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Black Swan (movie)

Postby Meperidine » Tue Dec 21, 17:28 2010

Just got back from the latest Darren Aronofsky. If you're familiar with his work, you'll recognize its place in the trippy psychological horrorfest hall of fame. This one explores a real-life world of self-destruction and almost every kind of misery; it's about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) with the suite of problems a ballerina almost inevitably has--smothering stage mom, eating disorder, fucked-up body, and an overwhelming obsession with perfection. She's cast in a coveted lead, and the stakes exacerbate her already considerable issues--and the fact that ballet completely consumes her life--and what follows is a huge-scale look at what happens when a person does practically every bad thing she can do to be perfect.

It's beautifully shot, because it's Darren Aronofsky; the production value is satisfyingly high for a movie about a big-budget ballet company; the acting is all brilliant. Vincent Cassel as her director ought to be an over-troped role, but manages to be believably chilling. (kinda spoiler below)
Mila Kunis plays a tricky part well too--you believe her pretty thoroughly at the beginning when it looks like she's clearly about to be the troped rival out to get the prima donna, so her unwavering lack of ulterior motive against Nina makes Natalie Portman's crazy an extra level of compelling.
ALSO HOLY SHIT FACE STABBING DID SHE REALLY DO IT OR WAS BITCH JUST TRIPPIN'.
Portman is perfectly cast, and Winona Ryder as the washed-up former prima donna is spot-on too. There is also surprise lesbianism/girls in underwear/beautiful everything. See this. See it see it see it see it see it see it.

When you've seen it--thoughts?

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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Juliya's Slave » Thu Dec 23, 20:45 2010

I really enjoyed the movie even though I have only seen half of it. (Okay, so I watched it online because my husband refuses to take me to a smart movie, much less that it is a ballet movie. Men. Oh well.) I got to said part with the lesbianism and it is hot as hell, even if I wasn't bisexual.

Natalie Portman is excellent in this movie. From what I have seen so far, it rivals her performance in V for Vendetta and you cannot get any better than that. I do not think I have seen Mila Kunis in a movie or TV show (I think she was on That 70's Show), but she is great in the bad girl/influence role. It honestly reminds me of my ex in Pittsburgh, the way that girl is. I do know what happens in the end but really, she plays the role extremely well.

Wyonna Rider is awesome. She always knows how to pull the heartstrings with me. She honestly tore at my heart in this movie.

From what I have seen, I give it like a 4/5. When I see the rest, I will make a later assessment.

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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Tookie » Thu Dec 23, 23:05 2010

I'll be honest, I just watched the sex scene online because the movie looked like it would terrify me, but I'd be damned if I was going to miss Portman and Kunis get it on. And it had all the ingredients of being super hot - but the music was so goddamn scary that it was just tense and slightly uncomfortable. I was sad.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Juliya's Slave » Fri Dec 24, 19:41 2010

Tookie wrote:I'll be honest, I just watched the sex scene online because the movie looked like it would terrify me, but I'd be damned if I was going to miss Portman and Kunis get it on. And it had all the ingredients of being super hot - but the music was so goddamn scary that it was just tense and slightly uncomfortable. I was sad.


From what I saw, it really isn't as bad as it appears. Kind of like watching ballet. People says it sucks but it is never as bad as it appears. (That is the argument I make to my husband but I still lost.)Then again, I haven't seen the ending. I am waiting to watch the last hour for the 6th time because my computer keeps screwing up but I hope it works soon because I am getting quite annoyed.

(Update: I saw the end finally and it was worth waiting for. It is freaking stunning. If Natalie does not win a Golden Globe and a Oscar *if she is nominated*, it would be a sham. The ending was amazing. Words cannot explain. It is the best movie I have seen.)

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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby letthemimejive » Sat Dec 25, 11:39 2010

when you posted this it reminded me that i had been wanting to see it when it came out. i just downloaded and watched it and i feel like someone punched me in the chest and then stuck their fingers in my brain. terrifying and so, so beautiful.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Juliya's Slave » Sat Dec 25, 16:54 2010

Personally, I think she faked it because there is way on God's Green Earth she should have been able to dance a really rigorous role/routine like that without blood pouring out the WHOLE time and having not a trail the whole time. Personally, I thought she really might have killed Kunis and so I was kind of happy she didn't. I think she killed the "white" side of her personality and that is why she finally nailed the black Swan part. because her "black" personality is the only side she had left. When she went back to the "white" side of her, she finally realized that that part of her personality is dead and so she "died".

I was kind of mad the sex scene wasn't real. I really didn't expect THAT part to be a mirage. I stopped it the first time through right after Nina woke up and I didn't get to the part when Nina finds out it wasn't real. I was mad because I wanted to lesbian sex to be real after all. The fallout would have been better to me that way than just the old, "Oh, you had a lesbian wet dream about me" consequences.


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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Aum » Sun Dec 26, 2:52 2010

Saw it, loved it.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Neko » Thu Dec 30, 21:14 2010

I have had a girl crush on Kunis forever.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Meperidine » Thu Dec 30, 22:11 2010

^ I found out on Wikipedia she's dating Macaulay Culkin. Boner dead FOREVER.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Neko » Fri Dec 31, 0:50 2010

(Z->)90° - (E-N²W)90°t = 1
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Sonic# » Fri Dec 31, 8:25 2010

I saw the movie and loved it. Especially the music. When I found out that the adaption of Swan Lake's music made it illegible for an Oscar for best score, I was sad.

(I like Macaulay Culkin. :( )
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby helium » Sat Jan 1, 13:16 2011

I just saw it yesterday and I love love loved it, but I think I might be crazy now.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby miketheheadlesschicken » Sun Jan 2, 19:37 2011

Neko wrote:Eh, could be worse.


(Ahahaha Joe the Plumber, that was a stroke of brilliance, Neko!)

I'm in the same boat as Sqkky. Amazing, incredibly creepy, and just...wow.
I don't have a lot of tolerance for gross stuff, so the HANGNAIL OH GOD and then every time those damn cuticle scissors came out....freaky! I really don't think Beth actually stabbed herself in the face/Nina stabbed Beth in the face. She ended up with the nail file and the blood on her hands, but then her hands were clean when she got home (even though she washed them).


I really enjoyed the play of light and dark, how the only parts with color were really Nina's room and
the bar (is this a spoiler?)
. Simple and done before, but done so, so well.
And of course the blood. I might develop a tiny mirror phobia after this.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby helium » Sun Jan 2, 19:45 2011

Oh my God, all of the hand-directed violence definitely squicked me out too. That's one of my biggest freak-out triggers and every time the camera panned to her hands I shut my eyes and went "LA LA LA" in my head.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Juliya's Slave » Mon Jan 3, 10:36 2011

Meperidine wrote:^ I found out on Wikipedia she's dating Macaulay Culkin. Boner dead FOREVER.


You are in luck Meperidine. They just broke up so boner is now alive. ALIVE I TELL YOU!

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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby GlassBallerina » Mon Jan 3, 11:27 2011

I saw it yesterday with my mom... I loved it but OMG EVERY TIME SOMETHING SEXUAL HAPPENED I WANTED TO FALL IN A HOLE BECAUSE MY MOTHER WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

I think Natalie Portman really threw herself into the role, and deserves every Oscar and award she can get. I know she trained really hard in ballet and lost 20 lbs for the role, and I was extremely impressed by her work. The movie was really interesting and intense, and very real to me. I enjoyed the dancing as well. The stage makeup for the ballet though was extremely overdone/incorrect. I have seen so many pictures of the Swan Queen from various productions as well as the ABT production, and no one does a white face or the freaky black eyes with a black net over the face. Other than that, everything more than met my expectations.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby miketheheadlesschicken » Mon Jan 3, 13:10 2011

GlassBallerina wrote:The stage makeup for the ballet though was extremely overdone/incorrect. I have seen so many pictures of the Swan Queen from various productions as well as the ABT production, and no one does a white face or the freaky black eyes with a black net over the face. Other than that, everything more than met my expectations.


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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Juliya's Slave » Mon Jan 3, 13:14 2011

miketheheadlesschicken wrote:
GlassBallerina wrote:The stage makeup for the ballet though was extremely overdone/incorrect. I have seen so many pictures of the Swan Queen from various productions as well as the ABT production, and no one does a white face or the freaky black eyes with a black net over the face. Other than that, everything more than met my expectations.


For you!



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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby GlassBallerina » Mon Jan 3, 13:14 2011

miketheheadlesschicken wrote:
GlassBallerina wrote:The stage makeup for the ballet though was extremely overdone/incorrect. I have seen so many pictures of the Swan Queen from various productions as well as the ABT production, and no one does a white face or the freaky black eyes with a black net over the face. Other than that, everything more than met my expectations.


For you!



XD


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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby lillerina » Fri Jan 7, 3:06 2011

I've heard people say that it's pretty messed up when it comes to looking at body image. Simultaneously anorexia is bad, and hey look check out how skinny and desirable these girls are. I haven't seen it, but I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on that aspect.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Aum » Fri Jan 7, 5:00 2011

lillerina wrote:I've heard people say that it's pretty messed up when it comes to looking at body image. Simultaneously anorexia is bad, and hey look check out how skinny and desirable these girls are. I haven't seen it, but I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on that aspect.


I actually had the chance to see this movie with an ex-ballet dancer. She didn't make it to the professional level but she was in it for about 15 years or so. She said that eating disorders are the norm if you want to conform to the status quo. Also, she said that aspects of a dancer's sexuality are important in order to fully perform to the fullest, and so it's true that many instructors tell their students to go get laid. It's kind of messed up.

The way the movie portrays it... I think some aspects were missing. If you were purging as much as Nina was in the movie, I don't think you'd have proper core strength anymore without having to rely on some kind of narcotics like speed to get your through. My friend said this is also true... most girls in her studio were *at least* abusing caffeine pills and smoked heavily. Anorexics are classically weak and muscle structure is lacking, yet in the movie Nina was averse to drug use so I wonder where her persistent energy came from? Also, in terms of portraying an anorexic person, Nina SEEMED relatively healthy, but that's simply because we can't expect Natalie Portman to truly enter the emaciated domain (despite her having lost 20lbs to play the role).

The other thing is that Nina's mom formed a big part of her body image by always making sure she wasn't scratching herself, that her skin was in good condition, and that her finger nails were kept short to avoid self-injury. Every single imperfection that came up - such as when Nina was practicing at home and split her big toe nail in half - was addressed immediately by mommy dearest. Added to this she had no privacy, so any chance she had to explore herself - flawed or not - was not available. Her purging was perhaps one of the only things she had a sense of control over, even though, in the end, she totally lost control.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby helium » Fri Jan 7, 13:06 2011

lillerina wrote:I've heard people say that it's pretty messed up when it comes to looking at body image. Simultaneously anorexia is bad, and hey look check out how skinny and desirable these girls are. I haven't seen it, but I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on that aspect.


I thought that the other issues that came up with it, such as the main character going totally batshit insane, addressed that somewhat. She was super skinny, but she was also a total wreck from the start and I felt like any sexuality was either forced on her or didn't come until the end when it was "too late." I wasn't paying as much attention to the other female ballerinas, though.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby GlassBallerina » Fri Jan 7, 13:34 2011

I don't feel like addressing anorexia was one of the purposes of this movie. Every time she threw up, it seemed to be more of a way to deal with feeling overwhelmed/because she was anxious and it was a reaction. The only thing that addresses an eating problem is her reluctance to eat the cake, but she ends up (supposedly) having a piece anyway. Sure, she was really thin, just like the other dancers, which is a very accurate portrayal of any large, successful ballet company. It's not upheld outright, it simply is. I would have agreed it was held up as an ideal if someone was told to be thinner in the movie, or if she made a comment about herself saying she was fat, but neither of those happened. I resent the ballet body type being forced upon anyone who wants to be a ballet dancer just as much as anyone considering I've been subjected to it over and over, but I did not see it as being extremely, or specifically, relevant to the movie, in comparison to the other issues the main character faces.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby Meperidine » Fri Jan 7, 16:54 2011

Yeah, I think he didn't mean to pass any kind of judgement on eating disorders--it is a matter of course with serious ballerinas, and just one component of the giant collage o' crazy that is Nina. I think we're supposed to see it as such, but that the movie isn't really making a statement about it.

The pro-ana people on the internet are apparently using it as an example of a positive portrayal of eating disorders, and it is sticky because
the movie kind of has a happy ending, after all--all of it was kind of worth it for her. That's supposed to freak us out to hell, though.
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Re: Black Swan (movie)

Postby miketheheadlesschicken » Fri Jan 7, 19:02 2011

Yeah, I didn't really see the message as being "hey look how hot these people are in their thinness." The people who (in the movie) are attracted to that
(like the ballet director and the guys in the bar/club)
aren't really nice or good people, so it's not exactly a positive connotation. And every sexual scene has some pretty negative or scary parts to it--
Nina biting the director's lip, Nina's mom being in the room as she masturbates, Nina coming to making out (having sex?) with the creep at the club, Lily's face morphing into Nina's in the sex scene.
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