Saturday, January 15, 2011

Black Swan

I recently realized that Darren Aronofsky makes genre films.  I guess this is sort of obvious, given that his films are about professional wrestlers and neuroscientist space knights, somehow I missed it until I saw Black Swan.

Though most of Aronofsky's previous non-Requiem for a Dream work can be loosely categorized as science fiction, Black Swan is essentially a horror film.  The plot has a lot of standard horror movie tropes elevated by an intensely claustrophobic atmosphere and a great performance by Natalie Portman.

The story is an (even more) melodramatic take on Swan Lake with added psychodrama and body horror.  The film isn't for the faint of heart with some incredibly disturbing visuals.  Really, everything about Black Swan is unrelentingly dark.  Even the ballet sequences, which except for some notable exceptions are the least fantastical parts of the film, are really hard to watch.  Despite the darkness and melodrama, the film is tightly made and incredibly engaging.  If you aren't bothered by disturbing images and a plot made up of unrelenting darkness, I highly recommend it. 

Aronofsky's next film is The Wolverine.  Given his distinct directorial vision and intense darkness of his previous films, I'm interested in how he is going to handle a mainstream superhero movie.

No comments: