Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
The Tattoos of THE FOUNTAIN
I just caught the new Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz film THE FOUNTAIN on Thanksgiving, and was pleasantly surprised to find there was tattooing as part of the story line. Or rather the story lines, for this fantastic romance takes place across hundreds of years.
In the time of the Spanish Inquisition, a conquistador named Thomas Creo (Hugh Jackman) is charged by Queen Isabel (Rachel Weisz) to find the Tree of Life in New Spain. But really, this is a story being written by Izzi (Weisz), a woman dying of cancer whose cancer-researching husband Thomas (Jackman) is obsessed with finding a cure for her.
As she's been coming to terms with her illness and impending death, Izzi has also been writing this story called "The Fountain." Her manuscript is in a wonderful notebook and she's written the entire piece out in longhand using a pen and ink. There comes a day when she decides it's time for Thomas to read the story. He's not done with it when she falls ill again. When he visits her at the hospital, she's got a wrapped gift for him. It's a pen and ink set. Izzi says the last chapter of the story isn't done and that it's for Thomas to finish.
In all the events around Izzi's death, Thomas loses his wedding ring in the surgery scrub room one day. In an angry fit, he smashes the items on his night stand, spilling the ink Izzi had bought for him to write the final chapter. He takes the ink pen, dips it in the ink, and uses it to crudely and slowly tattoo a black ink band where his lost wedding ring would have been.
In the third story line it's the 26th century and Tom (Jackman) is traveling through space in a biosphere bubble with a dying tree. He sees visions of Izzi both as she was when she was alive and dying. He lives like a monk, meditating, practicing tai chi and ritually cutting a tiny piece of the tree each day to eat. He also still owns the fountain pen that Izzi gave him. It's very old and partially broken. Tom's been using it to tattoo rings around his wrists and forearms, going up above the elbow on both arms. There's a lovely sequence where, like a tea ceremony, he prepares and boils plant material to make ink and then tattoos himself. The tattoos almost look like the same quality of linework you see from tribal hand tattooing in the South Pacific. The lines are thin and thick, and some have little hash marks along them. They are almost like stylized tree age rings, counting off the ages of Tom's quest.
The movie makes such heavy use of symbolism and allegory, to try and really explain it just wouldn't do it justice, but I found it to be a visually and emotionally beautiful story.
You can find showtimes for the Fountain here
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rae Schwarz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rae Schwarz for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.