Tuesday, December 28, 2010

black magic

I found a new movie to dissect / reverse-engineer-storyboard / study / learn from... "Black Swan", starring Natalie Portman, directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), and written by Andrez Heinz. These three people executed their trade flawlessly. The Director of Photography should get a congratulatory slap on the ass as well. And the sound. And everything else, from the casting to editing to the lighting to the performances of everyone else in the film. This shit is FINE.

When you watch it, notice how few of the scenes are guided by dialogue. The entire story is visual. You could watch it in mute and get the whole story (although you'd be missing out on some great sound design, completely used to support the story). The producers (who usually need dialogue to understand a story) took a risk with this one. I'd love to see the screenplay.

I don't want to get anyone's expectations up more than I already have, but please go see it and report back! I'd love to hear comments on what people think.

(ps - Don't get turned off by my sketches - the film is about a ballerina, but it isn't an artsy dance thing.)


  1. Watched this the other day and absolutely loved it. Natalie Portman played perfectly the fragile, meek ballerina who finds a power within her, and the confusion between the real and the unreal as she becomes more and more unhinged was perfectly written and executed. You commented on the sound...what did you notice about it?

  2. About the sound... it was atmospheric and dark weird echoing stuff all throughout the film. It stayed like that until the very end, when she performed in the ballet. Then it was just beautiful classical music with no distortion.

    The whole film needed to have warped sound to give that contrast at the end - it made the ballet seem pure and perfect. You would never have felt that if the sound wasn't done like that.

    It's kind of like the Stanley Kubrick movie "Full Metal Jacket" - the first 40-50 minutes is a constant barrage of the drill sergeant yelling and yelling. It starts to wear at you in a deep subconscious way. Sound is amazing for giving things a deep subconscious power.