Cutting to the core of cinematic realism, Fountain presents the plotless character of human encounters. In a string of moments with the people who have presented themselves to Cumming's camera for over twenty years, Fountain allows the accidental and the absurd to dominate our impressions. Storytelling is evacuated in the process.
"Fountain is a film that artfully disrupts itself during its chaotic unravelling.The tired faces, the exhausted bodies, the worn voices that Donigan Cumming brings together like an entomologist exhibiting the finest items of his collection, are an insult to decorum. The damned side of societies that wallow in clean-cut aesthetics and the smooth beauty of consensual advertisement images is at the root of the film-maker's political provocations. His films tell a quite different story. But Cumming's work is also fuelled by the pleasure he draws from a certain playfulness, as he strives to become the organizer of a type of family film (his present film features characters that appear in earlier work). He takes an obvious pleasure in directing them, and including himself in the process. Facing the camera, he wishes for times that would be simultaneously both quieter and more eventful: the ideal conditions for the making of a film? Close-ups play an important role within the process, haunting the spectator with their stigmatised decay. Toothless, drooling, laughing, and stunned faces are the pieces of a human puzzle that overflow from the filmmaker's world like gushing water from a fountain. These abandoned men and women haunt his images : resorting to visual violence to express his disenchanted and fascinated vision of beings on the verge of death is the core of Donigan Cumming's moral dimension."
PERRET, Jean. Visions du réel, 2005.
(Translation: Lia Lambert)