Saturday, December 4, 2010

Black Swan

Jonesy- What was your gut reaction?

Javi- My gut reaction was I liked it a lot, but I still had some problems.  I will say that the last 20 minutes of the movie exemplified the word intense for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever left a movie theater with my legs shaking.

Jonesy- My reaction was very similar to yours; I was finding myself not breathing because the last 20 minutes were so intense.  Of course, I knew I was going to be biased because I love movies that involve dance.

Javi-But it almost feels like it’s bigger than that. 

Jonesy-It is bigger than that, and the more I thought about this movie, the more I find I can go deeper with it.  It’s a great discussion piece.

Javi- It’s definitely a complex and densely layered story; it reminded me of very complex electronic music, with all of these little layers that can be accentuated depending on which way one listens to it.   There are a lot of contradictions about the movie.  There is a very lose and almost documentary feel throughout, but then we see how each shot is very symbolic in obvious and deliberate ways.  That was my biggest problem with the story; it wears its symbolism and themes on its sleeve. 

Jonesy- Like I said earlier, Black Swan is such a great discussion movie.  You can break down this movie simply as a ballerina wanting to prove herself, getting the part in Swan Lake, and getting lost in the process.  Thing is the story is so deep and smart that you can take so many things from it. I really felt like I wanted to have the script and have a round table discussion to pick it apart like, “What does this scene mean? What does this clothing symbolize in the first part of the movie and in the end?” There’s so much to study about it.

Javi- I really enjoyed the different themes in the movie: the concept of perfection and if that’s something to strive for, or letting loose and going out of your comfort zone and seeing how that can have an effect on you.

Jonesy- I like the four main characters of the Nina, Lilly, Nina’s mom, and the director because they’re so dynamic, and even though this whole story is about Nina, the few points of dialogue the others do have can tell you so much about their history that you never even considered, which makes them so unique. 

Javi- Out of the supporting cast, the mom was my favorite.  There’s a lot of things to consider when you talk about her.  For example, the Mom in my head, was having an affair with a director when she was a dancer which is why Nina was born, and you, Jonesy, didn’t interpret that. There’s a huge nurturing side, but if you really want to onecan read into a more sinister and jealous side for the mom.  There’s such resentment between the mom and Nina, and that’s the way that I saw Nina relating to Lily.  That relationship is also an interesting one because you can tell that Lily was very much in awe of Nina, and she seem to want to protect her and take care of her, even if it was a little misguided. Whereas Nina sees Lilly as a threat, and yet wants to be with her.  And that’s not a sort of interaction that you see in a lot of movies. 

Jonesy- That relationship is very real to life, and all girls have had that sort of relationship before, where you work your ass off to prove yourself, and someone just swoops in and is better than you.  Then we twist everything around to always make ourselves the victim. 

Javi- What did you think of Natalie Portman's performance?

Jonesy- I’ve seen this said about her before, but I feel her performance was really brave and fearless.  First of all, she had to train for a year to dance professional ballet, and then to portray be a seemingly weak character, make the change that she does, and be completely believable throughout without her performance being too overtly dramatic.  

Javi- I will say that her performance was never bad, but it was really repetitive. I guess it’s in the nature of the story; I just wanted to point that you will see her sad. A lot.  However, it’s very necessary for this story.

Jonesy- Her meekness completely pays off in the end, especially when you see her dance the black swan part, and you can see the change in her demeanor.  That takes a badass actress to do that. 

Javi- You see that intensity at that point, which is why I left the theater shaking, and I have never seen her deliver a performance like that.  I felt like I needed a cigarette after this movie, and I don’t smoke. 

Jonesy: So, what was your overall impression?

Javi- Horror fans would be a good audience for this movie, but only the open-minded ones. I’m not actually sure who would like this movie; it feels like you have to be a movie freak.  I never feel anything in the movie is gratuitous; it always feels like there is purpose.  Anyone who wants to see a great, original movie will see this. 

Jonesy- I think you hit it in the head. If you want to see an original movie that makes you think and is kind of out there, then this is for you.  It’s a movie lover’s movie. 

Javi- It’s a movie where you can look at it in so many ways, and if you want to, you can see the most simplistic interpretation; however, if you want to poke around the movie, you will feel very satisfied and rewarded. 

Jonesy-I concur

Javi- Wholeheartedly?

Jonesy- Wholeheartedly.  

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