Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Black Swan Watch

Announcements
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sasha grey)
    you're not it bored me and everyone i saw it with but i like how everyone's trying to psychoanalyze the character and give their own interpretations making the film appear to be meaningful and profound when it's the opposite and remember how cinematography alone doesn't make a film worth watching if you ignore it and the dancing and sex scenes you're left with what exactly because the plot is nonexistent and for me it wasn't remotely entertaining but i guess the exaggerated acting and overly dramatic music will do it for most people this is aronofsky's worst film yet
    Punctuation!
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    I can't put my finger quite on why, but I absolutely loved this film. Some parts pissed me off a bit, I absolutely hate shaky camera effects and the constant breathing thing was a bit OTT but it just managed to be sort of emotional and scary and slightly mental at the same time. Not perfect at all but that sort of made it more watchable (or...perfect :awesome:). The bit where winona ryder started stabbing herself was fricking horrific.

    Do people think the sex scene actually happened? I mean, most of her other hallucinations are things that are kind of implausible like the moving pictures etc., I thought that perhaps Lily was pretending it hadn't in order to undermine Nina's confidence further and make her think she was crazy (because Lily wouldn't know about the existing hallucinations and all that) and the sex thing itself was Lily trying to assert dominance or whatever. But I might be way off the mark, maybe we're meant to not know just like Nina will never really know either.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sasha grey)
    you're not it bored me and everyone i saw it with but i like how everyone's trying to psychoanalyze the character and give their own interpretations making the film appear to be meaningful and profound when it's the opposite and remember how cinematography alone doesn't make a film worth watching if you ignore it and the dancing and sex scenes you're left with what exactly because the plot is nonexistent and for me it wasn't remotely entertaining but i guess the exaggerated acting and overly dramatic music will do it for most people this is aronofsky's worst film yet
    What are you talking about, the plot is nonexistent? It might be fairly simple, but it's a strong story -
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Nina wins the role of the swan queen, but in order to play the part of the black swan she needs to transform herself and starts going mad. In parallel with the story of Swan Lake, Nina eventually finds freedom through death.
    Obviously there's a lot more to it than that, but I'm not much of a film critic.

    And as for exaggerated acting and overly dramatic music (which I don't really agree with) surely you could argue that that's just another way in which the film echoes ballet itself?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I went to see this at the cinema today. I thought the production was good, with the score being fantastic. Portman put in a good performance, as did Lilly.

    I was a little bit shocked by how graphic things became though. I am rather squeamish so I had to look away quite a few times during the film...
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dirtyoldriver)
    I can't put my finger quite on why, but I absolutely loved this film. Some parts pissed me off a bit, I absolutely hate shaky camera effects and the constant breathing thing was a bit OTT but it just managed to be sort of emotional and scary and slightly mental at the same time. Not perfect at all but that sort of made it more watchable (or...perfect :awesome:). The bit where winona ryder started stabbing herself was fricking horrific.

    Do people think the sex scene actually happened? I mean, most of her other hallucinations are things that are kind of implausible like the moving pictures etc., I thought that perhaps Lily was pretending it hadn't in order to undermine Nina's confidence further and make her think she was crazy (because Lily wouldn't know about the existing hallucinations and all that) and the sex thing itself was Lily trying to assert dominance or whatever. But I might be way off the mark, maybe we're meant to not know just like Nina will never really know either.
    I agree with Roger Ebert that you don't need to worry too much about the details of which things actually happened and which were imagined. (My take is that the sex scene didn't happen). The real point of the film is to graphically depict the intense psychological effect on Nina of having such a demanding career, the stresses of getting the top part in the ballet, and her paranoia about threats from the other dancers and her mother's unhealthy pressure. All of it conspires to send her off the rails.

    I thought it was a brilliant piece of work. Right up there with Aronofsky's best films. I very much hope Natalie gets the Oscar for best actress (she will most likely be competing with Anette Benning for "The Kids are All Right")
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dirtyoldriver)
    Do people think the sex scene actually happened? I mean, most of her other hallucinations are things that are kind of implausible like the moving pictures etc., I thought that perhaps Lily was pretending it hadn't in order to undermine Nina's confidence further and make her think she was crazy (because Lily wouldn't know about the existing hallucinations and all that) and the sex thing itself was Lily trying to assert dominance or whatever. But I might be way off the mark, maybe we're meant to not know just like Nina will never really know either.
    I don't think it happened.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Nina was drugged and drunk, that might have made it easier for her mind to create such a vivid sex scene. If you get a chance to watch the film again, look at how Lily is portrayed in the hallway while Nina is shouting at her mother, especially in the mirrors. Nina and Lily become one figure in the reflection, and I believe this is the most striking instance of Nina managing to 'become' the Black Swan, by shaking off her innocence and obedience.


    Here's my view of Lily's role in the film, and how I view the extent to which Lily attempts to ruin Nina's life:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Lily did nothing wrong to upset Nina, at any point during the film. Apart from one moment - when she became Nina's understudy, and was in the Swan make-up ready to take Nina's role on the opening night, she showed a little bit of frustration when Nina actually came through the door. What ballerina wouldn't be upset if she had a chance to dance the prima role, only to have it taken away? Apart from that flash of annoyance at an emotionally-charged time (i.e. minutes before the curtain), I can't see any moment when Lily purposefully tried to undermine Nina.
    Nina's belief that Lily was trying to steal the role stemmed from the moment Lily stepped through the door "straight off the plane from San Francisco", and it became apparent that Nina wasn't perfect, because Lily could embody the Black Swan, while Nina couldn't.
    Lily was only ever trying to be friendly - she frequently tried to befriend Nina (just after Tomas left the studio after the 'seduction' scene/in the toilets at the company's party/by coming to her apartment/getting her to loosen up on the night out/coming to her dressing room door to congratulate her), but Nina interpreted it as an invasion of her personal space and believed Lily was trying to steal the role.
    There are moments when it seems like Lily says or does things to purposefully 'get' to Nina and try to bring her down (i.e. saying "Someone's hot for teacher!" or "You had a lezzie wet dream about me"), but I think these are just expressions that are completely natural for Lily. She's a highly sexual character, transposed into a world she doesn't recognise - perhaps the ballet company in San Francisco is more laid-back than the New York company, and it's clear that Lily is a little bit out of her depth around the uptight character of Nina.
    This blurring of the line between her character, and the audience asking "Is Lily a bad person, trying to steal Nina's role?" forces the audience to put themselves into Nina's shoes (lol, pun) and understand her paranoia and psychoses.


    Such depth of characterisation is one of the reasons I totally enjoyed this film!
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fjarskafinn)
    I don't think it happened.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Nina was drugged and drunk, that might have made it easier for her mind to create such a vivid sex scene. If you get a chance to watch the film again, look at how Lily is portrayed in the hallway while Nina is shouting at her mother, especially in the mirrors. Nina and Lily become one figure in the reflection, and I believe this is the most striking instance of Nina managing to 'become' the Black Swan, by shaking off her innocence and obedience.


    Here's my view of Lily's role in the film, and how I view the extent to which Lily attempts to ruin Nina's life:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Lily did nothing wrong to upset Nina, at any point during the film. Apart from one moment - when she became Nina's understudy, and was in the Swan make-up ready to take Nina's role on the opening night, she showed a little bit of frustration when Nina actually came through the door. What ballerina wouldn't be upset if she had a chance to dance the prima role, only to have it taken away? Apart from that flash of annoyance at an emotionally-charged time (i.e. minutes before the curtain), I can't see any moment when Lily purposefully tried to undermine Nina.
    Nina's belief that Lily was trying to steal the role stemmed from the moment Lily stepped through the door "straight off the plane from San Francisco", and it became apparent that Nina wasn't perfect, because Lily could embody the Black Swan, while Nina couldn't.
    Lily was only ever trying to be friendly - she frequently tried to befriend Nina (just after Tomas left the studio after the 'seduction' scene/in the toilets at the company's party/by coming to her apartment/getting her to loosen up on the night out/coming to her dressing room door to congratulate her), but Nina interpreted it as an invasion of her personal space and believed Lily was trying to steal the role.
    There are moments when it seems like Lily says or does things to purposefully 'get' to Nina and try to bring her down (i.e. saying "Someone's hot for teacher!" or "You had a lezzie wet dream about me"), but I think these are just expressions that are completely natural for Lily. She's a highly sexual character, transposed into a world she doesn't recognise - perhaps the ballet company in San Francisco is more laid-back than the New York company, and it's clear that Lily is a little bit out of her depth around the uptight character of Nina.
    This blurring of the line between her character, and the audience asking "Is Lily a bad person, trying to steal Nina's role?" forces the audience to put themselves into Nina's shoes (lol, pun) and understand her paranoia and psychoses.


    Such depth of characterisation is one of the reasons I totally enjoyed this film!
    I agree with you. I think you have it spot on
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    How graphic is it? I really want to see it but suspect I'll wait til it's on DVD so I can watch it at home in broad sunlight. I'm such a wuss at psych thriller films.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    How graphic is it? I really want to see it but suspect I'll wait til it's on DVD so I can watch it at home in broad sunlight. I'm such a wuss at psych thriller films.
    depends what you mean by "graphic" - in terms of sex, it's quite graphic. But the violence is less so. Really just one moment. It's intense, but that is really more to do with its psychological impact (ie you can really empathise with Nina's emotional suffering), than anything actually visual.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    depends what you mean by "graphic" - in terms of sex, it's quite graphic. But the violence is less so. Really just one moment. It's intense, but that is really more to do with its psychological impact (ie you can really empathise with Nina's emotional suffering), than anything actually visual.
    I want to see this film? Is it good?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    depends what you mean by "graphic" - in terms of sex, it's quite graphic. But the violence is less so. Really just one moment. It's intense, but that is really more to do with its psychological impact (ie you can really empathise with Nina's emotional suffering), than anything actually visual.
    I'm less fussed about the graphic sex and more about the death bits and stabbing??
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    This film would be a lot better, if there are moments of actual suspense and terror, it fail to deliver this. Natalie Portman's performance is not strong enough, I think the wrestler is much better.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Ive been wanting to watch this for about a year (this time last year it was rumoured to be a comedy, how wrong they were)
    I watched it online in Decemeber when it was released in America, it brilliant!
    Its a shame Portman probs wont win the Oscar because she really deserves it!
    Stupid Annette Benning
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Haven't seen it yet, but I will eventually. I like most of Aronofsky's films (except Requiem for a Dream), so hopefully should be good as well.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by a_t)
    yeah, she goes down on Portman, the film contains quite a lot of racy content

    the verdict on my boner has been returned: NOT guilty
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    I'm less fussed about the graphic sex and more about the death bits and stabbing??
    it's a little hard to answer that as we all have different standards of what's disturbing. But it does have a 15 certificate and here is the judgement from the BBFC:

    BLACK SWAN is a film about a young New York based prima ballerina, portraying her psychological deterioration while preparing for her first leading role. The film was classified '15' for strong sex, strong language and bloody injury.

    The film contains a number of scenes of strong sex and sexual activity. In one scene, the lead character appears to receive oral sex from another ballerina. The scene does not include any sexualised nudity or sight of genitalia or breasts. The scene does, however, present a strong impression of a sexual act. The film also includes scenes of implied masturbation, but again without any strong detail. The BBFC's Guidelines at '15' state that 'Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail'.

    The film also shows some sight of bloody injuries. These include a stabbing and some self inflicted wounds. Although occasionally bloody there is no strong detail of the infliction of any injuries. At '15' the Guidelines state that 'Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable'.

    The film includes frequent use of strong language, including aggressive and sexual uses. At '15' the Guidelines state that 'There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, 'phuck')'.

    The film also includes a sequence in which two characters take an unspecified drug in a nightclub. The effect on one of the characters is for her to become disorientated and to experience hallucinations. The Guidelines at '15' state that 'Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse'.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I liked the film. i know several people who didn't, and it was usually for two reasons; they don't like scary films and thought it was not, or they tried to make it a different kind of movie than it actually is.

    It's not a kind of what-happens-next movie. Most people who watch it will (hopefully) know the story of the ballet. Swan Lake is a tragedy, and a tragedy can only end one way. It's not even a history, it is a short-story, a character study, and it is completely subjective (It is compared to Rosemary's Baby). I think a lot of people were expecting something else. For me, it's not my favorite movie, but it is definitely worth a watch. Must be seen in cinema though, it's the only way to get really into it. I hate when people download illegally in crap quality, and then goes on about how they "weren't captured by it".
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Great film but I felt it lost direction halfway through.

    Initially we are given a very poignant depiction of a young woman struggling with the transition into adulthood. She cannot play the black swan because she is afraid of shedding her innocence and embracing her sadism. The "control" is manifested through self harm and implied bulimia and her fears and aspirations are displaced onto those around her.

    Then it suddenly plunges into a rushed finale of modern horror clichés which only seem to serve as a way of retaining the interest of the casual viewer. I find Aronofsky always spreads himself too thin and in doing so produces very disjointed films.

    That said I really enjoyed it, the camera work for one is amazing and Portman and Cassel are brilliant throughout. I look forward to watching it again.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by blue acre)
    Great film but I felt it lost direction halfway through.

    Initially we are given a very poignant depiction of a young woman struggling with the transition into adulthood. She cannot play the black swan because she is afraid of shedding her innocence and embracing her sadism. The "control" is manifested through self harm and implied bulimia and her fears and aspirations are displaced onto those around her.

    Then it suddenly plunges into a rushed finale of modern horror clichés which only seem to serve as a way of retaining the interest of the casual viewer. I find Aronofsky always spreads himself too thin and in doing so produces very disjointed films.

    That said I really enjoyed it, the camera work for one is amazing and Portman and Cassel are brilliant throughout. I look forward to watching it again.
    Don't forget that this is not meant to be a "serious" film. It's a genre piece - a pure over the top exploitation movie (hence the gratuitous lesbian scene). It's been described by one cinema critic as "Dario Argento on crack!" It's to be enjoyed as a ludicriously OTT roller coaster ride, not an arthouse movie. And as such it suceeds brilliantly! I think it's one of the films of the year, for sure.

    To quote Roger Ebert:
    “Black Swan” is a full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Might go and watch it tommorow! Someone remind me to take a HD camera with me to the cinema tomorrow and to hit record when the lesbian sex scene comes up :smug:
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.