I consider myself a cineast, I love good films, especially bizarre ones and ones that can be considered part of the sci-fi genre, even if that is fairly loosly taken. I like everything from well-established artists (Kubrick, Kurosawa, Tarkovski, Fassbinder, Van Trier, etc.) to weirdo fringe stuff you can only see at film festivals (which we have a lot of here in Berlin).
At the college where I teach ethics, I run a monthly "Philosophy and Science Fiction" evening, in which a meaty sci-fi film is shown and then me and the students sit around drinking beers and discussing it afterwards. This has been great so far. Usually, I choose the films. But one of my students recently gave me a copy of Aronofsky's "The Fountain" and asked me to show it. To be honest, I missed this film when it came out -- never heard of it. But since I really enjoyed "The Swan" and absolutely loved "The Wrestler", I said sure.
So I checked out the film at home -- and am baffled. I don't "get it" at all. I also didn't particularly like it. I find "Stalker" to be more accessible than this film. I'm hoping there is some kind of "point" other than the vague hintings at the esoteric belief that all life is somehow connected. But what is the point? I'm worried now that I have to show a film which has no meaningful philosophical value. But obviously there are people out there who think it's great.
I read the wikipedia article on it, and the most succinct phrase there was a quote by Aronofsky "The film's about the fact that it's OK that we die, and we should come to terms with it." While that's all fine with me, I fail to see how the interwoven story does that topic justice or ask questions in a different way.
Can someone explain this film to me and tout its praises? I have 2 weeks to prepare