Noah

Noah. I didn’t know much going in (except for, you know, one of the most famous Bible stories). There was a good bit of fantasy-type and action-hero stuff that, uh, I wasn’t anticipating. Overall, pretty darn good. The flood scene juxtaposing the Ark and the small spit of land – completely gutting. And I don’t know how that Creation scene works so well, but it’s such a genius interlude…

The Fountain. The score is such a big part of the emotional impact here that it almost hurts the movie’s case. In other words, I found it distracting. Absolutely beautiful to look at, though. I like Aronofsky’s restrained sepia/golden/silver palettes, and smart use of the macro lenses. I wonder how it would have turned out if the first, fully-budgeted version had gone to completion. I liked Black Swan just a bit more. Pi and Requiem for a Dream are also good, but The Wrestler is the best. I think it’s fair to say I respect his work more than I enjoy it. But he makes movies you should watch. Can’t say that about many.

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Interesting essay on self and Black Swan. (via)

Solitude welcomes a self or selves that does not, cannot, appear when in the company of others. Private selves refuse to manifest in public because other personas are at the front lines. Like mother Elephants circling their calves, our public selves form ranks. Each is a layer of armor, tweaking our interactions in the unconscious name of self defense.

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Interesting essay on self and Black Swan. (via)

Solitude welcomes a self or selves that does not, cannot, appear when in the company of others. Private selves refuse to manifest in public because other personas are at the front lines. Like mother Elephants circling their calves, our public selves form ranks. Each is a layer of armor, tweaking our interactions in the unconscious name of self defense.

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Black Swan. This was ultimately a bit disappointing. Great performances from Portman, Cassel, et al. Once I got used to it, I liked the use of the up-close, claustrophobic, over-the-shoulder stalker cam. A lot of the camerawork struck me as pretty impressive. Great moments in cramped interiors and the rhapsodic, choreographed dances. There’s also the nice bonus that the movie draws from a kickass soundtrack that’s long been one of my favorites.

The trouble with this movie is that once you go the fantasy/hallucination/supernatural route, it’s very, very hard to do it in a fresh way. This is how we end up repeating clichés like mysterious bleeding, reflections in the mirror moving without the character moving, painted portraits coming to life, mysterious whispers of sound, the epileptic-ecstatic flashing lights drugged-up dance club scene, sightings of people who look like certain people but actually aren’t when you get up close, etc. I loved seeing the strain of dancers seeking physical perfection; the consumptive effects of artistic striving; and the psycho-sexual power games among family, rivals, mentors. That was mostly excellent. My groans started with how these things were visually manifested on-screen–it seems like a pile-on. I think it would have been a more engaging film without the fantasy.

Black Swan. This was ultimately a bit disappointing. Great performances from Portman, Cassel, et al. Once I got used to it, I liked the use of the up-close, claustrophobic, over-the-shoulder stalker cam. A lot of the camerawork struck me as pretty impressive. Great moments in cramped interiors and the rhapsodic, choreographed dances. There’s also the nice bonus that the movie draws from a kickass soundtrack that’s long been one of my favorites.

The trouble with this movie is that once you go the fantasy/hallucination/supernatural route, it’s very, very hard to do it in a fresh way. This is how we end up repeating clichés like mysterious bleeding, reflections in the mirror moving without the character moving, painted portraits coming to life, mysterious whispers of sound, the epileptic-ecstatic flashing lights drugged-up dance club scene, sightings of people who look like certain people but actually aren’t when you get up close, etc. I loved seeing the strain of dancers seeking physical perfection; the consumptive effects of artistic striving; and the psycho-sexual power games among family, rivals, mentors. That was mostly excellent. My groans started with how these things were visually manifested on-screen–it seems like a pile-on. I think it would have been a more engaging film without the fantasy.