Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Black Swan: Dark and Breathtaking
I finally saw Black Swan on Sunday night and the wait was well worth it. The film is amazing – hands down. It is darkly twisted and also precisely beautiful. It is one of those rare movies where every minute pieces together seamlessly. I think all the main actors (Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, and Vincent Cassal) shine in their roles, and some will probably get award nominations in a couple of weeks. To be completely honest, I couldn't stand Portman's character, which means she captured the uptight, perfection-driven, obsessive-in-more-ways-than-one ballerina perfectly.
More than the story and the acting, I was blown away with the overall beauty of each scene. I expected the film to be aesthetically pleasing (i mean, it is about ballet which is simply a stunning art form), but this film surpasses all my expectations. The entire story plays on the classic archetype of black and white/evil and good. Black Swan pushes that well-recognized theme visually throughout the movie. The entire movie plays on contrast. The lights and darks are constantly intertwined and mixed. Keeping the audience asking, "Who is good?" and "Who is evil?" And the costumes help emphasize this psychological debate better than anything. In my opinion, they may be the best part of the movie.
The costumes were designed by the Mulleavy sisters of the fashion label Rodarte. Black Swan is their first attempt at costume design and I am perfectly speechless. AMAZING! I hope they do more film in all their free time. I have always been a fan of their work and I know that I will keep watching for what is next.
Below are some of their initial costume sketches and photographs of the finished designs. I have always been inspired by and envious of fashion illustrators. They seem to capture humanity, elegance and beauty in a fluid, effortless way. These are beautiful and capture the heart and soul of the film.