Second Film Comment

I finally had the opportunity to watch Darren Aronofsky’s The Black Swan. In fact after watching it twice, I confirmed that I had understood well what the film was trying to say. Before watching this film, you should read about The Black Swan ballet because it will provide many clues about what is happening.

Most people have focused on the lesbian scene, which lasts only a few seconds, and not on this ballerina’s gradual descent into madness. The main character, Nina (Natalie Portman), is a perfectionist who has been overprotected by her mother. She is twenty-eight-does not seem to have any romantic liaisons , or other interests besides her career. Because her dancing technique is so perfect, her teacher Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) thinks that she would be the perfect white swan, but that she lacks the passion to become the black swan. That established, we see how her sexual repression, her family situation, and her rivalries with other dancers affect her. As she becomes more unstable, we see her becoming the black swan, but losing her life in the process.

A deeper look into the story will uncover what I think is the most disturbing situation. Is the ballerina’s sexual repression caused by her mother’s sexual abuse? The film provides much evidence that would point to this possibility.

If you like “feel good”movies, don’t watch this one. This is by far the best film this year in terms of its thought-provoking story, originality, performances, and cinematography. It’s simply outstanding. Natalie Portman truly deserved her Oscar for best performance, she gave it her all. I give this film a thumbs up.

7 thoughts on “Second Film Comment

  1. For the second movie commentary I decided to watch the movie “Crimson Peak”. It was directed by Guillermo Del Toro and presented in movie theaters in 2015. The story takes us to the year 1887 into a gothic romance that also includes elements such as drama and horror. The reason why I picked this film was because of the dark turn involved in the Victorian era. Also, Guillermo Del Toro’s movies have a lot of uniqueness in them and when the movie came in theaters I wasn’t able to go see it.

    Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), since she was young, has been visited by her mother’s ghost who always warns her to “beware of Crimson Peak”. A few years pass and Edith is now a woman and an aspiring writer. On day working at her rich father’s office, she meets Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), an English inventor who is in search of investors for a clay mining machine. Sharpe isn’t able to convince Mr. Cushing to invest in his ideas and ends up rejecting the offer. Meanwhile, Edith becomes interested in Thomas and begins to develop romantic feelings for him, despite her father’s disapproval. After the tragic events of Mr. Cushing’s death, Edith marries Thomas and moves to England to the Sharpe’s family mansion where Thomas’ sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain) also lives. The mansion is under the red clay mine Thomas is working; every time the clay starts painting the white snow into red, people call it the “crimson peak”. After moving, Edith starts experiencing strange ghostly apparitions and soon starts realizing that this new married life is spookier than what she thought and the house where she is now living hides secrets.

    Up until now I have to say that this movie is one of the top ones of my list. I found the story being very interesting and unique. The dark tone established since the beginning makes you have a feeling that what is going to happen is not good and it made me desperate to find out what was the Sharpe family hiding. When it came to visuals, the ghost apparitions were wonderful, even though they have a very gruesome aspect. Also, the fact that this clay where the mine and the house are standing is color red makes the story visually striking. Everywhere the characters turn, this red clay is following them, coming out of walls, pluming and even painting the snow. When it came to acting, I thought that the casting was chosen very well and that the characters brought the creepiness and mystery to the scenes.

    I had a fun time watching this film. It has a good plot and good characters. It also contains a little bit of horror and suspense. What I liked about the suspense part of the story was that it wasn’t extremely scary, but it brought an uncomfortable feeling to the audience. Also the way that the film is being narrated makes you eager to find out what the characters are hiding and what is the big deal with this “crimson peak”.

  2. Adore (2013)

    In New South Wales, Roz (Robin Wright), her husband Harold (Ben Mendelsohn) and their son Tom (James Frecheville) live near the beach. Lil (Naomi Watts), who is a widow lives nearby with her son Ian (Xavier Samuel). Roz and Lil are best friends, and so are Tom and Ian. Harold applies for and is offered a job in Sydney without telling Roz. He expects Roz to move to Sydney with him, however, she hesitates. Ian and Roz start a sexual relationship. Tom discovers this and takes revenge by initiating a sexual relationship with Lil. Now Roz has even more reason to stay, and later Roz and Harold divorce.

    Tom marries a woman of his own age. Supposedly his sexual relationship with Lil ends here, and Roz decides, out of solidarity, but to Ian’s regret, to stop their sexual relationship too. Ian has a relationship with a woman of his own age, but is not happy with it. He plans to break up, but he does not after hearing from her that she is pregnant. Later he finds out that Tom and Lil have resumed their sexual relationship. He is so angry that he discloses to the two young women what has been going on. They are so shocked that they break up with their husbands and leave with their children.

    “Adore” is decadent fantasy fulfillment masquerading as a declaration of feminist independence. Somewhere in here is a message about the importance of remaining sexy and vital in your 40s—about asserting your own identity once more after decades of being defined as someone’s wife and someone’s mother. The blonde and athletic Lil and Roz have a vibrancy about them that’s inspiring—and a similarity in appearance and demeanor that could make them sisters, adding just enough of an implied incest factor to make “Adore” that much ickier. But for some odd reason “Adore” isn’t icky to me at all.

    It’s quite the opposite, its a beautifully produced movie. The setting, the characters, the ambiance, everything. This has to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Just because its not a common movie plot. I mean two mid 40’s best friends have sexual relationships that turn into something more with each others son. Obviously to society that is a big no-no, but these two women found happiness again. Ok so obviously it was with someone who was half their age, but if someone who is half your age makes you happy, makes you feel alive, would you really end it with them? Maybe they were “the one that got away.”

    I was devastated at the end when Ian and Roz didn’t end up together, because of all they went through. And Liz was a very bad friend to let Roz think that her relationship with Tom had ended when it had always been there. Maybe Coz could have been happy with Ian herself, and Ian wouldn’t have been miserable with his girlfriend.

  3. Some months ago the trailer of La La Land was revealed. When i saw that trailer right away I knew the movie was going to be a totally amazing. Last weekend I decided to go and watch it, my grandma wanted to watch it too, so we went together. Right now this is my favorite film Oh my God it was so good, I can’t recommend this film anymore. The music, the scenes, the settings, the color scheme everything has such excellence and uniqueness. Love how the movie has an emphasis on the artist and actor role and life.

    In Hollywood, Mia and Sebastian are struggling to make it in their respective careers, about which each has extreme passion. Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in bars. Mia is an moved from small town Nevada and dropped out of college five years ago to pursue her dream. She is enamored with old time Hollywood – the movies on which she grew up – but hates the cattle herding feeling of going on auditions, and her belief that she needs to schmooze at social events to get ahead in the business. Sebastian is a jazz pianist, his style of jazz in the traditionalist. He wants to do his part to preserve that tradition, especially as he knows that that style of music is dying. He has trouble emotionally playing music he doesn’t like just to get a paying gig. His dream is to open his own jazz club, most specifically in what used to be a famous jazz club that has since been converted to a tapas bar cum salsa dance club. They eventually become attracted to each other largely because of the passion each sees in the other for what he/she is striving for in life. However, there are many obstacles to a Mia and Sebastian happily ever after. They may be able to endure the life of a struggling artist for so long before those struggles take their toll. The pursuit of their individual dreams may take all their energies, with nothing left for their relationship. And any compromise each may make in getting ahead may change the person with who each has fallen in love. When they reach a point a certain point in their careers path pull them in different directions, they are forced to face the challengers their growing relationship.

    This movie is so beautiful and so well made. I already saw it two times at the cinema and I’m so excited and anxiously waiting for it to launch on DVD. Everything is so special and just perfect, love how in some way tributes those that are struggling and trying to follow their dreams in the artistic point of view. It’s such an inspirational film and it’s so worthy of watching.

  4. Horror and thriller are terms that lack meaning when describing the spine chilling and brain-twisting movie known as Split directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Its whole concept is a wreck into some people’s reality. It was a thriller but it had very good comedy parts, which ease the stressful situations that are occurring. The film features realities such as multiple personality disorder a mental disorder characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personalities. Also adds the effects and aftermath of child rape that then leads into pre-teen psychological problems. It also has in sublime way cannibalism.
    I can’t say that it has an awesome storyline but I can definitely agree that James McAvoy had a very complicated role yet achieved to play all of the 24 personalities. He was so precise with every personality that it makes anyone in the audience automatically know who it is he is acting out, plus the intense close ups. I loved the uniqueness of every personality. The props and décor give the scenes extra trill.
    Three teen girls are abducted by the main character Kevin, and then take them into a basement. Leaves them locked in a room without any explanation. This causes mayhem with the other personalities because they do not all agree with the decision made. The personalities used to have a democratic party but, since the event of stealing the girls, part of the personalities have taken the lead and do not allow other to have any input in the decisions made. On the other hand the girls try everything they can to escape, but it is just the energy that triggers the personalities to create a bigger, stronger and more powerful personality that will cause a dramatic intense ending.

    It is a unique film; sadly I believe that the ending was extremely exaggerated as if it was a reminder that the content is science fiction movie. And as usual the director made the decision to leave an open ending.

  5. I remember watching The Crow as a child but I never really paid much attention to it and recently saw it on Netflix and decided to watch it. This film is based on a comic book and it follows the tragic story of Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas). They were brutally murdered by a gang of street thugs the day before Halloween. A year later Eric comes back to life seeking revenge and he is going to kill the men that took his life as well as his fiancée’s. We also see Sarah (Rochelle Davis) a child they used to take care of and the Sergeant Darryl Albrecht (Ernest Lee Hudson) that eventually helps Draven. I was very intrigued and decided to watch it because I liked the visuals, the Gothic vibes I was getting from the movie at first glance. I felt his pain and his anger in many of the scenes. I think Brandon Lee portrayed his character very well, a man that has come back to life to avenge his tragedy.

    I believe the soundtrack fits the movie so well. The scene where Eric goes back to his house and starts thinking about what happened, also showing us memories of their happy and domestic life, how in love they were with each other, all of those memories causing him pain and anger. When the song Burn by The cure starts playing we see Eric slowly losing it and becoming The Crow. I think what he did is fair. Those men took everything he had and they were never sorry. Draven killed them one by one. He´s not the bad guy, he was a former heavy metal guitarist, in love with his fiancée and together they would take care of Sarah. It´s really unfair they took everything away from him.

    I must say I was really sad when I found out Brandon Lee actually died during the filming of The Crow. His memory will live on. He did an astounding job portraying this character. This movie is amazing, of course some awful stuff happened that led him to do all of that but I believe the message of this movie is love, all he did was out of love. From seeking revenge for Shelly to protecting Sarah. He was so in love with Shelly that not even death took that away from him. I give this film a thumbs up and definitely recommend it to all of you.

  6. La La Land

    La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and its directed by David Chazelle, who directed Whiplash, one of my favorite films of 2014. The film La La Land is a musical, a romance, and a fantasy. It’s the story of a couple that have dreams and support each other to follow them.
    I loved the film. The songs were great, the acting, the musical score, the cinematography was really beautiful, the direction was spot on, and the script was great. Is one of the best films I’ve seen in a movie theater and the best I’ve seen this year. I think it deserves the Oscar for best picture of the year, but if Moonlight (another great film) wins it, I won’t mind. Another thing I liked was that it is a melodrama, which means it is sentimental and it will probably make you cry. It’s a movie for dreamers, for people who are passionate about something.
    I don’t think I saw anything wrong with La La Land. I think the only bad thing I could find was that Ryan Gosling doesn’t sing so good compared to Emma Stone, but I don’t think he sings bad in the film. I really don’t have a problem with the movie. I wasn’t bored, it was artistic and fun at the same time, it had the right balance. It explored the two main characters incredibly well and the two main actors had a great chemistry between each other, which sold the love they felt in the movie.
    I strongly recommend you see this in theaters because it’s a great film and I think the best movie of the year. I will give a 10/10.

  7. The Notebook
    ‘The Notebook” is about the same couple at two seasons in their lives. We see them in a young romance, and then we see them as old people, as she disappears into the shadows of Alzheimer’s. Every day he reads to her from a notebook that tells the story of how they met and fell in love and faced obstacles to their happiness. Sometimes, he says, he wishes that for a few minutes she is able to remember who he is and who the story is about.
    “The Notebook” is a sentimental fantasy. The lovers are named Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun, known as Duke. As old people they’re played by Gena Rowlands and James Garner. As young people, by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The performances are suited to the material, respecting the passion at the beginning and the sentiment at the end.
    Allie is a rich kid, staying at the family’s mansion in North Carolina for the summer. Noah is a local kid who works at the sawmill but is smart and poetic. Her parents are snobs. His father is centered and supportive. Noah loves her the moment he sees her. Her parents are direct: “He’s trash. He’s not for you.” One day her mother shows her a local working man, who looks hard-used by life, and tells Allie that 25 years ago she was in love with him. Allie thinks her parents do not love each other, but her mother insists they do.
    The photography of the movie is striking in its rich, saturated effects, from sea birds at sunset to the texture of Southern summer streets. It makes the story seem more idealized. And the old mansion is underlined, too, first in its decay and then in its rebirth; young Noah is convinced that if he makes good on his promise to rebuild it for Allie, she will come to live in it with him, and paint in the studio he has made for her.
    This movie is truly amazing. Many people say it’s a cliché film but for me its an iconic and amazing drama/romance film. It’s a movie that no matter how many times you see it it will always impact you in some way or another. If you haven’t seen The Notebook you must see it and if you have I hope you agree with me.

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