Black Swan based on a story by Andres Heinz
8 out of 10
Notes and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Black Swan is a tour de force.
It won 91 awards and was nominated for an impressive total of 257 prizes.
Natalie Portman won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and the film was also nominated for:
- Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing
- Golden Globes for the same categories plus Best Supporting Actress- Mila Kunis
- BAFTA for the above and Best Screenplay
The brilliant Natalie Portman has also won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for her extraordinary rendition of the
- Black Swan
It is a metaphor for the sacrifice required by creation.
A chef d’oeuvre cannot be accomplished without tremendous effort and extreme pain, seems to be the key.
Positive psychology contradicts what I just said and demonstrates that one saying –among so many others- is wrong:
- No pain no gain needs to be transformed into
- No pain, more gain!
In the case of Nina Sayers aka The Swan Queen, both sides given life by Natalie Portman, the ballet involves sacrifice.
I was thinking about Aldous Huxley’s masterpiece Point Counter Point, in which an actress becomes…the woman whose role she was playing.
Nina Sayers becomes…The Black Swan.
At least in her mind, the obsession with the role, with perfection leads to a madness and a dedication that is excessive.
According to positive psychology studies, perfectionists are inclined to suffering and it is recommended to:
- Aim for excellence and not perfection, because the latter is a recipe for unhappiness, or in extreme cases, like that of the prima ballerina in this Swan Lake to possible self- destruction
There are many angles from where we could contemplate this excellent film, many themes are presented, including the cut throat competition for leading roles, be that ballet, opera or cinema, the readiness to “kill for a part”.
The jealousy between Nina and Lily aka Mila Kunis extends beyond the stage and the sole of the Swan Queen.
The artistic director who takes the decisions regarding the ballerinas is Thomas Leroy and he is portrayed with great skill by Vincent Cassel.
I noted on his exhilarating performance in Read My Lips here: http://notesaboutfilms.blogspot.ro/2017/07/read-my-lips-aka-sur-mes-levres-written.html
Lily and Nina Sayers seem to be competing not just for the position of prima ballerina, but for Thomas Leroy’s attention and romantic interest as well.
Real life, horrifying incidents came to mind, proving that Black Swan is not just a hyperbole with no basis in reality, where dancers are friends with each other and all is well, reflected in a documentary on The Bolshoi Theater.
For the reasons expressed earlier and visible in The Black Swan, envy, selfishness, pride, arrogance, vanity, artists form the prestigious Russian Ballet used acid against the artistic director, who was also responsible for mean acts.
Another take on Black Swan would be to meditate on the Dark side that we all have, The Black Swan in opposition with the White one.
Having to learn to get better at her part involving the Black Swan, Nina may end up with the force of evil winning the final victory.