Last weekend I went to a screening of Black Swan with my dear friend Sly, and I gotta admit that I kind of loved the film. The whole movie was an amazing mess: borderline campy, intensely freaky, frequently disgusting, and 100% overwhelming. Its symbolism was obvious, and its scares sometimes manipulative, but by the end, I just sort of surrendered to the beast and cried Uncle. I couldn’t help it. I had been tugged back and forth so viscerally that I found myself feeling both extreme dread and utter exhilaration by the time the credits rolled. I was a mess.
Luckily, I wasn’t in as bad shape as Sly, who spent a good chunk of the movie — perhaps eighty percent — with her hands over her eyes. And when that wasn’t good enough, she grabbed her coat and buried her face in that too. There was also the awful woman behind me, who at one point screamed so loudly, you would have thought someone had stabbed her in the face (wouldn’t have been a bad idea). The point is this: the movie is highly disturbing and features many nasty, bloody scenes. You might never look at a nail file the same way.
Black Swan opens on December 3rd, and if you do wind up seeing it, be sure to check out the flick in a movie theater, ideally one with a strong sound system. The massively intense score — a combination of original work and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake — is most effective when it’s played loudly, the better to pummel you into submission. I mean that in the best possible way, naturally.