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Entries in Black Swan (33)

Tuesday
Oct222013

Crazy/Possessed Ballerinas. Are There Any Other Kinds? 

In preparation for our two part Horror Best Listing (pre-Exorcist and post-Exorcist which arrives tonight) I caught up with a few classic titles. One of them, briefly discussed on the latest podcast, was Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977). I can't say I took to it exactly, despite being partial to films which boozily strip naked and beg their Production Designer & Cinematographer to f*** them.

slumber parties in horror movies? never a good idea

Suspiria (have you seen it?) starts sort of well, flying right into an unnatural rainstorm with a weirdly off kilter urgency as ballerina Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) arrives in Germany to attend an prestigious ballet academy. But those first two kills are so yuck making the intro a mixed bag for me. For its middle section, which I assume is where the film's classic status derives, the movie does little cul-de-sacs in creepy/garish atmospherics punctuated by two perversely inventive murders. But then, oops, time is up. For its last trick, Suspiria speeds through a dud finale with mood-killing exposition (how was Udo Kier ever this young!?) and badly dated visual effects. By the time the credits appear, it's lost pretty much all of its intermittent unnerving power. For me at least; I understand others really do dig it.

After Suspiria ended, my mind wandered to a more general cinematic question: Are there any silver screen ballerinas that are happy?

See, it seems like screen ballerinas are always batshit crazy whether they're...

Suspiria

...possessed by the occult

 

The Red Shoes

...dancing feverishly as if possessed by toe shoes

 

Black Swan

...having psychotic feathered breaks

 

The Turning Point

...or engaging in neurotic Oscarbait-offs. 

 

Can you think of any well adjusted ballerinas in fiction?
And if you can't whose your favorite nutjob ballerina?

Tuesday
Mar062012

"We have 12 Vacancies. 12 Cabins. 12 Links" 

Kill Screen imagines Downton Abbey as a card based RPG. Love the artifact "pants of modernity"
Deja View a relic brochure from a time when Disney was seeking animators.
Irish Times is pissed about Streep's Oscar win and illustrates, again, that a backlash grows. But here's the interesting part...

One can think of many star actresses...who will submerge themselves in films bigger than themselves. But Streep has to be bigger than the movie, to the point where she can become, in effect, a substitute for it.

You may recall we were talking about just this fascinating issue (within the Oscar symposium). It's hardly a Streep-Only topic. What does it mean to "carry" a movie and should an actor ever be asked to? 

Rope of Silicon has "sexy" issues with Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh in the upcoming feature Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (omg please change the title). So do I and the first being that Scarjo, who I enjoy, is very different than Janet Leigh in body, age and looks. She might be able to summon up the contemplative paranoia mood of Leigh but otherwise it's a huge miss if you ask me.
Guardian odd lawsuit of day. Sandra Bullock is pissed that a watch company is selling a watch by comparing it to her Blind Side look.
Coming Soon Disney must've liked the response to titling Rapunzel Tangled because their next fairy tale musical will be based on The Snow Queen and it's called Frozen. Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars herself, gets lead vocal duties.
/Film
 remembers Black Swan with a new behind the scenes photo gallery. I don't remember Natalie wearing this white cloak thing onstage. Have I lost my mind or just my short term memory?
ioncinema details a new "slippery nature of truth" project called True Story starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing. Pitt has good taste and this sounds interesting. 
Pajiba lists the 25 biggest animated hit (adjusted for inflation). Pixar doesn't even make the top 10!
Indiewire lists films they hope show at Cannes this summer

And even though I always try to let each year's Oscars go within a week's time of the ceremony, I find myself still reading Oscar recaps since I have emerged from my cave of silence. I did like these two overviews of the ceremony from two of my favorite online peeps, The Self Styled Siren and Glenn at Stale Popcorn. So if you also share the Oscar sickness, read 'em.

Tuesday
Oct182011

Curio: Costume Dramas

Alexa here.  Every year my desire to arrive at the perfect Halloween costume sees me trolling the internet for ideas.  Unlike my husband, who can throw together the perfect Carl Spackler costume in 10 minutes, I need to plan ahead, and I can't sew well enough to get really creative.  Someday I'll create the perfect Maude Lebowski Valkyrie look, but this year, on my daughter's orders, I'm going as a chicken.  Here are some looks I'd rather be wearing for Halloween.

 

A Black Swan Rodarte replica, $700, from this shop.

Take a flowered house dress, some duct tape, and this book, and you'd have the perfect Geena Davis Beetlejuice look.

Click for more including Marilyn, Catwoman, and Mattie Ross...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul252011

Nina who?

Wednesday
Jul132011

Sound Off: Mila Kunis

Because I spend so much time tied to my desktop, I start talking to myself when you don't comment. You don't want me going all Nina Sayers Black Swan batty, do you?!? I don't live with a portrait-painting mother who force feeds me cake but my cat stares at me so evilly that I wonder what he'd try if he had opposable thumbs. My point is this: if Mila Kunis rang my bell to take me dancing, I'd fly out the door.

By now you've heard that Mila recently accepted an invitation to attend a Marine Ball (military prom!) with a fan which some think makes her the coolest celebrity on the planet. Are you one of those people?

I was recently interviewed on the All Things Kunis topic by MSNBC Movies to coincide with the release of her romcom Friend With Benefits and you can read my quotes over there if you so desire. My basic feeling is that she should ditch the comedies briefly for something E-V-I-L. That vaguely sinister erotic charge that she gifted to Black Swan and the way you could read it as playful one minute and agenda-filled the next, suggests that she has an untapped capacity for darker roles, don't you think?