Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Swan Dive

I just saw "Black Swan," and all I will say (so that I don't ruin the movie for any of you who have not yet seen it) is that I will henceforth avoid all mirrors because they FREAK. ME. OUT.

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For a movie that scared the living bejeezus out of me, "Black Swan" surprised me because it was so mind-twistingly beautiful -- a gorgeous, slow-motion descent into madness.  And so much of that beauty was in not just the exquisite dancing and cinematography, but also in the costuming, which was done by the sisters behind Rodarte.

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It's like Rodarte was created for this film, or vice versa; I can't imagine an aesthetic that better suits the tone and subject of the movie.  After all, Rodarte is known for its quirky, slightly twisted, and very intricate collage-like pieces, usually inspired by nature.  What could be more Rodarte than a whole nest of bird costumes?

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I can't seem to find decent close-up photos of the tutus Rodarte designed for Natalie Portman's character, but they are in and of themselves reason to see the film.  (How awesome are these sketches, by the way??)

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Each of the tutus is an opulent and totally ingenious creation . . . feathers, delicate knitting, amazing corseting that makes the costume seem like it's literally an organic part of the body.

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And "organic" seems to be the best word to describe it.  I'm not the biggest fan of the conventional staging of "Swan Lake," mostly because I think story ballets are lame, but also because I find the whole tiara and tutu thing so saccharine and boring.  But "Black Swan" brings a Gothic vibe to both the story and the costuming, such that what is usually cheesy is now awesomely quirky, twisted, and dark.

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Like the movie overall, the costumes both attract me and repulse me, and I love it.

Have you seen the movie yet?  What did you think?


Anonymous,  December 15, 2010 at 1:42 AM  

I'm so excited to see this movie!! Those photos of the costumes are gorge!

Ellie December 15, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

1. I want to see this, but I'm scared. I don't do horror movies, so I'm on the fence about this one.

2. If you think story ballets are lame (what?!) find a way to go see "Jewels" if you haven't. It's AMAZING!!!!

Mrs. Hot Cocoa December 16, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

@ Ellie: Definitely see it! It's more scary in a Hitchcock's "Psycho" way, not in a "Friday the 13th" way. And I LOVE "Jewels" -- the Emeralds variation is my favorite of all the Balanchine pieces with the exception of maybe "Agon."

craftywife December 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

I'm such a chicken, even though I've heard great things, I don't think I'll go to see it.

Jessica :: Delicatessen January 11, 2011 at 7:44 PM  

I know this is super late but I want to see this movie so bad. Ballet, beautiful costumes, darkness, feathers showing up in, um, strange places -- count me in.

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