Black Swan

Ten F’d Up Fairy Tales

Ten F’d Up Fairy Tales

Now that virtually every comic book hero and ’80s cartoons have gotten the blockbuster treatment, Hollywood is in the process of pillaging yet another trove of storybook treasures—fairy tales. Aside from this summer’s Maleficent, there are a slew of upcoming updates: Cinderella, due in March 2015, Pan slated for summer 2015, and the Guillermo Del Toro written and produced Beauty and the Beast in development—just to name a few. Of course, this is territory Hollywood has trod before—behold our list of the top 10 f’d up fairytale films.

4 Life Lessons from the “Black Swan”

4 Life Lessons from the “Black Swan”

A dark and disturbing mindfuck of a movie (think Roman Polanski’s Repulsion set in the world of Dario Argento’s Suspiria), Black Swan brilliantly challenges our long-held beliefs and ideals—and teaches us a few lessons along the way. Here are the top reasons why the psychological thriller gets more unsettling with every viewing.

Now Playing: BLACK SWAN, KING OF NEW YORK and SHORT CUTS

Now Playing: BLACK SWAN, KING OF NEW YORK and SHORT CUTS

Don't miss one of the most unique and mindbending thrillers of the past decade – BLACK SWAN – this week on Sundance Channel. Nina (Natalie Portman) is perfect for the role of the White Swan in <em>Swan Lake</em>, but when rival Lily (Mila Kunis) arrives, Nina begins to lose all perspective. Don't even blink, because by the end, you won't know what's real and what isn't.

Check out BLACK SWAN and the rest of our featured lineup this week!

Top 10 most awkward family moments

Top 10 most awkward family moments

Regardless of the season, it’s always important to make time for family. And with family comes some of the most awkward, amusing, cringe-worthy or downright creepy moments on film. This selection, including the much-loved SIDEWAYS, covers some of the best and most guffaw-inducing moments imaginable, from a talk about the birds and the bees to lying to mom to something perhaps even a bit weirder…

Top 10 gay sex scenes in mainstream movies

Top 10 gay sex scenes in mainstream movies

Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” These days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films — the gay best friend has become a rom-com staple. But the gay side kick, as Hollywood portrays him, tends to be much more interested in shopping and gossiping with his straight female friends than in having sex.

BLACK SWAN, intentionally funny

BLACK SWAN, intentionally funny

I know, I know. Yes, I have a penchant for posting hilarious YouTube videos on this blog probably far too often. But wait! Seriously, I have discovered a girl who is so freaking funny, I cannot even stand it. Please let me introduce you to Gloria Shuri Nava. With a name like that you better be fierce!

Small appendages and BLACK SWAN

Small appendages and BLACK SWAN

Ouch. I’ve never spent so much time in a film, focused upon – literally – the leathery skin of cuticles, tough toes, and fleshy ear lobes from which earrings go on and off, on and off. Yep, Darren Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN is all fingers fingers toes toes, abused in such new and uncomfortable ways that you’ll vow to never use a pair of nail scissors again. EVER. And you thought the movies didn’t have the power to change your life! Once again, and with a different DP (THE WRESTLER = Maryse Alberti and BLACK SWAN = Matthew Libatuque), Aronofsky is (literally) following behind a struggling performer, this one’s insecurities expressed as meek, worried perfectionism as opposed to Micky Rourke’s loud bravado. But unlike THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN is a horror film, really, and the most beautiful horror film to emerge in a good long time. True to form, Aronofsky keeps his protagonist’s head squarely in the middle of the frame as he trails behind troubled Nina (Natalie Portman), her bun bobbing along top her emaciated frame.

BLACK SWAN

BLACK SWAN

The catchiest tagline right now for BLACK SWAN, director Darren Aronofsky’s follow up to THE WRESTLER, is “psychosexual thriller.” It might also billed as an action flick, what with all of Natalie Portman’s jumps, twirls, plies, her mad dashes down hallways and corridors, her rampant mirror smashing, her feverish dancing in a sweaty, crowded nightclub and her boisterous “lezzy fantasy.” Shot handheld, much of it from Portman’s point of view, it makes for a frantic, seat-gripping hour and a half.

What makes a film trailer good?

What makes a film trailer good?

I’ve been asking myself this question for weeks, mostly because Lisa and I are in the middle of cutting the trailer for our own movie, SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS. It’s really hard! We have an amazing editor named Cindy Yoon to lead this effort, and she created something awesome … to be premiered once we have a festival screening. But in the meantime, it has prompted a lot of thinking about how trailers are structured. What is needed? Plot? Beauty shots? Constructing a feeling … that’s not actually in the film? What is ultimately going to pull people in? How do these little machines work? I gave a closer look to trailers for two movies I’ve seen recently, and one I haven’t seen (but want to).

Who designed the posters for BLACK SWAN?

Who designed the posters for BLACK SWAN?

It’s still unclear who designed these remarkable posters for Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming film BLACK SWAN, but whoever it was has certainly done their Russian Social Realist homework. When 99% of movie posters rely on photographs of the cast, it’s refreshing to see someone do it better with three colors and strong graphics, the way they did it in Eastern Europe back in the 1930s.