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    I cannot WAIT to see this film, I love Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder! Not sure how much Winona there will be but anything is good in my book!

    Not going to read through this thread incase stuff is given away
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    I actually expected it to be some regular thriller, but I was really surprised and pleased with the outcome, I really liked it, dark, but good
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011...an-tamara-rojo

    This said it all for me. To the untrained eye it looks amazing, but if I was a professional dancer I wouldn't be very impressed.

    As Tamara Rojo, Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet said:

    "Natalie Portman needs to work on her port de bras. I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome.

    This is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don't just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting. Nina's mother was beyond the cliche of a ballet mum – she was a psychopath. And the only people who looked like they were having a good time were the ones having sex.

    The ballet movies that dancers go back to are the ones that have had great dancers in them, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Moira Shearer, Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire. Ballet isn't something you can just add on. The characters are important because they're dancers – and if they aren't very good ones, it doesn't make sense."
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011...an-tamara-rojo

    This said it all for me. To the untrained eye it looks amazing, but if I was a professional dancer I wouldn't be very impressed.

    As Tamara Rojo, Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet said:

    "Natalie Portman needs to work on her port de bras. I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome.

    This is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don't just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting. Nina's mother was beyond the cliche of a ballet mum – she was a psychopath. And the only people who looked like they were having a good time were the ones having sex.

    The ballet movies that dancers go back to are the ones that have had great dancers in them, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Moira Shearer, Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire. Ballet isn't something you can just add on. The characters are important because they're dancers – and if they aren't very good ones, it doesn't make sense."

    Right. So James Bond films should use a real secret agent instead of Daniel Craig, or perhaps the actual Queen in "The Queen"? This is a MOVIE! The dancing is not supposed to be technically perfect. It's an image of a dancer, not a dancer.

    That Guardian article is laughable (a fact picked up in virtually all of the comments beneath it!)

    By Tamara Rojo's logic then, they should use real swans in Swan Lake, not dancers!

    As for it using ballet cliches, yes, of course! As I said earlier, this is not a serious movie attempting to give an accurate portrayal of ballet. It's merely an impressionistic/artistic enterprise. It's quite obviously deliberately absurd and over the top. Dancers don't actually start to sprout feathers when they dance the lead role in Swan Lake either! It has no obligation to be 100% accurate or to use real dancers. Anyone else is free to make another movie about ballet giving an entirely different point of view. You can't make rules about how directors choose to construct their films.
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    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    Right. So James Bond films should use a real secret agent instead of Daniel Craig, or perhaps the actual Queen in "The Queen"? This is a MOVIE! The dancing is not supposed to be technically perfect. It's an image of a dancer, not a dancer.

    That Guardian article is laughable (a fact picked up in virtually all of the comments beneath it!)

    By Tamara Rojo's logic then, they should use real swans in Swan Lake, not dancers!

    As for it using ballet cliches, yes, of course! As I said earlier, this is not a serious movie attempting to give an accurate portrayal of ballet. It's merely an impressionistic/artistic enterprise. It's quite obviously deliberately absurd and over the top. Dancers don't actually start to sprout feathers when they dance the lead role in Swan Lake either! It has no obligation to be 100% accurate or to use real dancers. Anyone else is free to make another movie about ballet giving an entirely different point of view. You can't make rules about how directors choose to construct their films.
    Since when did I suggest that rules should be made?

    The beauty of ballet is that the dancers spend years in training in order to portray deep, complex characters - just like an actor would. Portman is a fantastic actor, but her performance in Black Swan would look shoddy to a professional and it would have been quite easy to cast a dancer instead. It's my opinion - there's no need to attack it like that.
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    I don't see Black Swan as a film strictly about ballet. In my view, it's about a girl, who happens to be a ballet dancer, and the film studies her psychological issues. There is a ballet 'theme', but it's not 'a film about ballet', I don't think. If it was, the decision to show Nina making herself throw up would be cheap and insensitive. Instead, the vomiting is another aspect to Nina's mind, since it happens when she's particularly stressful.

    I read in another review (the name/date/author escapes me) that some ballet dancers thought that Portman and Kunis did a decent job of the dancing. They realised that the actresses weren't hard-core dancers, and applauded their efforts regardless.

    I disagree that it would have been easy for anyone to play the role instead - Portman was brilliant, and I cannot imagine many other actresses, let alone any other woman who wasn't primarily an actress, who would be able to give such an emotionally intense performance as Portman could.
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    Since when did I suggest that rules should be made?

    The beauty of ballet is that the dancers spend years in training in order to portray deep, complex characters - just like an actor would. Portman is a fantastic actor, but her performance in Black Swan would look shoddy to a professional and it would have been quite easy to cast a dancer instead. It's my opinion - there's no need to attack it like that.
    It's a movie! In a movie you use actors. In a ballet you use ballet dancers. It's really not difficult. You are implying that anyone can act, whilst only ballet dancers can dance. That is not true. You wouldn't expect to cast an actor in a ballet, would you? Be consistent.

    You say "but her performance in Black Swan would look shoddy to a professional" Since when does that matter? What proportion of the intended audience is professional ballet dancers?
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    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    It's a movie! In a movie you use actors. In a ballet you use ballet dancers. It's really not difficult. You are implying that anyone can act, whilst only ballet dancers can dance. That is not true. You wouldn't expect to cast an actor in a ballet, would you? Be consistent.

    You say "but her performance in Black Swan would look shoddy to a professional" Since when does that matter? What proportion of the intended audience is professional ballet dancers?
    I know it's difficult to compare in this situation, but I'm an amateur pianist and clarinettist and it would be a bit weird - and noticeable - if I acted the part of a professional.

    In fact, nearly everyone who's seen a ballet will probably notice the difference. Ballet is acting in itself, just not the sort that Portman's good at. You mentioned James Bond earlier: at least there are stunt doubles in James Bond. The actors themselves don't do the dangerous action stuff most of the time, partly because it would look rubbish.

    I'm not saying that the film's bad: I enjoyed it. I just disagree with the extreme clichés and the casting of an actor as a world-class ballet dancer.
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    I didn't think it was all that - under the guise of "ballet", it was either a)dressing up and glamourising or b)cheapening by classic reflection-in-the-mirror horror gags......A girl with a psychotic disorder and a crazy mum. It was a bit ridiculous, it's clearly obvious she needs help but none of the various weird pervy characters realise, and instead bother her.
    The acting was great though, shame about the plot.
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    Deliberately been ignoring this thread because I wanted to go into the film knowing very little about it.

    Just got back and absolutely loved it, top work from Aronofsky.
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    Since when did I suggest that rules should be made?

    It's my opinion - there's no need to attack it like that.
    I agree. Too many people on this site think they're ever so clever, with their rapier wit and arrogant criticism. If they were really that clever they would have learnt some humility and respect for others. They are w.a.n.k.e.r.s. and not worth bothering with.
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    (Original post by Installation)
    Is it actually scary?
    It's not so much scary however I did find it quite disturbing in parts, scary in the way she's psychologically being taken over. However it is AMAZING, watched it last night and haven't been so impressed by a film in ages, jaw dropping in places , would easily go and watch it again now!
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011...an-tamara-rojo

    This said it all for me. To the untrained eye it looks amazing, but if I was a professional dancer I wouldn't be very impressed.

    As Tamara Rojo, Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet said:

    "Natalie Portman needs to work on her port de bras. I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome.

    This is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don't just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting. Nina's mother was beyond the cliche of a ballet mum – she was a psychopath. And the only people who looked like they were having a good time were the ones having sex.

    The ballet movies that dancers go back to are the ones that have had great dancers in them, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Moira Shearer, Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire. Ballet isn't something you can just add on. The characters are important because they're dancers – and if they aren't very good ones, it doesn't make sense."
    Aside from dancers no one gives a **** about this
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011...an-tamara-rojo

    This said it all for me. To the untrained eye it looks amazing, but if I was a professional dancer I wouldn't be very impressed.

    As Tamara Rojo, Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet said:

    "Natalie Portman needs to work on her port de bras. I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome.

    This is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don't just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting. Nina's mother was beyond the cliche of a ballet mum – she was a psychopath. And the only people who looked like they were having a good time were the ones having sex.

    The ballet movies that dancers go back to are the ones that have had great dancers in them, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Moira Shearer, Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire. Ballet isn't something you can just add on. The characters are important because they're dancers – and if they aren't very good ones, it doesn't make sense."
    Not to nit-pick, but Portman has had ten years of ballet experience. Obviously that doesn't constitute being anywhere near good enough to portray Nina as she was truly intended, but it's ten years more than I lot of actresses.

    And I interpreted the vomiting scenes not to be a bulimia cliché, but a sign of her extreme anxiety. She only vomited at two points in the movie directly after an extremely intense scene.
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    (Original post by aja89)
    Not to nit-pick, but Portman has had ten years of ballet experience. Obviously that doesn't constitute being anywhere near good enough to portray Nina as she was truly intended, but it's ten years more than I lot of actresses.

    And I interpreted the vomiting scenes not to be a bulimia cliché, but a sign of her extreme anxiety. She only vomited at two points in the movie directly after an extremely intense scene.
    Yes, I do think that if they had to cast an actor it was right to choose Portman: for an amateur, she was brilliant. As for the negative stereotypes, the film covered just about every one of them, which although made for an interesting and complex story reinforced the negative perceptions of ballet that have been disappearing over the last 20 years or so. She is anorexic and bulimic; she still lives with her mother (very unusual for a 20 something year old soloist), who is a psychotic 'ballet mum'; there are catfights with her rival. The film definitely wasn't supposed to be a rosy advertisement for ballet, but I know that if someone made a film about a classical musician and played into every stereotype I'd be a bit concerned, because of the way it would be interpreted.
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    (Original post by la-dauphine)
    Yes, I do think that if they had to cast an actor it was right to choose Portman: for an amateur, she was brilliant. As for the negative stereotypes, the film covered just about every one of them, which although made for an interesting and complex story reinforced the negative perceptions of ballet that have been disappearing over the last 20 years or so. She is anorexic and bulimic; she still lives with her mother (very unusual for a 20 something year old soloist), who is a psychotic 'ballet mum'; there are catfights with her rival. The film definitely wasn't supposed to be a rosy advertisement for ballet, but I know that if someone made a film about a classical musician and played into every stereotype I'd be a bit concerned, because of the way it would be interpreted.
    I do understand your concerns. I, too, am a fan of ballet. But I think you really need to try and get away from any notion that this film is attempting anything close to a realistic treatment. It is clearly not (this is made abundantly obvious on several occasions). I think audiences are intelligent enough to understand this and to take the movie for what it is. I really wouldn't worry about the bad PR for ballet. (If anything, the views of the dancers in the Guardian article might actually serve to reinforce the impression that ballet dancers are rather "precious" Hence it might be rather counter-productive).

    I'm not trying to flame you here, and I apologise if I seemed over harsh. I guess I am trying to reassure you that ballet will not be harmed by this movie, as it is so clearly a very over the top, even absurd piece of work.

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    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    It's a movie! In a movie you use actors. In a ballet you use ballet dancers. It's really not difficult. You are implying that anyone can act, whilst only ballet dancers can dance. That is not true. You wouldn't expect to cast an actor in a ballet, would you? Be consistent.
    You just use a professional ballet dancer to shoot the dance scenes. You film the actor's face and the dancer's body. Would have been better if they had done so, but I kinda understand. She had done ballet, so they put her.




    I saw the film and I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy dramas, but this just wasn't it. It lets too much to be interpreted. Basically, you don't really know what happened and what was imagination, you just assume. I prefer a film that tells a story rather than letting me imagine it.
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    (Original post by Plato's Trousers)
    Right. So James Bond films should use a real secret agent instead of Daniel Craig, or perhaps the actual Queen in "The Queen"? This is a MOVIE! The dancing is not supposed to be technically perfect. It's an image of a dancer, not a dancer.

    That Guardian article is laughable (a fact picked up in virtually all of the comments beneath it!)

    By Tamara Rojo's logic then, they should use real swans in Swan Lake, not dancers!

    As for it using ballet cliches, yes, of course! As I said earlier, this is not a serious movie attempting to give an accurate portrayal of ballet. It's merely an impressionistic/artistic enterprise. It's quite obviously deliberately absurd and over the top. Dancers don't actually start to sprout feathers when they dance the lead role in Swan Lake either! It has no obligation to be 100% accurate or to use real dancers. Anyone else is free to make another movie about ballet giving an entirely different point of view. You can't make rules about how directors choose to construct their films.
    I completely agree. I think some ballet dancers were 'offended' by how some might view them as a bit obsessed. In a film, the actors job is first and foremost to act, and in this movie: Actor, not ballerina >>>>> Ballerina, not actor. Using both would have ruined it, we are supposed to see Natalie do the moves, her face is very important.
    Finding someone who is utterly professional as a ballerina and also as great an actress as Natalie Portman would be impossible. I think they made a great choice, I love Natalie and she has the vulnerability to do a role like this one. The target audience for this film is not solely ballet professionals, it's everybody (obviously those who appreciate a good movie). I know several girls who have done ballet for years and absolutely loved this film. If it's not your type of movie, that is fine, but to trash it on those grounds is plain ridiculous.
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    Good, yet not amazing.

    But good.
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    Amazing.
 
 
 
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