SWAN LACKS (or should straight men direct ballet movies?)

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2010 at 5:31 am

When I suffered through a New York press screening of BLACK SWAN, with actress/radio journalist Donna Hanover, who, at one point, overcome by the over-the-top gratuitous ugly violence on the screen, actually cried out in anguish, little did I know that this sadistically misogynistic, sexist cinematic piece of absolute garbage and sheer anti-art could ever be a critical success.

But then I seriously overrated the intelligence and taste level of the majority of working film critics these days, who are so abjectly inured to pulp (read: basic crap engendered by the now ubiquitous horror/action genres which comprise 80% of contemporary film fare) that they actually have taken this Darren Aronofsky atrocity seriously, when not admitting its – for them – guilty pleasure allure, deeming it “trashy fun.”

BLACK SWAN ain’t even that, and I am personally rather apalled that a critic like the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis and other female journalists haven’t expressed serious objections to the aforementioned misogyny and sexism of a work that is nothing more than the most base hetero male fantasy calculatedly outfitted in the trappings of a high art which Aronofsky has zero perception of. The critical embrace of this – and other abysmal films – is beginning to make me feel that you CAN fool all of the people all of the time, Honest Abe aside.

For my review of BLACK SWAN in FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, click here

  1. I personally do not see how one can equate a character’s misogyny (if that is what it is) to a director’s or a film’s supposed misogyny. I don’t think it’s a hetero fantasy in the trappings of high art but a psychological thriller in the trappings of various cinematic (fictional) tropes – the ballerinas’ repressed / abused sexuality being one of many.

    I took this film as seriously as I do any work of art not professing to be a grand statement on the world. I thought it was a very good film. If you take it as vindicating or promoting everything that it depicts, then fine, it might be off-putting or even abhorrent.

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