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New on DVD: Black Swan, Topsy-Turvy and More

Hi everybody. Michael C here again. A quick drop in to remind everybody that Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a film I consider the finest of last year, is hitting DVD shelves.

Having seen the remarkably in-depth behind the scenes featurette on the Swan DVD I can report that the real contribution that got screwed out of recognition was not Portman’s dancing double (igniting recent controversy) but Swan’s special effects team. On a limited budget, the effects of Black Swan are just as skillful as Inception’s. Swan's effects are often invisible (few stop to think how they are able to film in rooms filled with mirrors), but when they are intentionally noticeable they contribute to the film’s artistic vision. Why doesn’t that factor into award recognition? (Although I should point out that small scale f/x are no obstacle to Film Bitch Award recognition)

Though technically flawless I doubt the invasion of killer robots during Iron Man 2's climax is going to linger in anybody’s memory, yet I can confirm that Nina’s legs snapping violently backwards with a sickening crack has lingered since the film first screened. 

So I encourage folks to check out that DVD doc to fully appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this amazing film, although there may be a few points you will want to cover your eyes in order to preserve the magic.  And as long as we're shopping for movies another masterpiece hits Blu-ray today, under the Criterion Collection umbrella: Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. Leigh's ode to the creative process is the staid and dignified white swan to Aronofsky's wild and subjective black.

Also hitting DVD or BluRay today:


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Reader Comments (5)

Totally in agreement about the visual effects in Black Swan being underrated. Having seen the film again just the other day only reaffirms this. Thank the film gods people took notice of their beautifully integrated brilliance. So seamless and rightfully in line with Aronofsky's vision! And good on BAFTA for actually nominating them. Yay @ thinking outside the box.

Looks like this is now a good time to finally watch Topsy-Turvy. Oh, how I've heard great things about it.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Add my voice to the crowd that affirms the greatness of the "Black Swan" visual effects team. I didn't realize how seamless and crucial their work was until I saw a four-and-a-half minute behind-the-scenes reel on YouTube ( It's all the subtle details to which we typically don't even give second thought that makes it so remarkable. Then again, the film was also cheated in other technical categories, so...

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H

I call BS on all the good special features being on the Blu-Ray version only. But I guess I can find other means of seeing them. Bought the regular version. The film plays wonderfully on the small screen.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWesley

This has nothing to do with the post, but I just got REAL excited that Nathaniel's April Fools picks come out Friday!

But seriously though, I'm excited for Topsy-Turvy to hit, it's my favorite Leigh film.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam C.

Can i state that all good things has one of the top 5 best supporting actress performances of 2010 & no one saw it,how did she ( kirsten) look in that mirror scene like she had imploded from the top down,maginificent acting..

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMARK
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