Thursday, 24 February 2011

Siegfried's patients

black swan
I wonder what 'The Black Swan' would look like as a black-and-white movie? The light and shade in it was pretty heavily contrasted with a storyline that would fit well as a Grand Guignol piece. Certainly there were some clever scenes, like the 32 fouettés en tournant where the dancer grew a swan's wings. But overall I thought it came across somewhat tongue (and file!) in cheek.

Old French horror theatre would use pseudo realistic blood, gore and sharp implements to entertain and that seemed to be part of this film's premise. I liked the creeping around the darkened and deserted theatre and the clever soundtrack with its off-centre effects.

It matched the off-centre prima-ballerina too, and possibly her similarly distracted rival, if she really existed. And that seemed to be the main plot-line. Like in Swan Lake itself, we'll have two people who significantly overlap and then see what happens.

So there were parallel identities, eating disorders and a descent into a form of madness. And that was just me watching it.

As a piece of melodrama, with some manifestly annoying characters, it pirouetted towards ever building excesses. And then fell awkwardly into an ultimately predictable ending.

Although I realise I'm probably out of line in considering this art-house Oscar candidate as a piece of two dimensional whimsy, stuffing ballet cliches and a borrowed storyline into an exploitation slasher flick.

The pizza afterwards was excellent.

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