Sarah Risner Dr. Foley Cinema 19 November 2012 Black Swan “Black Swan” is a movie with a dark transformation of Nina the white swan metamorphosing herself into the black swan, with symbolism and psychosis playing well within the movie. Most of this movie plays into the world the ballerina, and exposes some of the hidden motives of this world. The other world this movie plays into is the world of someone with psychosis, and the mysteries that follow between both worlds. It seems the ballerina world feeds into the patient with psychosis and feeds the mental illness.
After one watches this movie they will be horrified and troubled at the same time. The character of Nina will leave one trying to figure out the mysteries of Nina’s life. It actually leaves the audience with more questions than answers after watching the movie. The questions are what give the movie great success. The setting of “Black Swan” takes place in New York at a ballerina studio where Nina and Lily are preparing for the production of Swan Lake. The plot of the movie is about Nina and her obsession with dance. Her mother is a former ballerina and is very controlling of her daughter.
The dance director by the name of Thomas Leroy decides to replace the character Beth with Nina for the new season of Swan Lake. Nina is his choice, but he also has eyes for the character Lily. Nina feels competition between herself and Lily. Nina has an obsessive view between herself and Lily. This part is complicated because it means the character has to play both the white swan and the black swan. The white swan requires the ballerina to play a part of purity and elegance. The black swan part requires the ballerina to play a part of cunning and sexuality.
Nina will go to the dark side of this character and it will drive her insane. Lily and Nina form a candid friendship which seems to be insane itself. The conflict of this movie is the inner struggle of Nina with her own personality waging war against itself. The character change of this movie is with the main character of Nina. Nina starts out innocent and ends up exploring her dark side in order to turn herself into the character of the black swan. Some universal symbolism found in this movie is the use of the character Lily as
Nina’s doppelganger. The symbol is of course is the twin/double identity of Nina’s self. This embodies Nina’s good/evil sides of herself. Mirrors are used in the film to show Nina splitting into two different personalities. The cultural symbolism in this movie is seen in black and white symbolism. Black of course shows the dark side of Nina, and white the good side of Nina. It is shown with actual color within most of the movie though. The theme of this movie is the cost of fame, along with the dark sides of show business.
It also shows complexities of trying to be perfect and how the stress of perfection can be one’s downfall. According to The Sticky Shoe Review by Logan Arney, says the Black Swan having a target audience is a bold statement. The reason for this being that the movie has attracted all kinds of people to watching it due to the Oscars and so forth. It has almost created its own target, or curious on-seekers just wondering what goes on in this film. The marketing of this film has many causes to it such as big names. The big acting names are Natalie Portman who stars in this film, director Darren Aronofsky.
Aronofsky himself has directed big hits such as “The Wrestler”, “The Fountain”, “Requiem for a Dream”, and “Pi”. Natalie Portman has starred in big hits such as “V is for Vendetta”, and “The Other Boleyn Girl”. Adding to this list are the other two big actors being Vincent Cassel, and Wynonna Ryder and not to mention this film being the buzz at the Venice Film Festival of 2010. There is a lot of PR when this bag of names is mentioned (Mu). The script used in this film was written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin. The story was written by Andres Heinz (IMDb).
According to Tom Long, giving his critical response about this film, he believes the movie works due to Portman’s great commitment to character which gives the movie its greatness. He also admits this movie is not necessarily for everyone, but for anyone looking for the horror and craziness in a ballerina movie (Long). The mise-en-scene in “Black Swan” shows up as black and white color. For one, the costume of the dancers shows as black and white. The dress in the reception is black, as are the walls of the ballet company. The editing of this movie was done by Andrew Weisblum (IMDb).
What made the editing so great in this movie was how the emotions were transferred on film while adeptly telling the good story. The lighting in “Black Swan” is very dramatic with tones of greens and magentas showing up within different characters, and of course the black and whites within the film. The music in this film is like any suspense thriller movie in that one knows something is about to happen when a scary tune starts to play. The sound effects seem to mimic the actual swan cry in some parts of the movie. This in effect makes the film very symbolic of the actual animal of a swan.
This movie has many camera angles that clearly explore this movies symbolism. One of the high-angle shots of this film is when the character of Nina when she is dancing on stage, and she is looked down on by the audience. A good close-up shot are when it shows Nina’s feet and it shows how much control she has in her movement. A significant wide-shot in the movie is when we are in Nina’s bedroom, and there is light hitting the bed. The medium-shot in the movie that probably catches most everyone’s eye is when Nina is passing her other self on the subway.
This movie uses mostly the fixed-camera. In conclusion, this movie clearly goes beyond any limit set forth on most film. It has used more symbolism than other movies which makes it quite interesting. It also has the uncanny terroristic theme of terror imposed within it. One feels as if the ballerina world has been exposed while showing to what extremes the female ballerina will go thru to stay skinny, and be perfect. The black and whites of the film show to what extremes in which the ballerina will show herself through. Works Cited Arney, Logan. “Black Swan. The Stickey Shoe Review (2010): 1. July 19, 2012 http://stickyshoereview. com/? p=107 “Black Swan,” IMDb (2010): 1. July 20, 2012 < http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0947798/> Long, Tom. “Review: Natalie Portman soars in ‘Black Swan’” The Detroit News Opinion (2010): 1. July 19, 2012 < http://www. detroitnews. com/article/20101210/OPINION03/12100326/1034/ent02/Review–Natalie-Portman-soars-in–Black-Swan-> Mu, Jennifer. “Love this Black Swan Film Marketing,” Luminosity Marketing (2010): 1. July 19, 2012 < http://luminositymarketing. com/blog/? p=2616>
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