darren aronofsky

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.

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.

Character's-eye view: Classic follow shots

Character's-eye view: Classic follow shots

For the website of the Brooklyn-based publication The L Magazine, the film critic Matt Zoller Seitz assembled a montage of clips illustrating one of my favorite types of shots: one where the camera physically follows a character through his or her environment,” as he writes in his introductory essay. “I love this shot,” he explains,…

Worlds Away: Science And Film

Worlds Away: Science And Film

Yesterday at the Prospector Theater convened “Space, A Guided Tour,” one of the most intellectually expansive panels held this year that dealt with one of most complicated of subjects — the collision of science and cinema. While the panel veered off into all sorts of themes — ranging from medieval magic, teleportation, and Einstein’s time/space paradigms — the participants kept returning to a singular predicament: how do we relate these two very different technologies for re-imagining the universe. Science deploys the tools mathamatical analysis and logic to model our cosmos, while filmmakers use narrative and celluloid…