Holy cannoli. Yesterday, we saw Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and it is b e y o n d . I love movies that give a glimpse into the art making process. No movie can speak to it specifically, since our reason or drive to make things and the affect it has on our brain can’t ever really be explained. But Black Swan comes close, in an abstract, fever dream sort of way. Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art comes close, and to some extent Crazy Heart from earlier this year. Charlie Kaufman’s Synechode, NY also explains why art makers are driven to make things, but Black Swan does it in a much more palatable, if more cerebral, way. (There is a good audio review of Black Swan here by the Onion’s A.V. Club, and there is an interesting discussion of the film on Gawker here, but please note there are a couple of mild spoilers in the Gawker article.)
There is no “perfect” in art. There is better, and there is worse. You practice and train and continue to make things to get better, to get as close as you can to perfect. But here’s why I absolutely fell out at Black Swan: it shows in the most beautiful way that there is a single exception to this rule. There can be momentary perfection in art at incredible sacrifice.
Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t see it. It’s not a horror movie per se, but it’s super creepy in a Rosemary’s Baby way. It’s not as scary as The Silence of the Lambs which you also didn’t see, but it’s spooky in a way that makes you feel like you’re on drugs. It’s hard to shake, which I think is a good thing, but the creep factor will be hard for you to sit through I suspect.