in his ways, the Creator would annihilate this world.” . . .

The first thing I notice about the international trailer is that it plays up the miraculous — and not always biblical — special effects quite a bit more than the North American trailer did. Take, for example, the opening shot, of a growing stream of water:

You might think that this trickle of water marks the beginning of the flood — but look closer. Green plants are growing very rapidly along the edge of that stream, which suggests that this may be from the same part of the film that gives us the time-lapse image of trees growing from later within this same trailer: . . .

The second thing I notice about this trailer is the extra violence — not only the violence committed by Tubal-Cain and his minions, but the violence committed by Noah, as well (no doubt at least partly in self-defense): . . .

The third thing I notice is that the international trailer gives us more footage of Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who plays Noah’s daughter-in-law Ila. In one scene, she tells Noah, somewhat ominously: “The choice was in your hands, Noah.” . . .

The fourth thing I notice is a lot more CGI shots of water shooting out of the ground and sweeping over the forest and wiping out Tubal-Cain’s army: . . .

And so on.

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Link to the blog post in which I wonder how different the actual music in the film (composed by Clint Mansell, who has scored all of Aronofsky's films) will be from the rather generic "epic movie" music used in the mainstream trailer (to say nothing of the rather generic praise-and-worship music used in the Christian trailer).

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Did buzz cuts exist before the Flood?

I just added a paragraph and a couple other tweaks to my blog post after realizing that I kind of missed the point of Jeffrey Wells's blog post on this subject. Because he linked to Wikipedia entries indicating that scissors were invented "3,000 to 4,000 years ago" and that the Noah story derives from a Babylonian epic written "about 2500 BC", I initially took him to mean that scissors were not invented until hundreds of years after Noah's time (because "3,000 to 4,000 years ago" would mean between 1000 BC and 2000 BC).

But then, after reading his post more closely -- a few hours after publishing my own blog post and tweeting it, etc. -- I realized Wells was actually *okay* with the idea of Noah using scissors (because the gap between 2500 BC and 2000 BC is not that long? or because he mistook "3,000 to 4,000 years ago" for between 3000 BC and 4000 BC?), and that what *really* got to him was the idea of Noah getting an electric buzz cut.

But hey, my point still stands: who *knows* what kind of technologies "the Watchers" introduced to the antediluvian humans of Aronofsky's imagination.

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Aronofsky has tweeted a photo of the Nephilim... loop artists. No, not of the Nephilim themselves. Unless that image on the monitor in the background means something...

In the meantime, there is a new international trailer, which is mostly a condensed version of the earlier trailers, but it does have a few new shots... and there's a shot of Emma Watson here that is just a split-second longer than it was in the earlier trailer, but long enough to make me think I know which scene it's coming from...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2VwjNu7cZU

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Here, I think, is a longer version of that international trailer:

 

 

I wonder if they're deliberately playing coy on the Nephilim thing, or if the CG just isn't completed yet. I'd have thought eight-armed angels and other mythical/supernatural beings would be a big draw on the international market.

Edited by Anodos

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Anodos wrote:

: Here, I think, is a longer version of that international trailer:

Yeah, that's one of the two trailers I analyzed shot-by-shot back on November 14 (linked above in this thread).

By my count, there have been at least six trailers so far: two private church-conference trailers that leaked online (one of which has since been yanked), one domestic trailer, and three international trailers: the longer one released November 14, a shorter one released November 29, and, now, a Japanese one released today, which I have also given the shot-by-shot treatment. (Well, okay, I don't exactly give *every* trailer the shot-by-shot tretament; I did that for the first trailer, but for every subsequent trailer, I have mainly just highlighted the new footage that each trailer had.)

Here is the Japanese trailer itself. Can anyone here translate the words onscreen? Am I correct in thinking that the trailer begins with a Bible verse (as the church-conference trailers did)?

: I wonder if they're deliberately playing coy on the Nephilim thing, or if the CG just isn't completed yet.

Could be either, yeah. The trailers have also betrayed almost no hint of what happens on the Ark *after* the Flood starts.

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I remembered just before midnight that we were only 100 days away from the release of this film. But since it's after midnight now, I guess we're actually 99 days away from the release of this film.

 

Not that I'm counting the days or anything.

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Nick Nolte has been added to the cast, less than three months before the movie's premiere.

 

He will play Samyaza, one of the Nephilim, a role previously associated with Mark Margolis. The story notes Samyaza will be a CGI creation, so it's possible Margolis did the motion-capture work on-set and Nolte is just supplying the voice.

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