Black Swan and The Wrestler

I’d like you to apply what you learned on Tuesday to the two films due for tomorrow.  In what ways do the thematic concerns of Aronofsky continue across these two films?  In other words, what remains consistent for him as a director with a thematic focus?  Now for the more difficult question: What remains consistent for him in terms of techniques?  Where are there moments, for example, when he stages mise-en-scene in similar ways?  How does he use the camera and/or sound to tell the story in ways that are consistent and a mark of a unique signature?  Remember that we are looking for patterns here.

 

Please respond in 50 words by tomorrow at 9 am.

67 thoughts on “Black Swan and The Wrestler

  1. The both The Wrestler and Black Swan, realistic ideas and the hard truth within the wrestling and ballet industry were shown. Although The Wrestler did not depict a mental disorder, both movies showed the emotional struggle to keep up what the main characters were expected of doing. He remains consistent in terms of technique when it comes to following a character from behind when they are walking and the camera is shaky. He also uses muted lighting throughout the entire film, and it is neither bright nor extremely dark. The scenes are grainy at some points, along with using similar moments. For example, at the end of the film, Nina jumps off of the cliff, falling to her death. In The Wrestler, Randy is shown jumping on top of another wrestler, and the plot implies that he died due to his heart issues. By also using sound as a key component in his films, like music that goes along with the play in Black Swan and songs in The Wrestler, it brings out the genre of the film while still forming auteur aspects related to Aronofsky.

    • In terms of thematic focus, both Black Swan and The Wrestler revolve around a character facing emotional stress from their careers. Aronofsky depicts a dark reality in both films of the pressures people can face within the arts and perormance industry. In terms of technique, both films seem to use a dark color pallet complemented by a grainy texture. The grainy texture is likely caused by having both films shot with 16mm film. I found the consisent use of long behind the back tracking shots and jump cuts to be prominent in both films.

      • I also noticed that in Black Swan and in the Wrestler that both activities that the films focused on are a form of art- wrestling being a low form of art, and ballet being a high form of art. Yet in both films, the main character expresses their art in similar ways.

  2. Aronofsky has clearly made the choice to shoot both The Wrestler and Black Swan on 16mm film. Both films have a darker, slightly dulled, color pallet. Some technical similarities between the films are the choice to use a hand held camera for certain shots and have long scenes with minimal dialogue to make the character and their movements the focus. In terms of the subject/message, both films follow a struggling character who seems to find peace at the end when embracing death.

    • Aronofsky has similar character structures in both movies. Randy Robinson and Nina Sayers are both addictive to their craft, which leads to their demise. However, Randy’s physical condition is destroying his body due to wrestling and Nina’s stress and pressure that she endures is driving her insane. Through the perspective of the audience, the characters do not seem healthy, but Randy and Nina both end up experiencing satisfaction at the end. The death of both characters is implied which was caused by their own doing. Aronofsky uses a handheld 16mm camera to capture a realistic and grainy feel to the movie. He also uses tracking shots from behind the main characters and jump cuts in both movies.

  3. The thematic ideas that I noticed were consistent in both films are the idea of dying careers with Winona Rider’s character and her being replaced and then the idea of Randy getting too old for his. Both films are generally about the struggles and perseverance that is required to succeed in two competitive industries. In terms of technique, I noticed that a lot of both films were filmed with a hand-held camera. There are also a lot of tracking shots from behind the characters walking down hallways. To me, the final scenes also mimicked each other: the big performance the character was working up to and then an implied death that the character was anticipating.

  4. In The Wrestler and Black Swan both focus on aspects of a sports industry in wrestling and ballet. They both show the different hardships that each character is
    suffering and the pressure is affecting the main character in similar ways. The reality and the hard truth is shown in both sports, especially demonstrating a mental illness that is evident in ballet. Both characters show signs of distress, and to emphasize them although special effects are used in Black Swan to symbolize them. In both movies, Aronofsky strategically uses a shaky camera to follow the characters around, along with using a moodier tone of color in the films. At the end of each film, the death of the main character is implied. Both characters worked up to the point of their death, and did what they loved the most until the very end.

  5. From a technical standpoint, Aranofsky’s choice to shoot both The Wrestler and Black Swan on 16mm film gives both films the grainy texture and rough feel, almost as if we are the ones filming on a home camera. It puts the audience right in the story. From a story standpoint, both films highlight the mental instability professional athletes often hide.

  6. Both in the Wreslter and the Blackswan I noticed that both movies had a darkness to them that give us a sense of what the characters are feeling. Along with that , Aronofsky decides to uses hand held cameras in both films a long with some tracking shots that follow the characters. Aronofsky decided to focus the cameras more on the movements of the characters rather than the dialogue since movement of the body seems to be very important in both of the movies whether its wrestling or ballet.

  7. Aronofsky seems to focus on fear of aging as a large theme in his films, at least in “The Wrestler” and “Black Swan”, since the former is about a wrestler who is past his prime and the latter is about a woman coming into hers, but facing many challenges as a result of her growing up in constant search for perfection. As far as technique goes, Aronofsky uses a handheld camera on very small film in both movies, and often emphasizes moments where characters self-harm or place extreme wear on their bodies with sharp objects or drugs to create a raw, harsh feeling.

  8. Aronofsky shot both films using 16mm film. He also tracked the characters and used handheld cameras at times. He seems to focus on mentally unstable characters who value their career above their life, shown by the implied deaths at the end as well as their injuries. Both characters also push away those that can help them, Ram with Pam and his daughter and Nina with her mom.

  9. Both movies resembled Aronofsky’s work in very similar ways. The most obvious being, the way Aronofsky directed both main characters to have their whole lives completely focused on one thing (this case being ballet and wrestling). These characters were so determined to an unhealthy point, where they did everything and anything it took, to get to a certain place in their sport. Even, to the point of death. Both characters ended up loosing everything to get where they wanted, and pushing away the people that could have helped them. As for Aronofsky’s technique, both movies seemed to be shot in the 16mm film and had a shaky hand-held camera work to it.

  10. Black Swan a Darren Aronofsky film that shows how profound his internal meaning is within his movies. Between The Wrestler and Black Swan we see the downfall of a character and the hard times they go through. The film style and look of the film along with the lighting looks to be the same.

  11. In terms of consistent thematic elements both of these films are about the stresses and tolls on a performer. While the tolls on the performer in Blackswan are arguably more mental than physical, both films consistently use physical injury on the protagonist to depict their career impacting their wellbeing.

  12. Mis-en-scene from both of these movies trends along a single person is engulfed by all the aspects of their career and abilities. Aronofsky uses medium close up shots with tracking shots to create the dark dimensions of his character’s world and follows their focus on how they react to the world around them. He seems to prefer using diegetic sounds to highlight his main character and their reactions to the environment around them. I’ve noticed how a person breaths, bits of music depending on what is available, and footsteps are consistent with his signature style in each movie.

  13. A thematic pattern that I noticed was the main character’s struggle as a professional athlete to deal with mental and physical pressure while trying to find themselves. The struggle for an identity outside of their pressure was very prevalent. As for technique, one style I saw was his use of tracking shot and hand held camera work. Another similarity I noticed between the two films was the lighting and his use of high contrast light.

  14. Black Swan was shot with 16mm film in order to match the dark, gritty feeling Aronofsky also used in The Wrestler. Both of these films thematically focus on driven, lonely characters who lose themselves in their sport and in their own lives. Black Swan and The Wrestler have a cold, empty feeling to them due to the shaky handheld camerawork and the use of silence and diegetic noise. Aronofsky also seems to like putting cringy, gorey moments in these films that capture the main character’s mindset.

  15. Both of these films use color and sound very similarly. Both are very dark and yet at times the lighting is used in a jarring manner. In the films, sound plays a huge role as well. Mainly used to lock the viewer down or have them subconsciously think something without even realizing that was put there on purpose. Finally, the plots are both similar in the sense of adversity and fall from greatness.

  16. In both The Wrestler and Black Swan, Aronofsky has obvious patters. He chooses to tell the story of two different people trying to prove themselves. Ram is trying to prove that he is not past his prime and can still wrestle; Nina is trying to be perfect. Both of these characters are so obsessed with proving themselves that their deaths are implied at the end of each of the films.

  17. Aronofsky chose to shoot both films on 16mm film, using a hand-held camera for the majority of shots and with a lot of tracking shots as well from behind. Each film does not have a lot of color, both are dull and do not have poppy colors, creating a depressing feeling for the viewer, which is how both characters actually feel. The final scenes of both films are alike because the main character is performing what they love and then death comes to them. Both films are about the main character struggling with life and their competitive industry they are in. During the final scene, both characters are doing what they love to do, dance/wrestle and eventually brings their death to them.

  18. Aronofskys use of theme in both The Wrestler and Black Swan highlight destruction of characters ( Ram , Nina) that happens when they try to seek perfection or what seems to be their dream. Both characters also fit similar roles, which is to entertain an audience. This feeds into wanting to become a perfect fit to those roles, which slowly destroys them. In the ending scenes of both films there is a parallel when they both are a moment of grandeur in performance which then ends in a fall. They look similar as well in how lighting ( back lighting as well as high key lighting) , camera angles (close ups), and camera movement following their last performance.

  19. One of the most striking parallels had to do with the film being shot on 16 mm film and also the film appearing grainy. Aronofsky tends to use muted or even washed out colors in his films, and in Black Swan, the color palette gravitated towards white and black. Additionally, in both The Wrestler and Black Swan, the protagonist falls to their death. Although Nina did not die on impact, it was this final jump at the end that symbolized and led to her death.

  20. Both of the films camera use and lighting seem very similar. There’s also a lot of non-diegetic sounds that can be argued as diegetic because they go so well with the film and what the character goes through in the film. They also both involve sports and how much the main character will go in order to be perfect for others. There’s also a sort of darkness to both films.

  21. Both the Wrestler and Black Swan were dark both literally and metaphorically. The setting itself was very dark and dreary especially when shot outside. It was almost like everyday was cloudy. The theme both movies were centered around some sort of athlete and the struggles of their profession. Another thing that was noticeable was how in both movies there was a character that attempted to help the main character but was ultimately turned down at the end.

  22. Both The Wrestler and Black Swan share the theme of the protagonist struggling with themselves and the things they are passionate about. The thing that gives their life meaning is also the thing that eventually takes their life away. The shooting style between the two films was very similar; both were shot in 16 mm and have a handheld feel to them. Dark color tones and this shooting style add a feeling of realism as if we’re not watching a movie but we’re watching their life.

  23. In both The Wrestler and Black Swan, Aronofsky chooses to keep a theme of darkness as he portrays the amount of pressure that is placed on athletes. This can be seen in The Wrestler as Randy undergoes the struggle of aging and having to retire, while in .Black Swan Nina is driven to insanity as she secures her position in the studio’s show, and works to not be replaced. He also continues to use longer scenes without dialogue and a hand-held camera for a large number of his scenes.

  24. In terms of technical aspects Wrestler and Black Swan are both filmed in 16mm and both use similar editing techniques and they both use dramatic lighting giving the films very dark atmospheres.
    In terms of thematic aspects both show the perspectives of performers struggling in both their industries and their personal lives. Both films also end with the presumed death of the main character after an important performance. Another thing to note about both endings is that while their performances were some of their best, their personal lives still have unresolved conflict.

  25. Both films deal with, arguably dysfunctional, parent-child relationships. Randy and Erica both believe their grown daughters to still be children. One of the film techniques that they both share is the emphasis on framing. In the Wrestler, tracking shots frequently follow Randy, allowing his physique to take up the frame, and in Black Swan, Nina is surrounded by reflections, manifestations of her fractured psyche.

  26. Darren Aronofsky continues to focus on the same thematic events throughout his films. He uses the theme of a career ending/dying as the main theme for the main character that is being filmed. He has continuously used dark, drastic lighting to display the characters and events happening. In both films, he utilizes long shots and panning camera angles to help the viewers interpret the climatic themes. Along with the long shots come the fact that they were both shot in 16mm, meaning that they are slower and darker. All of Aronofsky’s decisions regarding mise-en-scene relate completely back to the repeated themes he displays in his films.

  27. The similarities that I noticed within the two films are the dedication that both main characters have towards their goals/dreams. Neither one of them are willing to back away from their goal, even if it results in irreversible consequences. In both films, some scenes are filmed with a shaky, hand-held camera normally very close to the characters face in tracking shots. The way that he films the movies makes it almost seem like these are real life events that happened or are unfolding right in front of you. The 16mm camera he uses, giving off a grainy affect, along with the shaky, hand-held movements, and the darker tones just gives it such a realistic tone. You could almost imagine someone you know or yourself going through what the characters are going through.

  28. I found Aronofsky’s choices in techniques to be extremely similar in both films. In performance scenes, the camera angles changed often and the camera felt a bit “unsteady”. Non-diegetic, dramatic music, was also used in both films during each character’s episodes of breakdowns. Both films were also fairly dark, which I believe represented the darkness they held inside. Thematically, in both films, there is a main theme of giving your life for performance. In the Wrestler, Randy was so invested in his wrestling career that he left his family and health behind, resulting in a life-troubling struggle. Similarly, in The Black Swan, Nina gave her life to her big performance, once again leaving her mental health and mother behind, which seemingly ended in her killing herself to be “perfect”. In both films, the characters strived so hard for perfection that they were killing themselves in the process.

  29. In Black Swan and The Wrestler, the director Darren Aronofsky uses many similar aspects between the two films. The similar aspects can be seen through the creation of the protagonists where they both are involved in performance careers and that they both are battling hardships in their life and that they use their profession as a sign of hope that their lives will get better. The most important similarity that I drew from these movies is the ending and how both main characters, Randy and Nina presumably seem to die while their careers are booming but their personal lives are still in shambles

  30. A theme that can be found in both Black Swan and the Wrestler is obsession and how a person’s obsession leads to their downfall. Aronofsky is fascinated by the Icarus character. In both movies we see the protagonist spiraling; with dizzying camera movement and extreme closeups that highlight the simultaneous agony and euphoria they feel in the spotlight.

  31. Aronofsky’s choice to shoot both films in 16 millimeter gives both The Wrestler and Black Swan a slightly grainy and almost amateur like feel. They also both focus on the sports industry, and the struggles and hardships that athletes endure. In doing this, there are multiple long, drawn out scenes in which the camera tracks the character with minimal dialect, creating dramatic moments.

  32. Aronofskys two films like to keep the audience grounded. He shot both films in 16mm with most of the camera work being handheld. This makes his work seem more set in reality. As far as techniques his use of non-diegetic sound in both films is used to reveal the inner thoughts and desires of his characters. In the wrestler you hear Randy imagining the roar of the audience before entering the room and in black swan, Nina hears the flap of wings when it’s revealed she got the part. Aronofsky has the ability to pull back the curtain and shine a light on two performers, revealing their flaws and doubts, their struggles. He showcases the hardships and sacrifice they endure to become the image society demands them to be.

  33. Black Swan and the Wrestler both have the grainy, gritty feel of being filmed by someone following the characters around with a handheld camera. A lot of the shots are a little shaky, and many times the camera follows the main character from behind as they walk. There are even similar scenes from both films in which the main character walks down a narrow hallway as the camera follows behind. The colors are also often very dark in both films, especially in scenes that show the characters’ respective sport.

  34. Both “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler” focus on a protagonist whose main conflict arc revolves around their interactions and struggles with their inner selves and their careers. Both films are shot in a grainy, handheld manner, which reinforces the idea that the characters’ lives are shaky and unstable. Both films have several tracking shots that follow the character around from over their shoulder or behind their back.

  35. The Wrestler and the Black Swan are extremely similar in many different aspects of the movies. Both movies focus on extremely finite details of sports, from wrestlers talking about who will win, to how ballerinas style their shoes. The camera style is kept exteremely similar too, with a lot of shots being shot at an above shoulder level to give you an idea of what the character is staring at, to some shots following the characters at a head level. The music is also very specific with both movies using songs that fit perfectly with the films, from piano music to rock songs. I think this film is a great example of why Darren Aronofsky is an auteur filmmaker today.

  36. From the very beginning of the film, Aronofsky’s techniques used in “The Wrestler” shown through. In both films, the camera constantly follows the main character as if it is filming a documentary. Like the camera work, the lighting is also similar as he uses muted, dark tones throughout the entirety of both films. Even the plots for the films are similar: both about a mental breakdown and inferred downfall of an athlete. Aronofsky has a specific way he uses “gore.” In both “The Wrestler” and “The Black Swan” he focuses on the way the characters are physically harmed, using close-up shots on injured areas, as well as mentally.

  37. One major aspect I realized in both Black Swan and The Wrestler was that they were both filmed in 16mm and the camera quality had a grainy look. He chose to display the same washed out colors as well that gave these films a dark ambience. The camera angles were very similar between these two films as well, close ups that were shot from the middle. There was a lot of back lighting and high key lighting that also played a role in the mood that was set for both of these films. Aronofsky also sets up his protagonists in the same way, having them strive to find their perfect self, only ending in defeat. Both of these films ended in deaths from the main character that the entire film followed and focused on.

  38. I think one thing that is constant with both of the films is the hardship and struggles of each of our main characters. This is displayed in The Wrestler with the issue of Randy aging and dealing with the inability to do what he used to do. In The Black Swan, Nine shows issue of constant pressure in succeeding in her field, while attempting to be a good mother. One cinematic technique similarity I found in these movies is Aronofskys use of color in the movie. I found that in both, there are scenes where the color of the scene is relevant to the darkness of the shot.

  39. In both The Wrestler and Black Swan, Aronofsky uses a 16 mm film and it also seems like he uses handheld camera’s as well. Another thing that reminds constant between his movies are the muted colors. The lighting was also something that was very similar between these two movies. Perhaps the biggest similarities between these two movies is the main characters. Both characters struggle with mental illness that take over their actions and are both effected by the pressures of their occupations.

  40. In both The Wrestler and Black swan, Aronofsky deals with the mental, physical, and emotional damage that can be done by performance based careers. He deals a lot with how performers eventually age until they can no longer preform, and the emotional impact of them losing (or the fear of losing) their career that they gave up so much for and have tied into their identity. Both are very personal and end in the total destruction of the main character. In both of these films, when the main character is on stage preforming the editing and camera movement is dissenting causing it to feel disconnected from reality. Both also have an unsteady camera, that helps convey the characters distress in everyday life.

  41. The primary thematic concern of Aronofsky is identity. Randy and Nina’s entire identities are wrapped up in their celebrated alter egos. In both cases, their reckless pursuit of greatness leads to destruction. Randy blows up his relationships, ruins his body, and eventually sacrifices his life, all trying to get a taste of the glory days. Nina’s story almost exactly mirrors Randy’s, but she is desperate to achieve greatness in the first place. Even though the films have different cinematographers they work to visually ground us in the protagonist’s journey. Both utilize handheld cameras and sequences of 16mm.

  42. Darren Aronofsky’s style can clearly be seen in his films “The Wrestler” and “”Black Swan”, both thematically and technically. The themes of both films are closely related, both dealing with topics of career downfall and public personas. On the more technical side, both films are clearly shot on 16 mm film, giving them a grittier feel. Aronofsky also uses sound to his advantage, giving many scenes in both films a more emotionally engaging atmosphere.

  43. In the films The Wrestler and Black Swan, Aronofsky had shown very similar qualities in both films. For example, a cinematic technique that I had noticed similarities from the two movies, was the camera angle and the picture quality. The quality of the picture on screen was very grainy and the film job seemed to be used by a handheld camera in both productions since the camera seemed almost “shaky” to the viewer. Another cinematic technique that Aronofsky uses in both films is color. The shot that has a certain amount of darkness correlates to the amount of color in that scene. Finally, in both films I observed that the protagonists had to deal with a personal problem or hardship in their life that they are extremely passionate about.

  44. Both of Aronofsky’s main characters are driven to be the best in their respective fields and go to great lengths to accomplish this. He shows the downsides of obsession and competition and the death of the main characters at the end of their movies happen right after they get their chance in the spotlight.

  45. Black Swan and The Wrestler are similar in that they show the internal and external difficulties associated with show business. Mickey Rourke and Natalie Portman’s characters are pushing their limits to succeed in their respective fields with their own personal problems. For The Ram, his problem is aging and fading away, while Nina’s problems are more about her struggles against herself to fit a role. Aronofsky continues his tradition of complex characters striving for fame and success while also using the same cinematic techniques for both films. The grainy film quality (16mm?) and frequent use of handheld cameras ground these tales in the real world. The director’s preference for high-key lighting. The use of tracking shots forces the audience to focus on movement for characterization. Both Black Swan and the Wrestler are stories of mental and physical anguish; of struggle against others as well as oneself to be where the character wants to be, and Aronofsky knows how to put these stories on the screen effectively.

  46. After just finishing the Black Swan, the first thing that struck me as an Aronofsky technique is the ambiguous ending to his films. In both the Black Swan and The Wrestler the main characters pours their heart and soul into ballet and wrestling respectively. They both end with the characters dying or maybe not dying so it is up to the audiences interpretation. Both wrestling and ballet can take a toll on the performers emotional health. Aronofsky shows what is going on with the character internally in a physical way. I noticed a technique that Aronofsky uses in his films to show this is mirrors. He also uses close ups a lot to further this. The viewer gets the sense of obsessiveness, conflict and isolation in the characters minds.

    • The most obvious thematic connection between the Black Swan and the Wrestler is that of a performer trying desperately to achieve greatness, and the mental and physical tolls that come with that. Nina, trying to live up to the expectations that come with being the lead, pushes herself to the point where patterns of self harm from her past abruptly return, and severe hallucinations begin manifesting. Likewise, Randy, in an effort to return to his glory days, pushes himself past his limit do far that he ends up resorting to drug use to keep up the pace, which results in severe physical harm, similar to what Nina experiences. Also like Nina, Randy’s grip on reality gradually becomes weaker, as he focuses more and more on only the rematch, like how Nina focuses solely on the opening night. In terms of filing techniques, the biggest relation between the films is the technique where for extended periods of time, very little sound and loud, punctual music is used to stress the importance of what the characters on screen are currently doing. Several shots are also very close to the main characters face, in order to show the audience exactly what they are feeling and thinking.

  47. Black Swan and The Wrestler are fairly similar films, with similar film techniques and themes. First, they were both a bit grainy and appeared to be filmed in 16mm. The camera might’ve been handheld, because it was a bit shaky in both films. The theme in both films is struggling with self and who they wish they were; Randy wants to try to build up back to his glory days, while Nina wants to be the lead in a ballet show. They both struggle and end up killing themselves in the end.

  48. The most obvious thematic connection between the Black Swan and the Wrestler is that of a performer trying to achieve greatness, and the mental and physical tolls that come with it. Nina, in trying to live up to the standards set by the top ballerina Beth, begins repeating previous behaviors of self harm and even starts to lose grasp on reality in the form of vivid hallucinations. Likewise, Randy, in an effort to reclaim the feeling of the glory days, pushes himself past his limit several times, eventually resorting to drug use (which causes severe physical harm). Like Nina, Randy eventually starts to lose his grip on reality, destroying and pushing away his friends and loved ones and thinking only about a rematch with his rival. In terms of filming techniques, both films repeatedly use minimal sound and music in certain scenes in order to give a heightened focus on the actions of the characters. In both films, the color pallet is deliberately kept monotone in order to highlight the bleak circumstances of the main characters, and the aforementioned use of minimal sound further heightens just how alone Nina and Randy are.

  49. The most obvious thematic connection between the Black Swan and the Wrestler is that of a performer trying desperately to achieve greatness, and the mental and physical tolls that come with that. Nina, trying to live up to the expectations that come with being the lead, pushes herself to the point where patterns of self harm from her past abruptly return, and severe hallucinations begin manifesting. Likewise, Randy, in an effort to return to his glory days, pushes himself past his limit do far that he ends up resorting to drug use to keep up the pace, which results in severe physical harm, similar to what Nina experiences. Also like Nina, Randy’s grip on reality gradually becomes weaker, as he focuses more and more on only the rematch, like how Nina focuses solely on the opening night. In terms of filing techniques, the biggest relation between the films is the technique where for extended periods of time, very little sound and loud, punctual music is used to stress the importance of what the characters on screen are currently doing. Several shots are also very close to the main characters face, in order to show the audience exactly what they are feeling and thinking.

  50. Black Swan and The Wrestler are similar films in that they both follow the life of a struggling performer and their struggles of finding themselves.The Wrestler follows the Ram and his struggle to go back to his glory days and what he goes through to get there, while black Swan follows Nina and he journey and struggle to find the spotlight as the lead in the ballet. Aronofsky follows some of his same techniques in which he likes to follow the actor with a shot from behind them and the dark overhead lighting throughout each of the movies. The grainy texture of both films also suggests that Aronofsky used 16 mm film for both films.

  51. Black Swan and The Wrestler are similar films in that they both follow the life of a struggling performer and their struggles of finding themselves. The Wrestler follows the Ram and his struggle to go back to his glory days and what he goes through to get there, while black Swan follows Nina and he journey and struggle to find the spotlight as the lead in the ballet. Aronofsky follows some of his same techniques in which he likes to follow the actor with a shot from behind them and the dark overhead lighting throughout each of the movies. The grainy texture of both films also suggests that Aronofsky used 16 mm film for both films.

  52. The most obvious thematic connection between the Black Swan and the Wrestler is that of a performer trying to achieve greatness, and the physical and mental tolls that come with it. Both Nina and Randy, in an effort to become what they think is the best they can be, repeatedly push themselves past their limit (Randy even resorts to drug use), causing severe physical and mental damage. Nina begins showing signs of returning to previous patterns of self harm and begins having violent hallucinations, and Randy learns his heart could give out at any moment and begins to push away his friends and loved ones. Both films employ extended scenes containing very little sound in order to heighten the importance of the onscreen actions of our main characters. Also, both films contain repeated close ups of the main characters faces with no dialogue, in order to show the audience exactly what the character is thinking and feeling.

  53. Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky is an interesting movie and does help to display Aronofsky style and personal touch. Both follow someone who is committed very much to one aspect of life and that’s all. Aronofsky also has a personal touch when it comes to filming as he films in 16 mm but he also has these interesting camera angles and cuts. Black swan was a very interesting movie and helps to display Aronofsky personal touches well

    • With two different movies, two different situations, and two different characters, Aronofsky manages to make them exceedingly similar. He uses hand held, 16mm film while capturing both, given them that grainy, incomfortable feeling. The camera is often found tracking the main character, making it so that they are essential to the plotline (outside of your normal development). What differs is their craft, in the wrester, the main character is physically deteriorating, while in Black Swan, the id mentally falling apart due to stress. Because of the way the film is recorded we can follow along with both these points closely, giving us an emotional sort of connection to the main character.

  54. The Black Swan and The Wrestler are very similarly made both with the technology and with the plotline. They both feature a main character that pushes themselves too far for their craft to the point where they die. In the technical aspect, both movies were shot on a 16 mm film, which caused the grainy feeling to the film, and they were also both shot with low lighting, showing strong patterns for Aronofsky’s work.

  55. The similarities with both movies start from both antagonists being stretched to their respective limits. In The Wrestler, it was about achieving a former glory and in Black Swan it was being the best lead ballet dancer. Both movies are shot on 16-millimeter film and with hand held cameras. The effect this produces is dark and gritty with a tone of realism.

  56. Aronofsky shot both movies in 16mm film, giving each film a dark and gritty overtone. Both movies have strong similar correlations between them. The Black Swan is about Nina becoming the best ballet dancer and in the Wrestler Ram is trying to stay the best wrestler. Each film has a similar plot line and reality about them.

  57. Aronofsky shot both movies in 16mm film, giving each film a dark and gritty overtone. Both movies have strong similar correlations between them. The Black Swan is about Nina becoming the best ballet dancer and in the Wrestler Ram is trying to stay the best wrestler. Each film has a similar plot line and reality about them. Each film gives the viewer a sense of struggle when it comes to perfection adding to the overall tone of the movie.

  58. In both films, Aronofsky creates intimate portrayals of athletes/artists giving their crafts their all to the detriment of personal relationships and health. The tracking shots and handheld, shaky camerawork are reminiscent of documentaries, as is the constant centering on the principal character. Following this perspective highlights the isolation of the characters. Jump cuts are used to convey a detachment from reality, and the monotony of daily life. Close-ups on the characters and the action create a frenetic, chaotic, and stressful energy and can be uncomfortably intimate. The lighting is often dramatic with high contrast between the bright lights of performance and the darkness outside of the light. The colors are robbed of their vibrancy by ever-present shadow and a muted color palette. Both endings have a score mounting in beauty before the slow-motion plunge where the characters (presumably) die to the sound of applause.

  59. There are a few similarities between both The Wrestler and Black Swan. One being both are, in a way, athletic films that show persistence. Both films have an aspect of self hard and darkness too. Darren Aronofsky’s technique for following the characters with a 16mm camera at times and being very up close with the hand held camera made the audience believe they were there. It made the audience in a way, connect more with the characters. I also thought it was interesting that both wrestling and ballet are sports where you have to do harm to the body to fit in. Wrestlers and ballerinas both need to fit a certain mold for there craft and the movies show the struggles of there craft and how much it effected the main character.

  60. Darren Aronofsky maintains a consistent theme across both films by displaying a focus on ambition and obsession in the main characters that translates into the psychological torment of the protagonist. His films can be characterized as a character study of disturbed individuals with a self-destructive drive in which pursuing their dream will be their demise. Randy rather dies wrestling than doing something he hates. Nina is willing to compromise her sanity to get what she wants.
    Aronofsky consistently uses hand-held shots to dramatize his films and uses loud arguing and shouting voices to portray the internal conflict of the protagonists.

  61. I thought Darren Aronofsky did a great job of making both Black Swan and The Wrestler feel. unsteady. What I mean by that is that both movies are filmed using a handheld camera, and both movies are a little grainy. This causes them to feel off-step and unbalanced. Which is exactly what the characters are feeling and going through in each movie.

  62. In both The Wrestler and Black Swan, Aronifsky maintains the theme of human perseverance in the face of difficulty, and the power and effects of desire, both positive and negative. In The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke’s character was made to seem half alive, and only truly desirous of fame and victory. Aronofsy uses bright lights and vivid colors most prominently in the wrestling scenes to accomplish this. In Black Swan Natalie Portman’s character was made to seem initially pure and sportsmanlike through the use of softer lighting and soft colors in the wardrobe. As both Rourke’s and Portman’s character’s are finally made to face the negative effects that come with their almost single minded drive, the lighting is increased to an even brighter, almost painful level, and there are close ups of their accepting expressions as they make the choices that would lead to their deaths.

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