Filed Under Movies and Music on 2006-11-01, 11:33
I love films by Darren Aronofsky. Alright, well maybe love isn’t the right word for both films I’ve seen. Pi is one of my favorite films, and I can watch it over and over. Like the companion that you always enjoy conversing with and spending time with. Requiem for a Dream is an incredibly powerful movie that I have only watched once for fear that I would not be able to make it all the way through again. It is an incredibly powerful creation that depresses you, yet makes you feel happy to be alive no matter what trivial problems you have. It’s more like that one night stand that was so incredible, yet so wrong at the same time.
I’m so happy to hear that he’s coming out with a new movie and that he is again pushing some boundaries and approaching it without the typical Hollywood “let’s make millions with explosions and sexy women” attitude.
So what makes this deserving of a post on a blog dedicated to ‘geek’? Ironically it’s the fact the he has chosen not to use CGI to portray scenes from space. Using microphotography, Aronofsky has recreated space it what hopes to be a timeless manner. While the CGI of the past few years quickly gets dated, this approach seems to point back to the methods used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a timeless film without an enourmous special effects budget.
The technique is described in an article in Wired:
Then Aronofsky’s team discovered the work of Peter Parks, a marine biologist and photographer who lives in a 400-year-old cowshed west of London. Parks and his son run a home f/x shop based on a device they call the microzoom optical bench. Bristling with digital and film cameras, lenses, and Victorian prisms, their contraption can magnify a microliter of water up to 500,000 times or fill an Imax screen with the period at the end of this sentence. Into water they sprinkle yeast, dyes, solvents, and baby oil, along with other ingredients they decline to divulge. The secret of Parks’ technique is an odd law of fluid dynamics: The less fluid you have, the more it behaves like a solid. The upshot is that Parks can make a dash of curry powder cascading toward the lens look like an onslaught of flaming meteorites. “When these images are projected on a big screen, you feel like you’re looking at infinity,” he says. “That’s because the same forces at work in the water – gravitational effects, settlement, refractive indices – are happening in outer space.
I am looking forward to this movie so much, and I hope it does live up to its expectations. It has Aronofsky behind it, a story about eternal life, space, time travel, Clint Mansell doing the score, Hugh Jackman is starring in the lead role, and people are already comparing it to 2001 and films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.