Never enough can be said about one of the most important, yet unrecognized directors of the past decade whose triumphant films include Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and most recently, The Wrestler. Two of the films are highly ranked in IMDB’s top 250 films of all time and find themselves frequently on best of the decade list, for innovative editing, large as life performances and storytelling that rips the pages of storytelling our with your heart and explores the deepest and darkest parts of humanity. Yet for some reason, Darren Aronofsky remains quite underrated and quite under appreciated for his contributions to modern cinema. Black Swan stretches to change that all.

What little information is revealed about the plot is almost irrelevant to appreciate the art of the trailer. Playing out like a psychological thriller from the darkest corners of hell in the imagination, Black Swan has a trailer that leaves so much mystery, so much confusion and so much urgency, making it look almost as emotionally stressful to watch as Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler combined.

Aronofsky’s movies are usually a character study, and Black Swan appears to be a similar struggle with a New York premiere ballerina who must impress her obsessive mother, her artistic director and her newest competition and possible lesbian lover. Complete with a similarly intense and dreary score that made Lux Atenera an iconic sound in Requiem, the trailer swoops through the plot, leaving behind feathers of mysterious plot points behind like a masked villain, supernatural transformations and relationships that complicate the conventions of the genre.

The trailer is carefully and cleverly edited, hopefully as the rest of the film will be, to mimic the movements and motions of the swan, which likely reinforces the metaphor of the title. From what is visible in the trailer, this is kept up through costuming, cinematography and the art department who wonderfully set up another tragic setting for Darren Aronofsky to dream up his nightmares.

If Black Swan is anything like the trailer, it will be nearly impossible for the Academy and Hollywood to continue to treat Aronofsky as a black sheep in the film community.

Highs: The greatest feat this trailer attained, despite the score, despite the cast and despite the talents of Aronofsky to set the tone of a world more real than our own, is the fact that editors left out a great portion of the films supernatural plot details while still keeping it looking as fascinating as hell.

Lows: Besides the possibility of the high expectations leading to a possibly disappointing film, the most disappointing part of this trailer is the usage of yet another rise from underwater in the bathtub shot in a horror.

Grade: A-

2 thoughts on “TRAILER REVIEW: Black Swan

  1. I didn’t warm to Aronofsky until The Wrestler. But now I’m in his camp and looking forward to this one. Black Swan looks like a really interesting film – it reminds me of Lynch and Cronenberg. Not a huge fan of Natalie Portman – can she carry the film? That might be the make or break of it.

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