Thursday, July 22, 2010

Darren Aronofsky's New Film

Today USA Today posted the first images from Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, a supernatural ballerina thriller starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, as well as the announcement that the film will open this year's Venice Film Festival (which may also see the debut of Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, Ben Affleck's The Town, and Tom Hooper's The King's Speech). I am excited about this movie, for three main reasons: it's got an intriguing premise, Natalie Portman is in it, and it comes from the brilliant Aronofsky.
Natalie Portman, with director Darren Aronofsky, has received an early honor: opening the Venice film festival Sept. 1.
Natalie Portman
I have to admit that Aronofsky is one of my favorite directors. He has a singular visual style, usually involving hyper-realism, and his films usually focus on obsessed characters facing a singular point in their lives. In fact, that seems to be the unifying theme of all of his films: how obsession can destroy even the strongest people. Take Requiem for a Dream, for example. His harrowing look at a collection of addicts, each with a different drug of choice, never once relents as we see each character spiral out-of-control and past the point of return. The Wrestler, too, examines this theme as Mickey Rourke's Randy "The Ram" insists on returning to the ring, even though he is in no condition to do so (and that ending: magnificent).
Where The Wrestler is an incredible character study, my favorite of his films is the one that most people claim is his worst. Yes, I am talking about The Fountain. Sure, the film has it's flaws; it's an epic with a 90-minute runtime, and in desperate need of a much-longer director's cut. But the film tackles that same idea of obsession and also plays with the metaphysics of time, as Tomas/Tommy/Tom Creo (Hugh Jackman) are in a 1000 year quest to be united with their loves, Isabelle/Izzi (a radiant Rachel Weisz). It's big ideas for so short a movie, but Aronofsky shows a deft hand at crafting the film in a way that makes it resonate. Never as romance seemed so eternal.
As for Black Swan, I have high hopes. This one could be the one that finally nets Aronofsky an Oscar nomination (though that was supposed to be The Wrestler, too, so I'm not holding my breath). But I'm curious to see what fantastic bit of obsession he has for us this time.

No comments: