Ever since it premiered at the start of the fall festival season in Telluride and Toronto, Black Swan has been a favorite topic of conversation among film critics, even among those who aren't utterly enamored with Darren Aronofsky's latest film. The movie is complex both in style and in substance, and marks both the maturation of many of Aronofsky's frequent themes-- the deterioration of the body, the toll of commitment to an art or a passion, mothers who will totally fuck up your life-- and a great leap forward for the director. It's also got hands-down the most committed and terrifying performance Natalie Portman has ever given, the kind of descent-into-madness, at-the-center-of-every-frame performance usually handed over to men.

I loved Black Swan and wanted to talk about it with two of my regular podcasting cohorts, Matt Patches (who also loved it) and David Ehlirch, who claims he "loves it but may not like it that much." It's turns of phrase like that, plus an affinity for foreign films and a bunch of Criterion DVDs none of us have ever seen, that inspired Patches and I to start calling David "Uncle Boonmee" during the conversation (named for this Palme d'Or winner, of course). Despite that, we were all pretty much in agreement on Black Swan and got into some of the nitty-gritty of the movie's style and meaning, without getting into spoilers until the end (there's a very audible warning once you get there).

Take a listen to our conversation (it's about 35 minutes long, and well worth it) and as always, let us know if you like what you hear and want to hear more. Find me (@kateyrich), Matt (@misterpatches) and David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner) on Twitter. You can also track down the master editor of this whole thing, Dave (@da7e), and thank him for making it coherent and adding the super snazzy sound effects.

NOTE: Ignore the part in the beginning when I say Black Swan opens December 1. It opens Friday, December 3; I am clearly full of it.

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