Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Black Swan

I've just read Ebert's review of the ballet movie Black Swan, to which he gve three and a half stars. Here's a little about the movie from Wikipedia ...

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as ballet dancers in a New York City production of Swan Lake. The production requires a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. Nina (Portman) fits for the White Swan and Lily (Kunis) fits for the Black Swan. When the two compete for the parts, Nina finds a dark side of herself.

And here's just the very beginning of Ebert's review ...

Darren Aronofsky's “Black Swan” is a full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd. It centers on a performance by Natalie Portman that is nothing short of heroic, and mirrors the conflict of good and evil in Tchaikovsky's ballet “Swan Lake.” It is one thing to lose yourself in your art. Portman's ballerina loses her mind.

When I was in high school I had a friend who was working to become a ballet dancer. It wasn't glamorous: she spent all her time practicing, worrying about how much she weighed, how tall she was getting, and her feet were constantly blistered and calloused. But later I had the chance to take a few ballet classes at college and I loved it - standing at a long barre in a room with mirror-covered walls, practicing turning out my feet, trying pliés and jetés ... too much fun!

- Baryshnikov

It's odd about ballet, and maybe this is part of the premise of the movie: it presents a beautiful, almost fragile face, but behind the facade are professional athletes who enjoy very short "lives" and who likely experience all the perfidy that can be found in any big money sport.

Here's the trailer for Black Swan ...


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