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DarrenaronaronaronaronAronofsky

May 5, 2011
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AV or not AV….that is the question….just for today anyway. I did think about blogging about it, but then I realised this would be ASTONISHINGLY boring. So anyway – happy voting peglets!

Anyway the question for tonight is…what is about Darren Aronofsky films that are so mind bogglingly great?

Look at this bog-standard specimen of a fellow – who would know that his brain is FULL of creative flair and groundbreaking approaches to film.

The first film I saw of his was Requiem for a Dream. For anyone who hasn’t seen this, please do because it probably the best film I have seen about drug addiction and abuse. Forget Trainspotting…actually don’t, that is equally brilliant but in a very different. Requiem for a Dream plays on the hallucinogenic, reality-warping sensation that drugs induce in a more prominent and powerful way than Trainspotting (even though the baby crawling on the ceiling is pretty goddam powerful!)

This film aims to shock and horrify its viewer – drug addict or not, it is compelling in a disgusting way. As the madness and chaos of each of the four stories, you watch painfully because you know that it cannot have a happy ending. The last scene of the film; the demise of the central characters is one of the most graphic and disturbing things I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the first time I watched this was in the family home…with Daddypeg very much present. If you watch this film (or should I say WHEN) then just imagine me feeling just as disturbed as you from what you see on the screen, but times that by ONE THOUSAND and then you may understand how I felt when I watched it. And thank the Lord you aren’t in the company of your dear old Dad, looking like he was actually watching someone saw his Black and Decker workbench in half.

The soundtrack is also very distinctive and eerie. Written by Clint Mansell who has done a lot of music for Dazzer’s films. To my disdain, Sky freakin Sports hijacked the “Summer Overture” theme and used it as they own theme tune which has ruined it for me now. And unfortunately this is how you will recognise it.

ALSO Jared Leto stars in this – 30 Seconds to Mars front man

Watch this with caution AND a cushion!

This leads me nicely into….Black Swan

I’m guessing most pegs reading this have seen it so I can’t apologise too much for the spoilers…*ALERT* *ALERT*

I was so surprised how scary this film was! I couldn’t look in a bloody mirror for the rest of the day! Definitely the most successful film of his to date. I say that despite the Oscar nominations, but because compared to some of his other films it feels more polished, coherent and well-structured.

The film is about a ballet dancer who lands the lead role in Swan Lake and battles with her insecurities, pervy ballet director, sexuality and her mother which leads to the tragic end mirrored perfectly in the plot of Swan Lake itself. SORRY I’m talking about Natalie goddam Portman again, but it is a coincidence and NOT because I have a girl crush on her. She is simply brilliant in this film. There is abit of a quibble with Sarah Lane (her double) as to which shots are hers and which ones are Natalie’s – which is stupid because the film is MORE than just about the dance performances. Anyway she is completely convincing as this confused, fragile girl and equally convincing as a blood thirsty nympho and I think that takes TALENT.

As her character strives for ultimate perfection, this turns into obsession and self destruction where she becomes the Black Swan too perfectly and kills herself. You are with the film every step of the way, trying to figure out (in typical Aronofsky style) “was that bit real?” or “was that a hallucination” – e.g. when you see she has supposedly killed her rival dancer! Eeeep! Scary stuff.

As for Pi – well…..

(includes SPOILERZ)

Its about a mathematician (Max) that believes that mathematical equations can predict future events, because reality, essencially is numbers. Take a deep breath. This idea of the numerical inevitability of life is an old one, I even toyed with the idea of writing my dissertation on it. But when I watched the film and saw at the end that Max jabs a blunt object into his temple, I decided against it. His talent turns into obsession then madness (in a Black Swannish way) but then by smashing his intellectual ability into smithereens, the film ends with him sitting on a park bench happy as Larry! I like this seemingly unsatisfying ending because it tells the tale of modern philosophy – the more you think about the nature of reality as we believe we know it, the more you realise how little we really know for certain. SO much so that the thought of this could be pretty depressing – in fact one Greek philosopher actually walked off a cliff face after pondering the knowledge of his own reality.

ANYWAY, I have a soft spot for this film because it flirts with philosophy – its shot in black and white; the colour of a mathematical reality. Our human perceptions lead us to understand our world through wonderful things like colour, texture and taste but of course those qualities come from within individual humans. Reality devoid of human perception is a reality devoid of all the fun and pretty stuff – which is why philosophy (and this movie) is fairly depressing. But we have all got to do what Max does and be blissfully ignorant!

Apologies- didn’t want this to turn into a philosophical rant! Hope it’s made your brain achey!

Anyhoo….You can tell this is his first film that isn’t a short, but still worth a watch.

FYI – Dazzer’s Filmography:

Black Swan 2010

The Wrestler 2008

The Fountain 2006

Requiem for a Dream 2000

Pi 1998

CIAO PEGZ XXXX

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