Ever since the approach of 2012, the once-predicted date of the Rapture, we’ve been deluged with apocalypse movies. But only writer-director Darren Aronofsky, that famously big-scale thinker, has displayed the temerity to tackle the mother lode of apocalypse stories. I wrote about his Noah in my latest Word and Film essay. An excerpt:
Really, “Noah” works so well because it is such a personal take on this biblical story. All of Aronofsky’s favorite themes — the fine line between soothsaying and madness; the intersection of spirit and science; the wretched state of humanity; the potential meaninglessness of our existences — are writ large here. And to project our trepidations and obsessions upon the fate of the entire world is the ultimate Hollywood endeavor, which explains the proliferation of all these apocalypse movies. (That, and the satisfaction we secretly feel when our fears are realized.) “Noah” is the origin apocalypse movie, and in making it Aronofsky has called all of our bluffs.