The Coen Brothers’ take on True Grit (2010) made me wish I could order up some closed captioning in the movie theatre and Darren Aronofsky’s The Black Swan (2010) had me drumming with ecstasy over the cinematographic representation of dance. The majority of the shots of Natalie Portman’s dancing is over her upper body. There are only a handful of long shots where she and other dancers are in the middle of the frame and the audience get’s to see her entire body move through space as a dancer. And yet, those upper body shots so depict with precision the frenzied and sometimes disorienting act of dancing.
True Grit I enjoyed, especially Matt Damon‘s performance, but there were a few scenes that prompted the inner voice to wonder why ten to twenty seconds weren’t cut here and there. I’ve seen a number of Darren Aronofsky’s films and The Black Swan is consistent with his artistic and thematic tendencies. Jose Teodoro of Film Comment ponders about the film much better than I ever could, so get thee to the aforembedded link.
I really like what he articulates in the third paragraph:
Like The Wrestler, Black Swan is grounded in athleticism, studies the limits of the body, and considers the ways it inevitably betrays us. It takes pains to render almost palpable the sensation of flesh and bone being pushed and punished.
Click here for information on the camera(s) used for The Black Swan.