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In depth analysis of Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"; a Psychological Thriller

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Published on February 24, 2014

Author: tomathon2008

Source: slideshare.net

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In depth analysis of Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"
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BLACK SWAN Psychological Thriller

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS • Psychological thrillers emphasise the psychology and emotional state of its character. • Psychological thrillers are a sub-genre from the broad Thriller category. • Respective sub-genre conveys similarities between Gothic and Detective fiction; this is due to: - “Dissolving sense of reality” - Moral ambiguity - Complex/tortured relationships between mentally disturbed characters • Psychological thrillers incorporate: Mystery, drama and psychological horror. • Psychological thrillers usually incorporate the horror sub-genre, however films such as the “Mechanist” focus entirely on the characters unstable emotional state.

DARREN ARONOFSKY • Born February 12th 1969 in Brooklyn. • Studied Film at the University of Harvard (live action and animation). • Won several awards resulting from his senior thesis film, “Supermarket Sweep”. Starring Sean Gullette, leading to a National Student Academy Award Finalist. • Aronofsky didn’t create a feature film until February 1996, creating the concept for “Pi” (released 1998). • Thus further his successes as he creates “Requiem For A Dream”. • Sean Gullette is a frequently casted actor in Aronofsky’s films. • Darran Aronofsky’s films make top 10 best ever made psychological thrillers (Pi (5 th) and Black Swan (10 th).)

ARONOFSKY TRADEMARKS

ARONOFSKY TRADEMARKS • Darren Aranofsky is renown for his “hip-hop montage”. • Respective extract from the movie “Black Swan” exemplifies this trademark. • Aronofsky’s use of “hip-hop montage” in the movie “Black Swan” portrays Nina’s (Natalie Portman) journey toward evil. • The series of fast-paced jump-cuts within the scene are usually paired with a techno beat and drug use (also used heavily in the cult-classic “Requiem for a Dream”). • During respective scene, the implied use of drugs exposes Nina’s “Dark” side, as she experiences the slow metamorphosis towards become the “Black Swan”.

ARONOFSKY TRADEMARK • Aronofsky is also famous for his fading-out to white in his work. • This is done towards the end of the “Black Swan”. • This represents two distinct features of a psychological thriller as well as Aronofsky’s personal directing style. • Firstly, the fade to white emphasises a break in the story, or an end of an act/section in the story, thus concluding the ending of the “Black Swan”. • Secondly, the fade to white may symbolise the character’s demise, however without evidence of the protagonist’s , this technical convention editing leaves the audience dumbfound, questioning whether the mentally unstable character has met her maker.

BLACK SWAN • • • • • Aronofsky also imbeds into the character’s persona strong obsessions which ultimately drives them towards self-destruction. In the “Black Swan” this is portrayed in a variety of different ways, such as the Bulimia scene previously shown: this indicates the ultimate drive towards perfection, to be slime, as ballerinas stereotypically are. This exemplifies Aronofsky’s style, especially since he conveys sub-conscious self-destruction in the process, e.g. the back-scratching, a sub-conscious punishment for failure to meet perfection. One may argue previous attempts of self-harm (As well as drug abuse, during the “Club” extract) are an attempt of control: this relates to her mother’s over controlling attitude towards Nina’s life (referring to the previous extract). The only control she has over herself, is the self-destruction she conducts. This drive doesn’t come from herself, but from her mother, who lives through her daughter, due to her giving up her career to have Nina (Natalie Portman). Thus this perfection idolised by her mother is personified though respective scene, displaying the emotional distress as Nina’s sub-conscious shouts she cannot be perfect.

BLACK SWAN • • • • • Aronofsky also imbeds into the character’s persona strong obsessions which ultimately drives them towards self-destruction. In the “Black Swan” this is portrayed in a variety of different ways, such as the Bulimia scene previously shown: this indicates the ultimate drive towards perfection, to be slime, as ballerinas stereotypically are. This exemplifies Aronofsky’s style, especially since he conveys sub-conscious self-destruction in the process, e.g. the back-scratching, a sub-conscious punishment for failure to meet perfection. One may argue previous attempts of self-harm (As well as drug abuse, during the “Club” extract) are an attempt of control: this relates to her mother’s over controlling attitude towards Nina’s life (referring to the previous extract). The only control she has over herself, is the self-destruction she conducts. This drive doesn’t come from herself, but from her mother, who lives through her daughter, due to her giving up her career to have Nina (Natalie Portman). Thus this perfection idolised by her mother is personified though respective scene, displaying the emotional distress as Nina’s sub-conscious shouts she cannot be perfect.

BLACK SWAN • • • • • Aronofsky also imbeds into the character’s persona strong obsessions which ultimately drives them towards self-destruction. In the “Black Swan” this is portrayed in a variety of different ways, such as the Bulimia scene previously shown: this indicates the ultimate drive towards perfection, to be slime, as ballerinas stereotypically are. This exemplifies Aronofsky’s style, especially since he conveys sub-conscious self-destruction in the process, e.g. the back-scratching, a sub-conscious punishment for failure to meet perfection. One may argue previous attempts of self-harm (As well as drug abuse, during the “Club” extract) are an attempt of control: this relates to her mother’s over controlling attitude towards Nina’s life (referring to the previous extract). The only control she has over herself, is the self-destruction she conducts. This drive doesn’t come from herself, but from her mother, who lives through her daughter, due to her giving up her career to have Nina (Natalie Portman). Thus this perfection idolised by her mother is personified though respective scene, displaying the emotional distress as Nina’s sub-conscious shouts she cannot be perfect.

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