5 Things We Can Expect from Black Swan

The Black Swan trailer has finally been unveiled (it has featured in our video of the week box since Tuesday) and the internet is awash with commentary and dissection. While NY Magazine’s Vulture blog thinks the movie looks like a chic version of “Single White Female” with a bit of “Mommie Dearest” thrown in, Natalie Portman herself said to MTV that it was more like “Rosemary’s Baby”. If you watch the trailer – and we will never tell how many times we’ve done that – you will see some Polanski influences creeping up here and there (and Winona at 1:25!).

The lead-up to this movie continues to be our favorite topic because… well… 1) we’re geeks; 2) how many stylish ballet movies have been shot in recent times? ; and 3) Aronofsky knows his stuff. What else can we expect from Black Swan?

1) Modern Gothic - Vincent Cassel – who plays the sadistic dance master – told Vanity Fair that Aronofsky has gone for a modern take on the gothic thriller genre, and the movie has also been given some coverage on famous horror site Fangoria.

2) Blood Spillage – That’s an easy one to guess. From overworked toes to bloodshot eyes and main character Nina’s fantasy of feathers growing out of her shoulders the trailer has shown us this will not be a movie for the squeamish. Besides ballet can indeed be bloody, just take a look at a true story that happened earlier this week.

3) Ballet Chic - And we don’t just mean Aronofsky’s directing. Can you spot the Rodarte costumes on the trailer? Also, stylish leotard brand Yumiko has provided the practice gear worn by Portman and Kunis. The poster looks fab & we hope Benjamin Millepied’s choreography will fit the bill nicely.

4) Dream vs. Reality – To what extent is Nina’s rival Lily real – might she have something of Fight Club’s Tyler Durden? – how much of her is Nina’s projection of the ideal, seductive “Black Swan”? Expect plenty of psychological elements: insecurity and obsession leading to paranoia.

5) Female Fixation – White Swan Nina is fragile and fixates on domineering Lily. Time Magazine has an interesting feature looking back at the female mystique in Aronofsky’s movies

Links roundup – for yet more buzz, have a look at this article on movie website Salon.

Have you seen the trailer? If so, what’s your favorite part? We’ll tell ours if you tell yours first…

Likes ballets that taste like 85% cocoa: pure, extra bitter, dark or intense. Her favorites are La Sylphide, Manon, Mayerling, Ondine, Symphonic Variations and McGregor's Chroma. Her favorite Ratmansky ballets are: The Little Humpbacked Horse, Russian Seasons, Cinderella and The Shostakovich Trilogy. She is always ready to chase new Ratmanskys around the globe. Non ballet: literature, theatre, opera, rock, art, food, travel, fashion, translating and interpreting.


  • June 26, 2012


    This is sooo disappointing!!! Obviously the Black Swan would be a virtuosic part of Swan Lake but it become like a Hichkock movie instead.
    I would like to see a docudrama of what ballet is realy like from the start of day when the alarm goes and the rigors of studio time as they stretch (Warm Up) and practice their positions before the profomance on that night to the rush to meet the curtain call.

  • February 9, 2011


    OK, I’VE already seen but why, and can understand why everybody thinks a lily like a unreal person, you only her imagination(of nina) if yhe director and other people can see her? or it’s just something unreal the fight beetwen the principal rol? cuz I think lilly is real. But anyway I love this movie, I really do, great jib And I hope Won the Oscar

  • [...] single genre, as directors are nowadays more free to combine different aesthetics. As we wrote in  “5 Things We Can Expect From Black Swan” the movie mashes up several elements, even fairy tale and surrealism. Moments of delicate beauty [...]

  • [...] Aronofsky’s new psychological thriller Black Swan centers around the world of New York City Ballet and their opening production of Swan Lake, where [...]

  • September 15, 2010


    Interesting… We are hoping to catch the movie at BFI London in October and will post a full review then – up to now there hasn’t been a single Aronofsky movie we didn’t like. Maybe The Fountain was slightly OTT but Pi, Requiem for a Dream & The Wrestler were most impressive! So we still haven’t given up hope ;)

  • September 15, 2010

    Katherine Barber

    A fellow ballet student friend of mine (and film buff) saw the movie at the Toronto film festival last night and had this to say:
    “Speaking of torments, I saw Black Swan yesterday and was so disappointed. It was not really a ballet movie at all for starters. There was no story to speak of, no character development, only cliched stereotypes, and only the bad ones at that. In fact, this movie was more like a teenage boy’s fantasy set in a ballet context. Blah!!!! Boring. :-(”
    Haven’t seen it myself yet.

  • September 4, 2010


    I did not like the trailer at all – it was dark and morbid in my opinion.

  • September 1, 2010


    Check out our favorite part of the trailer @1:53

  • September 1, 2010


    [...] team Black Swan vs. team Mao’s Last Dancer, one of the most talked about dance topics of the last few weeks is [...]

  • August 26, 2010


    Hadn’t noticed Winona!!! Intriguing…

  • August 23, 2010


    “The only person standing in Your way is You.” I can’t tell You how many times I’ve said this to myself! N.P. is Perfect for this Role! Just the sheer pain of Loving Your Art So Much that it almost stifles You in the pursuit of it. God I Can’t Wait For This Film!

  • I’m loving it, finally, someone makes a movie based on the Swan lake, the story is just to fitting!
    My favorite part of the trailer has got to be when she’s watching herself in the mirror, then turns, while her reflection turns back and looks at her witht hose mean eyes. Oh, I cannot wait until December!!!