Monday, December 27, 2010

A Swan is Born

Just saw the Black Swan, an improving cinematic tale of a girl with stars in her eyes, her nurturing mother, and her consummately professional mentor...

Oh wait, that's not right...

This movie is a hoot, but it's beyond me whether that's intentional. The David Cronenberg reference in a pivotal scene would seem to indicate it's meant to be tongue in cheek. It's as if the Crypt Keeper was telling a Weird Tale about ballet. Has anyone seen it, and if so, did you manage not to cover your eyes during the manicuring scenes? In the same theater, The King's Speech was playing, which probably really was improving.

Review of The King's Speech on l'astronave (which in no way implies endorsement of my views of The Black Swan by the proprietress of the l'astronave)..

17 comments:

California Girl said...

You're the first person whose comments about "The Black Swan" are not positive. I am looking forward to seeing it but it's good to reserve judgment about critically acclaimed movies as you're apt to be disappointed. I imagine the set deooration, costumes & art design is excellent.

ArtSparker said...

CG- It was very entertaining, it just seemed like classic high camp.

Kay said...

i actually see the drawing... and it just makes me want to get back to the book that has been consuming me... 'the Forgotten Garden' a novel by Kate Morton...

it's exactly as I would picture images from the book...

oh, drat! and I am so far behind on here... hehehe

deltatau said...

Black Swan is a melodrama, like many wonderful ballets are. The characters are overwrought and tragic. It makes everything starkly beautiful and sad at the same time.

While the portrayals are exaggerated, the pursuit of perfection to excess are not uncommon within the ballet ranks.

My son is a ballet dancer, so we took in the show with a lot of eagerness. We didn't leave disappointed.

Michele Meister said...

I haven't seen it, BUT like your drawing :-))

ArtSparker said...

deltatau - It worked for me as entertainment. I do understand that ballets are melodramas. They work as art because the drama is presented as a stylized metaphor. When the metaphor is made literal, the result (in my opinion) is rather more like thudding than flight.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, your comments put a whole new spin on the Black Swan. I don't know if I'll see it although it looks kind of interesting.

Fresca said...

I haven't seen "The Black Swan," but godknows I felt that way about "The Red Shoes," which I gather it's related to?

I'm so glad I went to "The King's Speech" instead, which is of course a melodrama too (Beethoven!), but a rousing, cheering one.

ArtSparker said...

Fresca- Stephanie Zacharek rated The Red Shoes higher, from what I could gather from her review.

Tammie Lee said...

love your art missy.
tonight is Black Swan night, can't answer your questions quite yet....

Wishing you a wonderful 2011, each and every day.

Davida Goldberg, M.S. said...

I have had considerable reservations about whether I should spend money on The Black Swan, and after reading your comments my apprehension has not been assuaged. However, I absolutely love your drawing!

dthaase said...

She could definitely take down Tinkerbell - great work.

Celeste Bergin said...

haven't seen the movie yet...but I definitely enjoy your visual interpretation ---I generally wait for everything to get to DVD, so I'll consider this in a couple of months! :)

Cobalt Violet said...

Haven't seen it either ... hear references to All About Eve?? Looks beautiful but I might wait for Netflix. Can't wait for King's Speech which I am seeing MOnday.

I LOVE the drawing. They should use it for the poster. ;)

ArtSparker said...

CV- I think it refers to a lot of those films, I mentioned Whatever Happened to Baby Jane on Facebook in part because a dubious meal is offered to the heroine by the person looking after her. But it just basically FEELS old school, I think it would be perfect to rent to watch with women friends and a big bowl of popcorn.

Steve said...

I'm here on Tomás' recommendation. We went to Black Swan with high expectations and left remembering that media movie coverage is part of a movie's multi-million dollar advertising budget. There are some good movie critics, but many are easily influenced by the hype. Both my wife and I were shaking our heads in dismay. Portman was ok as the white swan, but her black swan was laughable. They had to give her red eyes and sprouting black feathers so you knew she was now the black swan.

I love to watch beautiful dancing, but didn't see much in this movie, especially the star. Her constant waving of her arms/wings was more clumsy duckling than swan.

I'm sure all the angst comes from real stories, but it didn't work for us. People in front of us giggled at some of the most serious parts. I thought they got it right.

Comparing this to the original Red Shoes, as melodramatic as that was, is a joke. Mao's Last Dancer is a much better choice if you want to see a recent (2009) ballet melodrama.

Titus said...

Oh, gotta see it now! And stunning image.

Can't believe it could touch The Red Shoes (one of my bestest films ever). Oh, to be a redhead.