- The opening scene, a dream sequence, has an absolutely astounding use of cinematography. It’s very distinctive as well- aggressive camerawork despite it being a tracking shot and ballet.
- The wound in Portman’s back are reminiscent of the wound in the house in mother!, the track marks on jared leto’s arm in requiem, the skull of Max in pi—the mutilation and body horror also reminds me of cronenberg of course
- The editing in the mini-montage of portman prepping her shoes is pure filmmaking skill on display
- the Vincent cassel character (and damn he’s perfect here) says “strip black swan down and make it visceral. Make it real”
- the coloring comparison with the kunis character is obvious but effective. Art doesn’t need to be muddled to be great- she has tattoos, wears black, you have portman who wears white mainly (switches to black for night club sequence)
- we have an abundance of whip pans here—mostly utilitarian to serve the dancing- not like the use in la la land or the work of wes anderson
- of course the influence of bergman’s persona is draped all over this film (which will lead to comparisons with Mulholland drive) we have the identity of the two women being mixed, mixing in surrealism
- deliberate casting of Barbara Hersey and Wionna Ryder- more than just great actresses- they are former “It” girls who were large stars in their day (particularly Ryder in the early 1990’s) so the role takes on another level of meaning
- the camera, like in mother! with Lawrence, is fixed on portman’s shoulder almost the entire film- POV shots, reaction shots, it’s powerful work and her face and range as an actress are more than up to the task- this is her show
- Portman is magnificent- one of the best performances of this decade. Her nina is vulnerable and fragile, childlike, uptight, rigid and cold at times in a very cutthroat world. Portman has multiple moments of genius. When she falls on stage the look on her face after she gets off stage is an amazing display of acting—it’s complete devastation. As is the final shot on her face- there are great performances out there but few actresses get this moment in a masterpiece
- The last 25 minutes is devastating cinema—the cinematography and music pairing is virtuoso filmmaking at its finest- Music crescendo and acting when she realizes it’s her she stabbed
- Portman erupts with anger in a tub—just like jennifer connelly in requiem
- Guy on the train is from pi I believe
- Here’s an autobiographical element (or reading) of the film with aronofsky coaxing portman to a performance- changing old actress for new one- it’s in mother! As well- you could read the entire cassel performance this way
- The finale is a transcendent moment- it brings it all together for a perfect finish
The use of the colour Pink is exceptional. Also, the presence of a Mirror whenever the duality of the Swan is mentioned. Great film, and Portman is transcendent. The best performance of the decade, it’s rather disappointing she hasn’t followed it up.
Both the best films of 2010: Inception and Swan have a forbidden fruit thing going in there. Swan takes it whereas we are left to our own in Inception.
@AP— wow- really well said. Thank you for the comments. I’ll have to look for the color pink in my next viewing.
The ending reminded me a lot of the end of Carnal Knowledge (another wonderful film). Can you also see this comparison? Both characters have an obsession / addiction, Nicholson’s sex and Portman’s art / ballet. In the end they are both killed by themselves, of course Nicholson’s character is not really dead, he is killed in a “metaphorical” way. And the death of both characters is “happy” (or transcendent), as both felt the pleasure (of their obsessions), not to mention that the films end up with the close-up of the characters’ faces with the screen turning white (I don’t know if that type of shot has a specific name). What do you think? I don’t know if I’m talking a lot of bullshit.
@Lucas Henriques- I absolutely love it. I hadn’t thought of the comparison but it checks out. Good work
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