Late afternoon in an upstairs ballroom in the Excelsior Hotel in Venice, and Darren Aronofsky is talking about his new film, "The Fountain." Two days on from its world premiere, the film has already divided audiences: at the press screening, it was booed; at its public screening the following evening, the film was given a 10-minute-long standing ovation. "'Requiem' got slaughtered by the press," Aronofsky cheerily recalls. "We had a 30-minute standing ovation in Cannes and the next day Variety said I should go into therapy instead of making movies. The New York Times trashed 'Pi.' I am totally used to it." It's not hard to see why "The Fountain" has proved so contentious. Geoffrey Macnab speaks to Aronofsky and Weisz in Venice.