Friday, January 28, 2011
Who would have thought a movie about the ballet could be so unsettling?
I saw Black Swan this week and can't remember another movie where I was so viscerally uncomfortable throughout a film. You spend most of the time trying to figure out what is real and what isn't. I'm still not entirely sure what happened and haven't decided whether I liked it or not, but I doubt I'll be watching again for a very long time.
The thing that bothered me most was the gross stuff. Natalie's character has a history of scratching herself until she bleeds, so the film packs in several scenes of her with bloody fingernails or toenails, or cutting her fingernails uncomfortably close (more blood), or picking at or peeling back lacerations on her skin and fingers.
Plus, every character in the movie (especially Barbara Hershey) is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and that's pretty much how I felt once it was over.
However, there are some pretty amazing, yet subtle, visual effects in the movie that fascinate me. Here is a look at how and why some of them were done...
If you see Black Swan, I suggest you go in with an empty stomach.
This ain't no Xanadu.