Black Swan is probably one of the more controversial films shown this season. I’m sure many of you have probably seen it or heard about it – thus I’ll save you from my excruciating and mundane description of the movie.
After examining the trailer several times before walking into the theaters, I have to say I’m rather surprised by the vast amount of violence (& masturbation) featured in this film. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t expect this at all, since – like they all say – violence and sex sells. In a tragedy packaged with hot girls in tutus, the last thing I would expect would have to be the abusive psychedelic nature of the protagonist. What really struck me is the “visuality” of it all: call me a coward, but this movie scared the crap out of me. Darren Aronofsky effectively utilizes lily as the antithesis of Nina, to clearly articulate the paranoia that drives the plot.
In retrospect, the motifs of the film – jealousy, power, lust, the desire to usurp… is not unheard of - in a more tangible form, the ballerinas are just like Hollywood actresses – just trade the ballet shoes with stilettoes and tutus for designer couture.
Getting back to aestheticized violence, this film consists of classical elements of a tragedy. & correct me if I'm wrong, most tragedies comes hand in hand with violence. (i.e. stuff by Shakespeare & Euripides) The idea behind this draws an interesting question: could "violence" and "tragedy" be mutually exclusive? Would a story still be a “tragedy” sans violence? What’s left if one removes violence from the picture? would it be no longer alluring?