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Movie Mania: Analysis of "Black Swan" by Darren Aronofsky (part one)

Those who follow me on Facebook (haven't you click on the "I like" button yet? What are you waiting? :D) already know that I finally saw "Black Swan" early this week.
I'm a fan of Aronofsky's works, so my expectations were very high on the release of his last movie.
And I must say that they were fully satisfied.

Black Swan is a mesmerizing, complex and disturbing masterpiece that I would like to analize in each of its aspects to share my thoughts with you.

In this first part, I would like to talk about the posters that were released to promote the movie.

In these first two posters we can see Nina (Natalie Portman) during her metamorphosis in her nemesis, the dark Odile.
The beautiful eye make up recreates the texture of the feathers of the swan's wings, the eyes are red and they don't look straight in the camera, maybe a sign of the trance in which Nina dances her last number.
On her head she sports a black crown, the statement of her obscure power.

In this poster Nina is portraited in the prime of her virginal beauty: the white feather that you can see on the right side testifies that who we can see is not the evil Odile but the delicate princess Odette, the Swan Queen.
Unlike the previous posters, here Nina is looking at the viewer straight in the eye.

This is also the poster that we can see in the movie outside the theater when Nina replaces Beth as the étoile of the company. 
The poster means that she's finally reached the goal for which she worked so hard, but in the same time it's also the moment in which her loss of control becomes unstoppable.  
This crack in her soul and in her mind it's noticeable in the rift that marks her face: even the perfection is vulnerable to curruption, that in this case it's deeper because doesn't come from outside but from inside.
But the rift has also another meaning: as a chick breaks the egg to look out the life, also Nina experiences a birth (or a evil rebirth, it depends on how you interpretate the end of the movie).
The last element in the image that makes us understand that the spell was cast were the earings, that Nina steals from Beth to try to be like her idol. 
But those earings don't belong anymore to the shining star of the company, to Leroy's "little princess": Beth, a sort of incarnation of Nina's future, has became rotten, the dark side that allowed her to achieve perfection during her perfomances has overwhelmed her.

In this poster we can see Nina as the Black Swan, with her beautiful costume made by Rodarte.
The black feathers flutter around the ballerina, who has completed her transformation.
Her left hand doesn't seem human anymore and it's red, just like the blood that flows out of it when Nina hurt herself intentionally.

The last series of official poster that I want show to you it's a limited edition of teaser posters of the movie made by an indipendent design circus based in London, La Boca.

 I think they are really beautiful.
The palette of the colours is limited to black, white and red and there is a recall to the poster design of the '30s.
In each one the symbolism of the metamorphosis is clear and it is declined in different ways: in the first one, the black swan seems to watch over Nina and incorporates her; in the second one, the plumage of the animal is composed by the arms of the dancers (or by the multiple identities of just one dancer, Nina); in the third one, Nina's profile is blended with that of the swan; in the last one, Nina's transformation is not done yet and she seems to be trapped in a V geometrical form, that can symbolize the structure on which Nina ascends in the final act of the ballet or also the irregular shape of the glass mirror with whom Nina mades her ultimate sacrifice.

Surfing the web I also found two unofficial posters that impressed me very much.
In the first one, Nina'profile is split in different segments, like the surface of the mirrors in which she reflects herself almost in every scene of the movie. The background is coloured in pink, the colour that simbolizes the state of perpetual childishness in which Nina is forced by her mother.
The second one is more obscure and represent an open black egg, which makes us see a faceted crystal, the perfect representation of Nina.

I hope to haven't bored you to death and 
I'm very curious to know what are your opinions about the movie and my analysis! :)

4 commenti:

Vera Poliakova ha detto...

Great post!

Terry ha detto...

Very interesting analysis indeed! I love all the posters you posted here because they all represent the inner fight that Nina experiences in the plot. My favourites are the limited-edition teaser posters, they remind me of the posters of the Russian Revolution, graphically stylized, impressive!

Misspenny ha detto...

@ Vera: I'm glad you like it ;)

@ Terry: The teaser posters are my favourites too.
I'm very happy you appreciated my analysis: as you know, I love your blog and the way you talk about cinema so your opinion is important to me :)

margott ha detto...

Masterpiece... Mirrors everywhere!

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