No matter how often I see ballet dancers I never get over how strong, graceful and beautiful that they are. The dedication and pressure that one must commit to to be anywhere near great in that field is stunning. I can barely sit crossed legs on the couch so I just sloth and leave the beauty to those who deserve to be admired for it.
Of course that world also freaks me out a bit. Like Olympic gymnasts, these elfin beauties are live dolls to be played with and molded into whatever their coaches or directors deem is right for the production or performance of the moment.
The story involves two dancers played by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. One is a free spirit while the other is tormented by her talent and the demands she puts on herself.
It's a fascinating look at the world of a dance studio where the director is GOD (and often more vain than the dancers themselves). Early on in the movie he comes to inspect the dancers and we see how they instantly change themselves to show off their best 'selves'. Any extra clothing comes off so that their true physique is visible to the Maestro. It's like lining up kids at the orphanage on Sunday in their best cloths so as to show them off for parent's to adopt.
As with most of Aronofsky's work there is a lot of symbolism going on here. The production of Swan Lake have black and white swans as characters and so the film has black and white edges to everything despite the fact that, in life, nothing is like that and nothing is ever what it truly seems to be.
Natalie Portman (Nina) is hypnotic as the dancer who may be losing her mind as she chases her dream of dancing the lead role in 'Swan Lake'. There is little for her to say so her body must tell the story of her decline and by using camera shots that themselves dance around the performers, the director is very effective at keeping us interested in what is going on - or may NOT be going on. You would understand if you had seen the film and you SHOULD see this film.
We have all seen this Natalie Portman before - sweet, vulnerable, beautiful. She is the white swan in real life. What really makes her a dynamic actress is when she gets to show the other side of herself, the black swan of films like 'The Professional' or 'V for Vendetta'. She has a way of both revealing and hiding her sexuality at the same time and I see this is why Aronofsky cast her for the lead in this picture.
Now Mila Kunis (Lily) is all black swan. She is sexy and dirty and you want to see her do sexy and dirty things. If anyone is going to bring out the 'black' in Natalie, it will be Mila. (The fact that Mila married McCauley Culcun only proves my point. She wanted to take the sweetest child actor we can remember and turn him into a porn star - well metaphorically a porn star).
I love the way that Aronofsky tells a story. He caught a hold of my attention and I never knew where this movie was taking me and that made it one of the best film experiences I have had in a long time. There were moments here that made me feel terrified and this is a BALLET movie!!! There are moments that rival ‘The Fountain’ for sheer awe as I watched this gentle dove become the evil black swan that she was meant/manipulated into being.
All I can promise you is that I will never have my daughters be dancers. Those pointed toed hellions are just too hardcore for me. Hockey players, yes. Ninja assassins - sure. Time travelling archaeologist with a command of mystical weaponry....well, duh. Just never a girl with mental pressures and body issues like the girls I saw tonight. They just broke my heart and freak me out enough to never want to walk into a darkened dance studio.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.