Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Black Swan

When I was in junior high I read a young adult novel (the title totally escapes me now), about a boy trying to get a girl, etc. etc. etc. Anyway, there was a scene where the boy finally asks the girl to the movies, and even though he'd rather see a monster flick, she wants to see a ballet movie called Toujours Jeté (see how I can remember that but not the title of the book?). So the boy endures hours and hours of close-up shots of a twirling pointe shoe just so he can share the popcorn with his ladylove. You can probably guess how the story ends...

I can't be the only one to think ballet does not work on screen. Mainly because there's a big difference between an actor who can dance and an actual dancer, and the cracks really show up in the cineplex. But still, there are a lot of compelling reasons to see Darren Aranovsky's ballet-thriller-fantasia The Black Swan, not least of which are the costumes, designed by fashion-world darlings Rodarte. Laura and Kate Mulleavey, the designing sisters behind Rodarte are known for the extreme treatment they apply to their fabrics before turning them into clothes (burning, dissolving, burying), so one can only imagine the challenges they faced to make costumes that were danceable as well as interesting. We'll see how it works at the movies. I for one, am a little skeptical. On wide release from Monday.


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