Just watched Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’ again
(which my own mother HATED, possibly with good reason, though I think I kind of like it, as did Duncan and my sister)
via STOLEN : THE SECRET CHANEL PERFUME AT THE HEART OF ‘BLACK SWAN’
3 responses to “STOLEN : THE SECRET CHANEL PERFUME AT THE HEART OF ‘BLACK SWAN’”
I find that I need to watch this again today. J
udging from the date, I last saw Black Swan two years ago.
I seem to be able to recite most of the dialogue now, as it happens.
Thank you for this link — Being a relatively new reader here (now haphazardly filling in previous posts based on searches or serendipity) I was gratified to be directed to what feels like a core post…Does a person say that about blog writing or is it presumed to be too ‘rhizome-like’ to have a core? Anyway, it certainly seems like a key to a door, and, as usual, I am grateful for your candour. I don’t think that Black Swan is overwrought in any *wrong* was (or rather, like the best works of surrealism, its wrongness overlaps moral & aesthetic categories of wrongness, forcing us to question our definitions of both and showing up the brittleness of sensibility); I always look to the body for proof, and, thinking of how visuals of dance are so inviting to an infectious mirroring, I found this movie completely invaded my body — the visuals, as in the most effective examples of body horror, dissolving barriers between subject, object and intimacy.
Your references to dancing as a kid and to the image of Nina as consumed/consummated by both artistic perfection and death brought to mind another reading (which kinds of related to your notes in the comments section relating viewing/writing about the film as an ecstasy) which is the kind of Rilkean notion of being drawn towards beauty in such a way as to long for self-extinguishment as part of the experience, a longing for the ineffable that to paraphrase from Leonard Cohen, looks like freedom but feels like death.
(From Rilke’s Duino Elegies [I think this is Stephen Mitchell’s translation?]:
“Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’
hierarchies? and even if one of them
pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed
in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.”)
A weird bookend to this is that also-very-enduring-in-memory video for Perfume Genius’ “Queen” — do you know it?
I don’t – I have seen some of his videos and they didn’t quite work for me – but I love this Rilke quote and what you say here : ‘the Rilkean notion of being drawn towards beauty in such a way as to long for self-extinguishment as part of the process”. YES. Not always, of course, but since childhood I have had that urge, without realising it quite so clearly. Thankyou