Throwback Thursday: Nina’s dark dream world

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I cannot dance to save my life, but I love watching dance and have never seen Swan Lake. You have probably seen hundreds of films, plays, and musicals, but you haven’t experienced anything until you have witnessed Black Swan. Natalie Portman is gripping from start to end. The film is captivating and takes us into Nina’s (Portman’s) world of Dance which we are quick to enter and her mentally ill mind. Masterfully directed by Darren Aronofsky, many angles of this film are ones you consider once the movie is over. It is like a song in your mind and parts of it splash on to you like a hurricane. You cannot look away no matter how disturbing because you want to be side by side with every minute of action and at times you feel that energy. I watched the end in disbelief, knowing it was worth it and that “I felt it, it was perfect.” She wanted it so badly. To become the lead ballerina and the Choice is Swan Lake. We meet Beth, the older dancer who has a horrendous accident the night that Nina has an important dinner presenting her as swan queen to the public. Her teacher is a womanizer and his lexicon is suggestive but Nina wants the Swan Queen role. Enter Mila Kunias.  Lily who has emotions “she’s not faking it” says the teacher, Tom. They are told the story of the black Swan and Nina is chosen to the anger and jealous of other dancers. It is assumed that Nina is having liaisons with Tom. His nefarious behavior or kissing her and groping her is despicable, a man we love to hate.  She is this look of fear that never really goes away. She has no role model.

I was taken aback by her mother’s disturbing influence. Her mother has Nina under her watchful eye and it is alarming to see that while Nina is self- mutilating, her mother just is drugged out in the other room. The little music box plays and sends our protagonist into dreams with the dark, devilish prince that causes her to awake in fright. The male teacher in charge of the company suggests that Nina touch herself, but hurting herself is something Nina begins to fancy. The clothes are extravagant and the film has amazing graceful ballet. It explores a dark side. Nina is falling apart and I can’t help but want to put myself through the screen and hug her. It appears that it is too late for that as The White Swan Nina plays masterfully. It is the black Swan that troubles her and fogs her mind. There are many aspects of this film that you don’t know if they actually occurred or not. Her having sexual intercourse with Lily after lily puts a drug in her drink to let her “roll”. Also, when her mom takes the door knob away and tells Nina she called and said Nina wasn’t well, Nina gets out of the apartment or rather storms out. It is opening night. Here she has a scene with Lily that I will never forget.

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would cross the line for reaching it? This dream she has had for so long is her moment! No one can swoop up and steal her precious time that she slaved away practicing and bleeding in the name of ballet. Perhaps Lily, the new girl, embodies the qualities of the black swan. This film teaches and shows us the dark element of dance. I would never want to dance or have dreams like Nina.  It takes you far past the edge into this world of obsession and madness that Nina cannot turn away from. What I love about this film is that there isn’t time and money and talk about the weather as things that bother you or make you stop and question things. It’s organic in the way it chooses to alarm and electrify your very being. Amid her woes you see that see loves dancing and it is everything to her. This lavish, decadent life she receives a glimpse of but on the downward spiral I want to scream but know it is too late. It’s over before you can help or see anyone who can. Truly it sways and rocks you into a troubled slumber of your own. Not for the weak of heart, I recommend Black Swan to anyone who has ever had a challenge in their life and given up or grown obsessed with that very challenge.

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The Summer Letdown: Suicide Squad

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I have a brief thing  to say about this film, and that makes me sad because I looked forward to it all summer. After a few friends said this movie was not that great, I was still heading to the theater excited. The previews looked amazing. Unfortunately, this movie was over-hyped and did not live up to those huge expectations.  This film fell flat for me. I was looking for things I’ve seen in other superhero movies, like Deadpool. Things that are funny, scary, and captivating. I looked for certain film techniques, yes, but I desperately searched for plausibility. This film was not plausible at all. I know, you are thinking, it’s a super hero (villain) movie. However, it was so unbelievable it became unappealing. This film lack those things greatly, but it’s important to say the characters were not the issue. The members of things squad were well cast and the beginning of the movie was amazing. In the end, it blended so many different fragments and called that a plot. Will Smith’s character was on point. Jared Leto as the Joker was brilliant and Margo that plays Harley Quinn was truly brilliant. She was easily the best character. The choice of music in this film was so good, but it seemed that music was unnecessary at some points.I liked the cinematography of this film. The use of the camera in different ways was unique. The plot was it’s undoing. I say, skip Suicide Squad.

The Classics: Let’s talk Citizen Kane

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Citizen Kane features all different film forms starting with German Expressionism which includes a foreboding, dark distorted home. In the beginning of the film and throughout a majority of the film there is a strong focus on everyone trying to figure out why Charles last words before death were “rosebud”. They thought it meant something significant. His home seems quite surreal with all of the statues and other items placed everywhere. Kane is a newspaper tycoon. We learn about his wives and his affair. Then we are hit with a flashback, one of five that gives us a peek at Kane’s childhood and life after that. In this flashback he is riding on a sled at the beginning and so full of joy, one he could never replicate as an adult. Then his mom says she is giving Charles (Charlie) Kane away, “so you can’t hurt him anymore” which she directs to the husband. I think that the father abused his son and that is why they gave him away. The second flashback is of a 25 year old Kane and in it we meet Kane’s best friend. Another flashback consists of Kane being congratulated. In this scene we get a bit of surrealism when women in costumes and a marching band roll in to celebrate Kane; metric and rhymic montage with the party.

Kane’s scandal is an example of metric and tonial montage because we feel badly for him. Kane suddenly wants the world’s largest diamond. It feels like a screwball comedy for a minute when he decides to marry the singer. Another example of surrealism occurs when a bird flies across the screen for no reason.  We then go back to the German Expressionism style when Kane is in a distorted mansion seen at the beginning of the film. Kane slaps his wife because of her complaining and she starts destroying statues. She follows her actions by saying how he never lets her go anyway and that they do not see enough people (friends) at this castle. Another flashback brings us to the end and we go full circle. This flashback occurs where Kane is dead, never having the love he always wanted and still no one knows what “rosebud” means. They are burning all the wood in the establishment and suddenly stamped on the back of a sled we see the word rosebud, an example of intelligence montage because suddenly we understand what was meant by Charles’s utterance of the word rosebud.