NOAH . . .
My wife and I went to see NOAH on friday. I've heard complaints from both the christian side and the atheist side about this movie. Christians seem to be complaining that it is biblically accurate enough. Atheists seem to think that this movie is pointless, or that it shouldn't be made by such a reputable director? I'm not really sure of the atheist complaints I hear on the internets. I get the christians being upset. A writer/director has taken a prize allegory and made it much more "mythological" than it appears in the book of Genesis.
I've been reading through interviews (probably not enough) and I can't figure out what Aronofsky's religious or non-religious affiliation is . . . as an official matter. More importantly, it doesn't matter. Aronofsky is one of my favorite film makers. He is always challenging and never shies away from tough-to-tackle material. So, I don't even care what his motivation for making the film was. What I care about is how the public sees it and talks about it.
He and Ari Handel co-wrote a much more challenging tale than what is told in Genesis. First of all, Noah speaks. That's right; he talks. In Genesis he doesn't say a single word. He just obeys. He and his sons' and his wife have actual struggles . . . outside of god telling them what to do. Noah cannot abide with a "direct order from god" in the end. A "fallen" brigade of angels are on earth. The dead skin from the deceptive serpent is a generational magical arm wrap? There is a lot going on in this and it is fun and it is absurd and it is worth talking about.
We know that a global flood never existed. We know that a man living to be 950 years old is just stupid. After the movie I was telling my wife that, at the time of the flood, Noah was 600 years old. She said, "What? That doesn't make sense". Indeed, that does not make sense. As a matter of fact, it is a stupid thing to believe. I really hate to be offensive to people when I say that, but to believe that these ancient people lived to these absurd ages . . . it's nonsense. Just like the idea of all the earths "kinds", in pairs, making its way to a relatively small ship is nonsense. Just like the idea that any salt water sea life (or vice-versa) could have survived the mixture of salt water and fresh water is nonsense. You may think that it is too harsh a call to say that these things are stupid. You may say that we need to be more sensitive to religious belief. You may say that people need faith to survive.
Anyways, I enjoyed the film. I went in to it, viewing it as mythology. I came out the same. When our civilization began to show intellectual communication, we knew nothing about the world or the cosmos. We looked at the skies and we saw a divine creator and we had to make up things that we thought we reality. We looked at our miserable lives and assumed that we can't be suffering for nothing.
We are not suffering for nothing. Everything positive that we do helps us and those around us. If we stop seeking better answers, then we are telling the world that it's ok to give up and that this is enough.
This is not enough. Our world is not near done.
In Genesis, Noah got drunk and sent his son, Ham, away for seeing his drunk ass naked. This has been a very long argument in the favor of slavery. If you think that a 950 year old man sailed on a boat with his family and "some" of the earths animals, then this is the end of the discussion.