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Author Topic: Black Swan (2010)  (Read 5836 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2010, 02:22:24 PM »

I generally don't like Portman either, but here she is very good casting. She certainly looks like a dancer, and she knows enough about it to sell me on the idea that her character is a professional in a world-class company.

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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2010, 02:28:57 PM »

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/swan-breaks-studio-record-prestige-56492

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The weekend went swimmingly for Fox Searchlight's Natalie Portman starrer Black Swan and other adult-targeting art films and prestige pictures.

An atmospheric suspense thriller about ballet dancers directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), Swan dove into 18 theaters in eight markets and came up roses with $1.4 million, or a Searchlight-record $77,459 per venue. One of the holiday season's key platform pictures, Swan is set for an incremental expansion during the next few weeks and will reach at least 60 locations next weekend.

"We may increase that further, based on the weekend," Searchlight senior vp Sheila DeLoach said. "But this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. So we don't want to just blow it out, but we may do a few more theaters than we had planned next weekend."

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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2010, 06:30:45 PM »

Definitely a great movie. I still consider The Wrestler to be Aronofsky's true masterpiece and one of my all-time favorites, though Black Swan is pretty good stuff. Pretty much agree with everything dave jenkins said, though maybe I'd go a point higher and probably did like it a bit more. Definitely wouldn't recommend it for anyone on this board though, I feel most people would hate it for reasons I can't comprehend.

Compared to the rest of Aronofsky's its probably the best besides The Wrestler, the only one that may be better is Requiem but I'd have to see both again.

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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2010, 06:56:11 PM »

Definitely a great movie. I still consider The Wrestler to be Aronofsky's true masterpiece and one of my all-time favorites, though Black Swan is pretty good stuff. Pretty much agree with everything dave jenkins said, though maybe I'd go a point higher and probably did like it a bit more. Definitely wouldn't recommend it for anyone on this board though, I feel most people would hate it for reasons I can't comprehend.

Compared to the rest of Aronofsky's its probably the best besides The Wrestler, the only one that may be better is Requiem but I'd have to see both again.

Wow! I am certainly glad to have been proven wrong. Honestly, I found Black Swan to be a lot more enjoyable than The Wrestler, although the films without a doubt share many similarities. The last 20 minutes or so, specifically the ballet itself, are wonderfully surreal and captivating. Portman does a fantastic job throughout as Nina. Easily her best performance. 8-9/10

The sex scene in question looks like child's play compared to the masturbation scene that proceeds it. Either way, neither are detrimental to the film nor reasons to write it off.

Seeing as how Jenkins mentioned Cronenberg, did any of you find the scene where Nina plucked the "feather" from her back to be reminiscent of a scene from The Fly? I'm almost certain Brundle does that same thing. Maybe I'm mistaken.

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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2010, 10:52:19 PM »

Wow! I am certainly glad to have been proven wrong. Honestly, I found Black Swan to be a lot more enjoyable than The Wrestler, although the films without a doubt share many similarities. The last 20 minutes or so, specifically the ballet itself, are wonderfully surreal and captivating. Portman does a fantastic job throughout as Nina. Easily her best performance. 8-9/10

The sex scene in question looks like child's play compared to the masturbation scene that proceeds it. Either way, neither are detrimental to the film nor reasons to write it off.

Seeing as how Jenkins mentioned Cronenberg, did any of you find the scene where Nina plucked the "feather" from her back to be reminiscent of a scene from The Fly? I'm almost certain Brundle does that same thing. Maybe I'm mistaken.
Both the masturbation scene and the sex scene are fuckin awesome. Finger-fuck scene ends funny with the mom

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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2010, 04:03:03 PM »

I will see it and will probably like it better than the Wrestler (which is a good 7/10 to me).
They shot the metro scenes on a DSLR, by the way: the Canon 7D.

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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2010, 04:46:57 PM »

I will see it and will probably like it better than the Wrestler (which is a good 7/10 to me).
They shot the metro scenes on a DSLR, by the way: the Canon 7D.
Interesting Afro My school has a 7D. Now I'm eager to see the movie on big screen.

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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2011, 11:09:05 AM »

I knocked the rating down to a 4/10 for my full length review. To wit:

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Well, if I needed further proof that critics rarely know what the fuck they're talking about, here's Exhibit X. Black Swan, the latest Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) film, is a pile of derivative, feverishly-melodramatic drek. It will fill most people's quota for graphic lesbian sex, gratuitous gore and over-the-top silliness, but those desiring quality should look elsewhere.

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is a seasoned ballet dancer who yearns for the big time. She lands the lead in a production of Swan Lake, ousting aging prima donna Beth (Winona Ryder) but her director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) fears she doesn't have the passion to play the seductive Black Swan. An additional problem surfaces when talented neophyte Lily (Mila Kunis) catches Thomas's eye, and Nina's success precipitates a rift with her overprotective mother (Barbara Hershey). Finally, Nina goes out of her mind and breaks down, her life becoming intermingled with the character she plays onstage. This not being The Diary of Anne Frank, rest assured this isn't a good thing.

Black Swan is a melange of ideas borrowed from better films. It uses every show biz cliche in existence, with scenes, characters and thematic conceits lifted wholesale from 42nd Street, All About Eve and The Red Shoes: the overly-friendly, scheming neophyte, the demanding director, the interweaving of a performer's life with their character. For some variety and questionable shock value, Aronofsky throws in giallo-esque body horror, weirdo fantasy scenes and some graphic sex. Yawn.

This would be fine had Aronofsky done something interesting with these cliches. After all, there are only so many original ideas under the sun, and a skilled artist can make old elements seem new. Black Swan, however, commits a double sin: not only does it regurgitate bits of other movies, it doesn't even have fun with its material. Everything is in deadly earnest, which is frankly stupid when the story and style is so feverishly overwrought and melodramatic. The sophomoric screenplay supplies mouthfuls of godawful dialogue: "Look how pretty!" says Nina, gaping moronically at a grapefruit. Character development is nonexistent, but to be fair it's hard to develop nonexistent characters to begin with. You can claim it's deliberately campy if you wish, but Aronofsky plays things absolutely straight, resulting in a movie that's nowhere near as fun, clever or dramatically powerful as it thinks it is.

Aronofsky's direction is equally uninspired. A few interesting concepts - Nina transforming into the swan onstage, Nina's mirror-bedecked foyer - are undermined by uninspired camera work, boring blocking and overuse of CGI. Visual ideas pilfered from Dario Argento and Mario Bava flicks (the talking paintings, Nina's mutilation fantasies) come off cheesy and overwrought. It doesn't help that Aronofsky resorts to the most cartoonish symbolism imaginable: ooh, Nina put a black top over her white one! Look her throw her stuffed animals in the garbage! Gag. And what the hell is with the goddamned shaky cam!?! Powell and Pressburger didn't need no shaky cam for their ballet movie!

Natalie Portman is the film's saving grace. Hers is a demanding performance, and Portman manages her character's monstrous personality change and descent into madness, even if the script doesn't. The supporting cast, however, is weak. Vincent Cassel shines in the Anton Walbrook role as the obsessive, sleazy director, but Mila Kunis is a one-note bad girl, Winona Ryder has nothing to do and Barbara Hershey's (The Stunt Man) character is ridiculous.

So yes, Black Swan isn't very good. It's not good horror, it's not good camp and it's not good melodrama. However, it just might make good fertilizer.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2011/01/black-swan.html

Jinkies, I'm well aware I didn't mention the music. It's fucking Tchaikovsky, how could it be bad?

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2011, 11:50:01 AM »

Jinkies, I'm well aware I didn't mention the music. It's fucking Tchaikovsky, how could it be bad?
Well, more than that, it's what saves the movie. All you say is true. Nonetheless, I liked the film, and the reason is: melodrama, even shop-worn melodrama, can be revitalized with the use of music, and no music is better suited to melodrama than Tschaikovsky's. Interestingly, I don't much care for his music usually, and probably, with other music, the film would have been a disaster. But the combination of the two here really worked for me.

Sure, The Red Shoes did this sort of thing better, and Aronofsky shouldn't get any credit for using tricks that were old 60 years ago. But as in opera, when the right music matches up with the appropriate images, something alchemical happens, and dross is converted, if not into gold, than at least into something shiny. Something with sequins, perhaps?

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« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2011, 11:24:25 PM »

BLACK SWAN(2011)

Didn't think this would be my thing with the ballet and all that but i have to say this is the best new film i've  seen recently .Even though i find it's very "evil winning over good" vibe quite depressing, i found the lead ballerina's performance and conversion from the sweet vulnerable White Swan to  frighteningly possessed Black Swan disturbing but somehow very moving.A downbeat ending nearly as upsetting as THE GREAT SILENCE.

9/10

Yeah, baby, Banjo and ballerinas, fight that. I might even watch it after all.

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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2011, 03:06:24 AM »

Yea yea yea, all very nice, but what about the gratuitous "tongue in groove action" HuhHuh

That would be a big selling point Wink  Cool

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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2011, 04:39:06 AM »

...what about the gratuitous "tongue in groove action" HuhHuh

 You mean "the" groove? Gosh, what kind of movie is this?

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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2011, 05:29:04 AM »

but what about the gratuitous "tongue in groove action" HuhHuh


Oh yeah the lesbian action! Tongue

Maybe they'll be more of this on the dvd.  Cheesy

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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2011, 09:04:42 AM »

Yea yea yea, all very nice, but what about the gratuitous "tongue in groove action" HuhHuh

That would be a big selling point Wink  Cool

RR adequately covers that.

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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2011, 05:23:54 AM »

Seen it yesterday just after I missed (only by 2 minutes) the avant-premiere of Road To Nowhere attended by Monte Hellman himself.

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Very well done. Appart from:
- Portman's character at the begining a bit cliché (you can be a white swan without living in a pink bedroom and without that ennoying little voice)
- Vincent Cassel's french lines (ok, he only has like 6 french lines, but they really sound terrible. Whereas he is amazingly good the rest of the time. I'm sticking with my opinion: I still have to see ONE director able to direct an actor in a langage he (the director) doesn't know)
- The whole adolescent feeling. Aronofsky is a great filmmaker, but while Pie and Requiem For A Dream needed this kind of candid adolescent that tries so hard to be a disturbing artist feeling, it doesn't work with The Fontain, The Wrestler and Black Swan. You can say that the guy isn't very mature, and that's a problem for these 3 movies to reach the magnitude/amplitude they try to get to. Not sure I'm clear. In Black Swan, for instance, a more open ending and a less cliché character would have been great for the movie.
The rest is great.
The subway scenes, shot on Canon 7D, perfectly fit in the film, even if the image is a bit noisy: the whole film is noisy. I knew about them so I thought they felt a bit video, but I wouldn't have noticed if I had not paid attention.

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