To feel quite traumatised after watching Black Swan?

(151 Posts)
lougle Fri 28-Jun-13 21:05:51

I don't use the word lightly, either. I don't do well with psychological thriller type movies and that sort of thing.

I thought I was going to be watching dancing with a power struggle. Not blood, hallucinations and the rest.

Jossysgiants Fri 28-Jun-13 21:14:24

Yanbu. It was terrifying. Natalie Portman's character's mother was scary as hell. Was she even real? I chose to put it on when my parents in law were visiting. Lordy I didn't know where to put myself. I'll be going for something a little blander next time....and perhaps lighter on the imaginary lesbian sex scenes..

littlewhitebag Fri 28-Jun-13 21:29:09

We bought it ages ago and have not got round to watching it for that very reason.

lougle Fri 28-Jun-13 21:30:37

Honestly, I think it's the most terrifying film I've ever seen. I'd watch Arlington Road 10 times back to back before I watch that film again. Arlington Road gave me nightmares for weeks hmm

cumfy Fri 28-Jun-13 21:35:59

I loved it. grin

Precisely because I was expecting dancing politics.

It totally freaked us out as well!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 28-Jun-13 21:44:21

I thought it was quite good in a disturbing OMG kind of way... have I missed the plot somewhere? blush

lougle Fri 28-Jun-13 21:47:30

I had to watch it in two sittings and only watched the 2nd half because the dog promised to lie on my lap the whole time (we had serious words).

I also had to fastforward through some of the scenes.

CoteDAzur Fri 28-Jun-13 21:53:58

You didn't know that it was a psychological thriller?

It is a great film - rightly won the Oscar for Best Film that year. Natalie Portman won the Oscar for Best Actress. Plus Best Director, Best Cinematography etc.

If you like, I can tell you about some other traumatising brilliant films like Black Swan smile

RiffyWammal Fri 28-Jun-13 21:56:41

I expected this to be about how the film stirred latent lesbian feelings and that was what traumatised you (just me then? oh). I don't remember it being scary and I watched it alone!

wigglesrock Fri 28-Jun-13 21:56:59

It's a great film but the only Oscar of the "big 5" that it won was best Actress for Natalie Portman.

I don't remember it being scary. Just very strange.

I'm not sure I really understood it. blush

bootsycollins Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:58

I love that film, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis were brilliant. Come on then Cote recommend me some decent films.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 28-Jun-13 21:59:23

Not seen it but how I love Arlington Road. Got DH to watch it a few weeks ago, it is one of the most intense, twisty, shocking films I have ever seen.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 22:03:27

I thought it was a great film did play on my mind

I found The Ring disturbed me the most could not get it out of my head but other films have scared me more when watching them

I don't like the ending of The Ring but I think the most traumatising film for me was The Shining.

I don't really watch scary films any more.grin

Viviennemary Fri 28-Jun-13 22:06:55

I did think it was quite frigtening at the time I watched it. But I am pretty feeble about scary films. But it wasn't one of those that continued to scare me and play on my mind like some others have.

flipchart Fri 28-Jun-13 22:11:15

It was the most rubbish film I had see when it came out.
It was truly terrible and I wish I had walked out.
My mate who likes most things hated it as well and when we were out with mates recently we were telling them how bad it is.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Jun-13 22:25:40

Strange. I absolutely adored it and I'm too scared to watch the mildest of horror films. Black Swan was fascinating to me rather than disturbing.

Donnadoon Fri 28-Jun-13 22:29:59

CoteDAzur Yes please tell me...

Jossysgiants Fri 28-Jun-13 22:31:04

Oh god The Ring was horrific < creepily brushes hair>

EleanorFarjeon Fri 28-Jun-13 22:37:25

I watched Black Swan on a plane. They had chopped it about so much it made no sense. I need to try again.

Last night I watched Hard Candy on Netflix. I hated it. It was so dark and disturbing I couldn't watch it to the end.

I liked The Ring, although the end bits nearly scared me half to death!

GreyWhites Fri 28-Jun-13 22:38:36

YABU. I laughed all the way through it, totally absurd. When she started sprouting feathers my friend and I gave up all pretence of not finding it ridiculous and laughed out loud in the cinema.

flipchart Fri 28-Jun-13 22:42:37

Ha. the feathers!
My mate just sighed 'Oh for Christ sake!!' and that set me off with the giggles!!
Rubbish, rubbish rubbish!

Alconleigh Fri 28-Jun-13 22:46:00

what films do you class as good Flipchart, out of interest?

I enjoyed it in a wtf is happening/is that real/christ alive wtf is that??!! Way, it wasn't so much scary as weird and confusing but it left me feeling really shaken for a few hours - I'll watch it again eventually and try to get the gist of it confused

cumfy Fri 28-Jun-13 22:58:51

Marmite anyone ?

KalevalaForMePlease Fri 28-Jun-13 23:01:54

Yep, I thought it was crap too, so completely up it's own arse.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Jun-13 23:03:03

I thought it was a great film but one scene stayed with me for days afterwards. Really really bothered me.

For those who have watched it - when Natalie Portmans character is being announced as doing x role and then locks herself in the bathroom. The bit between her going in and Mila Kunis' character knocking on the door.


TotesAmazeGoats Fri 28-Jun-13 23:04:06

Another that watched it on a plane, so I'm guessing it was heavily sensitised as I didn't find it too disturbing. And the lesbian scene was just a kiss (that's when I realised it must be watered down). Still loved it but would like to see it again.

It's all the 'woo' doors banging and night vision films that freak me out. You won't get me anywhere near Paranormal Activity!

lottieandmia Fri 28-Jun-13 23:04:43

It's a great film. As someone with previous mental health problems some bits of it really made sense to me. It is very intense and quite exhausting to watch though.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:06:55

Oh God,I was so looking forward to seeing out and I found out as dull a ditch water.

The Shining, now that's a scary film!shock

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:07:31

It not out

flipchart Fri 28-Jun-13 23:11:03

Film I have watched recently and loved (some are old ones that our local cinema has put on)
Kid with a bike,
Animal Kingdom,
Spike Island,
Argo, Drive.
Martha Marcy May Marlene,
Harold and Maude,
Killer Joe,
Lars and the Real Girl,
Jar City,
Don Juan de Marco,
Control, Harry Brown,
Even the Rain.
Barton Fink ( I like the Coen Brothers)
Searching for Sugar Man
Amores Perros
The Motorcycle Diaries.

There's loads more that I have loved.

I quite enjoyed Behind the Candleabra, Made of Stone, Spike Island.
I didn't enjoy 'I'm so excited' I was really looking forward to seeing that


flipchart Fri 28-Jun-13 23:14:16

Sorry my last post was to Alconleigh.
Sorry I gave examples of films that I found good.
What I class as a good film is one that doesn't go out to be a Blockbuster which tend to try to be people pleasers.
I like a story that makes sense.
Depending on the genre on that can keep me gripped and guessing or genuinely have me laughing/

CoteDAzur Fri 28-Jun-13 23:17:20

wiggle - My mistake - Black Swan was nominated for Best Film & Best Director Oscars, but won Best Actress.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:18:20

I LOVE Harold and Maudegrin

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:20:15

Flip chart-wrt her growing feathers,I said 'oh ffs!' Had I been with a mate I can imagine hysterically laughing at that point in the filmgrin

aldiwhore Fri 28-Jun-13 23:20:50

It's a goodish film.

YABU. Read the write ups, even the crappest will give you an idea it's a psycho-thriller.

I was expecting an actual horror and was massively disappointed. I suspect if I was expecting a psychological thriller it would have least been a little interesting. The premise was good, but it dragged on. Thought it was clever and then failed.

I still liked it.

Avoid Bambi at all costs.

anonacfr Fri 28-Jun-13 23:23:04

I thought it was rubbish. Dull pretentious pseudo psychological 'drama'. The whole sex/masturbation thing was so heavy handed and tedious.

Beside am I the only one who thought Natalie Portman overacted the whole thing ridiculously?
And as for the dancing I thought it was v distracting- it was so very obviously not her dancing- it went from close ups of Portman flapping her arms about to v far away obvious stand in doing more technical dancing.

I rate it as my new Forrest Gump- film that critics raved about that I thought was shite.

Do we know which bits did or didn't happen?

I presume she didn't sprout feathers wink but did any of it really happen?

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:24:06

Anon-nope, you aren't the only onegrin

CoteDAzur Fri 28-Jun-13 23:24:34

As for similarly weird and brilliant films that I have known and loved:

Pi (directed again by Darren Aronofsky, iirc)
Requiem For A Dream (another Aronofsky film)
Memento (Christopher Nolan)
Inception (again, Christopher Nolan)
eXistenZ (David Cronenberg)
Dead Ringers (D Cronenberg) >> closest to Black Swan in this list, imho)
Naked Lunch (again, D Cronenberg)

That's my list, off the top of my head. If anyone would like to add to it, I'd love to hear more films like these smile

I loved Inception. Again I'm not sure if I understood it!

flipchart Fri 28-Jun-13 23:25:36

anon no you weren't the only one that she overacted.
I thought she was going to need a brown paper bag to breath in at one point she was gasping that much!

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 23:26:41

Not seen Dead Ringers for years but remember loving it at the time.

I also enjoyed Identity.

I've not seen it for years.

CoteDAzur Fri 28-Jun-13 23:28:03

I didn't think she over-acted.

That would be Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method.

CoteDAzur Fri 28-Jun-13 23:31:53

Valium - There is a new documentary about Kubrick's film The Shining called "Room 237". It is produced by two friends of mine in the US smile

Inception is bloody awesome I've seen it ten times at least it's so so gripping it's not often I 'get' films like that so I'm happy I did grin shutter island otoh confused over an hour i watched it and it didn't click at all. I wiki'd it in the end.

wigglesrock Sat 29-Jun-13 07:11:58

CoteDAzur we watched Room 237 the other week, it was very good, my husband loved it.

lougle Sat 29-Jun-13 07:17:50

Arlington Road is just wrong. Compellingly wrong, but wrong all the same. I watched it years ago and was really disturbed by it, but when it came on tv last week I just had to watch it. The ending is a complete oxymoron.

I didn't read the reviews of black swan and the description on lovefilm was a young ballerina being pushed to her brink by a demanding director while another ballerina wants to steal her role. I was thinking dancing, angst and hissy tantrums. blush

Did anyone watch The Island? That concept was quite awful.

Minority report was another one. My eyes.

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:12:40

What do you mean when you say AR is "wrong"? What is it wrong about?

Also can't imagine what you mean by "it's ending is a complete oxymoron". Oxymoron is a figure of speech with contradictory terms, like "a smart idiot". Do you mean to say that the ending of AR was contradictory?

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:13:25

its ending, rather.

Yabu, it was shit grin

Momento is a good thriller, if you can stand to watch a movie that jumps around in time the whole movie.

WeleaseWodger Sat 29-Jun-13 08:29:58

Total shit. The dialogue was worse than daytime tv drama. It's like someone handily referenced a book of cliches every 20 lines or so when writing the script.

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 08:35:16

Cote-looking forward to seeing thatsmile

Widget-exactlyhmm grin

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 08:36:47

The whole film seemed very 'dated' as well-and not in a good way!

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:39:44

Time doesn't "jump around" in Memento. It goes backwards. It's genius, IMHO, and allows the audience to share the confusion of Guy Pearce - he doesn't know what just happened, how he got there, and who is chasing him. And neither do we smile

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:40:29

Which film, valium?

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:41:59

And who is Widget? [not fully awake yet]

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 08:42:08

Black swan seemed very dated imo Cote

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 08:42:49

Dated, how? Was it the Ecstacy? grin

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 08:43:11

Ha ha,I meant WODGERgrin

I'm posting from my phone and not awake eithergrin

lougle Sat 29-Jun-13 08:45:47

Cote, yes. main char is right all along, so he 'wins' but in being proven right he loses everything.

dopeysheep Sat 29-Jun-13 08:46:59

I haven't seen it but agree with flipchart!

Natalie Portman is terrible in everything even the Chanel adverts.

She was great in Leon the Professional but she should have stopped then.

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 08:48:27

Dopey-she is! But she's very prettyhmm

OverAndAbove Sat 29-Jun-13 09:04:18

I rarely get freaked out by a film but Arlington Road did the job; it stayed with me for a long time and I'll never be able to watch it again!

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 09:10:54

I can't remember Arlington road being anything other than an enjoyable film, and that was mainly because Jeff Bridges was in it-what freaked you out?

mixedmamameansbusiness Sat 29-Jun-13 09:16:24

I watched Persuasion after Black Swan because it did disturb me.

I am not a massive fan of this genre though but I do have an interest in all things mental health related.

CheeryCherry Sat 29-Jun-13 09:21:10

I love it, though it was disturbing. However I was more shocked that it was only rated a 15 hmm

RollerCola Sat 29-Jun-13 09:32:25

Having read flipchart's list of brilliant films and her review of Black Swan I can happily say...

I won't bother watching it grin

Thanks flipchart wink

RollerCola Sat 29-Jun-13 09:36:07

Having said that if we're talking psychological thrillers with a mental health theme I liked Shutter Island - is it anything like that?

Figgygal Sat 29-Jun-13 09:40:41

It is a horrible horrible film both in quality and in that scene with Winona Ryder slashing at her face that stayed with me for ages

fackinell Sat 29-Jun-13 09:40:59

Oooh I didn't know Black Swan was psychological thriller. Shall add that and Arlington rd to my list to see.

Anyone seen Eden Lake? Made me so shock and angry!!!
I made DP and my friend watch it and they were cross and ranting for days!!

RollerCola Sat 29-Jun-13 09:46:54

I've not seen Eden Lake but I've heard it's pretty shocking.

EstelleGetty Sat 29-Jun-13 09:48:27

I loved Black Swan and, tbh, I think it was well aware if its own OTT melodrama, like Suddenly Last Summer or Baby Jane. I remember being on edge the whole time I was watching it, feeling like I only got my breath back when I came out of the cinema!

One film I will never watch again is The Road. And Wolf Creek. And The Pact. V tempted to walk out of cinema with all of them.

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 09:59:15

Lougle - Yes, I realize that Jeff Bridges' character was right all along and in proven right, lost everything. And why would you say that makes the film "all wrong" and it's ending an "oxymoron"? I really don't get what you are trying to say.

TheYoniWayisGerard Sat 29-Jun-13 10:03:00

I liked Black Swan. I hate any modern horror movies, so I really didn't think it was that scary or disturbing.
I hated Eden Lake. Awful, awful film.
I can't believe people find the Shining scary! It's an excellent film, a couple of jumpy moments, but not scary IMO. And I'm useless when it comes to scares.

lougle Sat 29-Jun-13 10:38:26

I was about 16 when I first watched it, cote. All the films I'd seen up until that point had a winner and a loser. I just found out disturbing that the 'Wenner' was also the loser. Oxymoron wasn't perhaps the most accurate word to us. More accurately, I felt a sense of cognitive dissonance. I wanted him to be right because he was the good guy and I wanted him to be wrong because if he was right he'd suffer.

Thingymajigs Sat 29-Jun-13 10:40:14

Are we on about the same film? It was very dull. Unfortunately I also watched The Kings Speech on the same day and nearly fell into a coma. Both films are shockingly overrated.

Alconleigh Sat 29-Jun-13 10:46:34

I agree that Portman is a fairly ropey actor. Am not sure why she's so well regarded. Obviously she's beautiful, but that's a given with Hollywood actresses.

lougle Sat 29-Jun-13 10:51:05

I was about 16 when I first watched it, cote. All the films I'd seen up until that point had a winner and a loser. I just found out disturbing that the 'Wenner' was also the loser. Oxymoron wasn't perhaps the most accurate word to us. More accurately, I felt a sense of cognitive dissonance. I wanted him to be right because he was the good guy and I wanted him to be wrong because if he was right he'd suffer.

LongEaredOwl Sat 29-Jun-13 10:57:17

I loved it.
Loved, loved, loved it. Very Jungian, and much better psychodrama than A Dangerous Method.
Hated Vanilla Sky, it really freaked me out.

buzzgirly Sat 29-Jun-13 10:57:46

I thought it was utter rubbish.

LeGavrOrf Sat 29-Jun-13 11:04:07

I thought it was an incredibly tiresome film, and agree with others that Natalie Portman is not as good as an actress as she thinks she is. She was risible in that dozy film with Scarlett Johansson where she played Anne Boleyn, seemed to speak through her teeth the entire time.

I also don't find The Shining at all scary, it's one of my favourite films and I think it is chilling and with a lot of dark humour.

A good Christopher Nolan film is Insomnia with Al Pacino. I think Inception is a fabulous film and I only wish I had seen it in the cinema and not just on telly.

PasswordProtected Sat 29-Jun-13 11:11:17

I started watching it but changed to sonething else because I fiund the acting wooden & the "fake" ballet music annoying.
I may try again one day.

PasswordProtected Sat 29-Jun-13 11:11:52

*found, obviously

SueDoku Sat 29-Jun-13 11:16:01

Watched it with three friends and at one point we all burst out laughing at the same time (yup, the feathers did it)

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 11:16:44

Oh yes, The King's Speech, what a yawn fest!

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 11:19:04

I loved the Friends episode where Joey keeps his copy of The Shining in his freezer so it won't 'get' him-that's megrin

mayorquimby Sat 29-Jun-13 12:13:06

"Time doesn't "jump around" in Memento. It goes backwards"

Scenes in colour go backwards, scenes in black and white go forwards in sequence.
Absolutely fantastic film

sydlexic Sat 29-Jun-13 12:56:46

I purchased it on DVD last weekend not sure if I should watch it now.

Nottalotta Sat 29-Jun-13 15:26:26

I was traumatised only really because i saw it at the cinema while sitting between my mum and mil!

It was a huge pile of shite.

TeamJesse Sat 29-Jun-13 15:32:18

Black Swan was absolute tripe.

TabithaStephens Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:26

I thought it was a great film!

Valium- that's me too.grin

I think it's because I read the book first which really scared the shit out of me. smile

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 17:40:18

Yeah,I read it before seeing the film toogrin

MisguidedAngel Sat 29-Jun-13 17:56:33

I watched Black Swan DVD with a bunch of women friends, we were all really looking forward to it, drinks, nibbles, ice-cream etc. I thought it was crap from the start, but didn't want to spoil it for the others ... then at one point a few of us couldn't stop snorting with laughter. I wanted it to be scary and was very disappointed. Dead Ringers and The Shining are what I call scary.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 29-Jun-13 18:18:41

I thought it looked completely over wrought and pretentious in the trailers alone so I never bothered.

Arlington Road? I actually fell asleep in the cinema half way through that.

livinginwonderland Sat 29-Jun-13 18:25:16

I didn't think it was particularly good or scary.

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 29-Jun-13 19:51:04

anyone seen The Mothman Prophecies with Richard Gere?
It really affected me, very scary.

Skeleton Key completely messed with my head, I had thought it was going to be 'chiller-lite' but it was actually very good.

Black Swan is simply referred to in this house as the two hours of our lives we will never get back.
I have a soft spot for Natalie Portman though after seeing her dressed as an elephant with Elmo on Sesame Street, she was brilliant, really game for a laugh.

anonacfr Sat 29-Jun-13 20:07:17

Mothman Prophecies was indeed v chilling. I think the bleakness of it made it extra creepy. I thought the Skeleton Key was a shite film up till the end and then the twist really freaked me out.

CoteDAzur Sat 29-Jun-13 20:55:12

Skeleton Key properly scared me. For weeks, I was scared of the dark and found it hard to go to sleep.

Mothman Prophecies was interesting but not scary. Neither was Black Swan. (And I don't know why we are talking about scary films now)

lougle Sat 29-Jun-13 20:59:14

Keep going though, it's giving me a great swerve list. I am such a light-weight with films.

congresstart Sat 29-Jun-13 21:00:27

I thought it was tiresome, time in my life I can never get back.

Natalie Portman's Anne Boleyn was fucking awful aswell.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 29-Jun-13 21:03:03

My dd is 9 and dances. My friend bought this for her, thinking it would be a lovely story for a little girl. grin

flipchart Sun 30-Jun-13 10:33:04

The only good thing about seeing Black Swan was that me and mate went on Orange Wednesday and went in the middle of the morning when tickets cost £3. So with splitting the deal it cost £1.50 to see it. Which was still too much!

bootsycollins Sun 30-Jun-13 10:38:48

I absolutely love Black Swan, it got my total attention. I don't think you should ever take others film choices to heart, if you want to see a film just do it, could be shite, could be the best film you've ever seen but you'll never know if you don't try.

amigababy Sun 30-Jun-13 10:40:42

dd is a ballet dancer and saw it when she was 15, she loved it, all the high drama and "insight " into the world of ballet. As you would when you're 15, I was happy she liked it as she doesn't "get " many films.

I was a bit hmm myself but I was seeing it through different eyes

anonacfr Sun 30-Jun-13 12:56:47

See I was looking forward to some insight in the world of ballet. All there was was a mad choreographer who kept telling her to masturbate.
After half an hour it got rather tiresome.

CoteDAzur Sun 30-Jun-13 14:19:01

He wasn't mad hmm

expatinscotland Sun 30-Jun-13 14:20:05

I was traumatised by how tedious and stupid it was.

WhiteShakette Sun 30-Jun-13 15:30:42

Oh, it was woeful. I saw it with a friend who is a retired ballet dancer, and she was nearly weeping with laughter and horrified disbelief throughout. They must have had dance consultants as well as stand-ins, so why was it so demented and wrong? My dancer friend said you'd never think perfectly nice, normal people became professional dancers, and as for the choreographer whose idea of preparing a new Odette/Odile for the role is to encourage her to go home and masturbate....!!!

LadyBryan Sun 30-Jun-13 16:12:37

Skeleton Key is one of my favourite ever films. Along with Insidious!

The King's Speech is wonderful. Nothing with Helena Bonham Carter in could be a yawn fest hmm

Artyjools Sun 30-Jun-13 16:38:46

I haven't seen Black Swan. I thought it was a girlie dance film LOL.

The Mothman Prophesies - I loved it, but I always have to watch films like this on my own as DH refuses. However, he did go with me to the cinema to watch Seven, with Brad Pitt. That is the most disturbing film I have ever seen. The cinema emptied in absolute silence. I think everyone was wondering why the hell they'd stayed to the end.

valiumredhead Sun 30-Jun-13 17:05:58

Amigababy- I would have loved it at 15 too!grin

expatinscotland Sun 30-Jun-13 17:13:05

The Company is a better dance film. Neve Campbell was also a real dancer.

expatinscotland Sun 30-Jun-13 17:16:59

I remember watching Dirty Dancer on VHS and my dad sae Patrick Swayze and remarked, 'Of course he can do that. That guy is a ballerina.' We laughed, 'how do you know?' He'd seen him perform! LOL.

anonacfr Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:21

Funny that now I watch Dirty Dancing and keep thinking 'she's 16 and you're 28 you pervert'! No wonder the dad is freaked out.

Re Black Swan the choreographer was OTT-ly one-dimensionally crazy. He was ridiculous.

middleclassdystopia Sun 30-Jun-13 23:22:44

It's not supposed to be a 'dirty dancing' style of film.

It's about the break down of a mind damaged by narcissistic mothering and abuse.

She is never loved unconditionally by her mother so strives for perfection, reflected in her portrayal of the white swan. But her 'bad side' i.e. her damaged side is never far from the surface i.e. The Black Swan.

By seperating the two, for she cannot accept the imperfect side of herself as a conditionally loved child, a schism in her mind develops.

This leads to psychosis, depression and break down. There is a lot of fresh evidence now that personality disorder and mental illness are environmental rather than purely biological and I like that films like this explore the concept.

The ballet world, is a good way to explore the theme of feminism in psychiatry as well. Women are much more likely to self harm and turn their anger in on themselves. Why is this?

Is Natalie Portman's character crazy, or reacting normally to a stifling mother and a world obsessed with outer appearance?


SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 30-Jun-13 23:34:04

The only bit that freaked me out was the eyes moving on the painting. And I am a big girl when it comes to scary films.

The Woman in Black, that was scary. The Road, that was fucking disturbing, but brilliant.

cornyblend37 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:37:37

I enjoyed black swan and was also fascinated (but freaked out) by the relationship with her mother. Very disturbing.

cornyblend37 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:39:31

The Road (film) I didn't think was great.The book is great though - but so sad at the end. I don't think the film is as tense.

SinisterBuggyMonth Mon 01-Jul-13 00:19:08

I've not read the book, so for me it was "heart in mouth" tense all the way through. Was the same watching Ill Manors.

valiumredhead Mon 01-Jul-13 08:20:32

Middle-thanks for that but it was still utter shitwink grin

valiumredhead Mon 01-Jul-13 08:22:21

I hated The Road-the book and film bored me senseless. Dh nearly divorced me over it, we discussed it all week, the poor man nearly needed counselling after reading itgrin grin

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 09:05:23

I'm with middleclass on this.

Black Swan is a disturbing film about psychosis. Dancing is only the background. If you expect Dirty Dancing, you will be disappointed. If you are at the stage in your life when you giggle with girlfriends at the movies, you are probably not going to appreciate it.

What it is not is dull or "utter shit". Oscar nominations for Best Film & Best Director, not to mention 8.1 on IMDB and 79 on Metacritic means it's you who didn't get it maybe you didn't appreciate it but the world at large did.

valiumredhead Mon 01-Jul-13 09:23:53

I'm allowed to think it was shit just as you are allowed to enjoy it!

And I did 'get it.'

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 09:48:06

The distinction is between subjective/personal appreciation ("I didn't like it") and objective assessment on merit ("It's shit").

You are of course allowed to not like it (opinion), but should stop and think if maybe you are wrong when you call "shit" a film that has been nominated for Best Film & Best Director actors, not to mention widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

For example, I didn't like Platoon. I don't like war films & books in general - just don't see the point. However, if I were to call it "shit", I would be wrong because it is not.

lougle Mon 01-Jul-13 12:42:27

I was traumatised by it because I didn't expect to see a psychological thriller. I hadn't read about it and the into was very bland.

The substance of it was fascinating, it was the imagery I didn't cope well with.

anonacfr Mon 01-Jul-13 12:48:08

Actually a lot of shite films have won Oscars. It's not always about the quality of the movie.

Case in point? Shakespeare in Love. And averagely amusing romantic comedy that happened to beat The Thin Red Line, Saving Private Ryan and Elizabeth to win Oscar for Best Picture.
Gwyneth Paltrow won the Oscar for an adequate performance ahead of women like Emily Watson in Hillary and Jackie and Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. Judi Dench won Best Supporting for a cameo appearance where she said about ten lines. Even she was shocked at winning. It emerged that Weinstein had led an extremely aggressive PR campaign for his film and insiders all but said he 'bought' the Oscars.

Middle described a film that would have been terrific but Black Swan didn't achieve that. The breakdown was essentially reduced to bizarre sexual fantasies (interesting that the word of mouth on the movie was all about the lesbian sex scene) and the mother was straight out of Carrie.
Portman herself made the dancing the focus of her interviews- odd that it came across as stilted and amateur.

As for the reviews there is such a thing as hype and 'trend'. It's interesting that Cote dismisses critics of the movie by saying we 'didn't get it'. It's often a tool reviewers use and it creates a wave of paranoia from people ashamed to appear too dim to appreciate 'art'.

I still think Black Swan is going to date very quickly. It's a shame because I thought the premise was terrific.

5Foot5 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:44

I thought it was grim.

DD and I went to see it because DH wanted to see "True Grit" and we didn't fancy it so DD chose "Black Swan" instead. We both thought it was a bit disturbing and agreed we should have gone with the Western.

I like shit films though. blush

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 13:14:17

I didn't see Shakespeare In Love, because another genre I can't stand is romantic comedy. Again, I wouldn't call them all "shite films" because I'm sure there are good ones and bad ones.

"It's interesting that Cote dismisses critics of the movie"

"Shite" is not a criticism and you are not a critic.

You are welcome to criticise. If you really have something objective to say about it - how exactly the director has failed you, for example, or what you thought was badly done. Plot? Characters? Cinematography?

Anyway, what I have said is that maybe you should stop and think if you might be wrong to call "shite" a movie that has been nominated for Best Film & Best Director Oscars, and is currently at 8.1 in IMDB and 79 on Metacritic - i.e. well-appreciated by the Academy, general public, and critics. Actual movie critics, I mean wink

anonacfr Mon 01-Jul-13 14:14:23

Which was my last point. A lot of movie reviewers get caught up in the hype- specially when it comes to certain film types or directors.

As for Black Swan specifically as I said I thought the performances were very OTT- Vincent Cassel in interviews in the French press mentioned it himself.
Portman IMO overracted badly and the mother could have been copied and pasted from Carrie.
So yes I found the characters unconvincing.

As for the plot I thought it was trying to be too many movies- but ultimately what I found disappointing was that the psychosis became sexual titillation.

And the dancing was shite.

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 14:25:53

I know what you mean by the mother resembling the mum in Carrie but why would that make a bad film? There can be more than one controlling vicious mum character in the history of filmmaking.

I didn't think Natalie Portman overacted, and neither did those who gave her the Oscar, I presume. Can you provide a link to where Vincent Cassel says he has overacted to French press? (I read French)

I don't understand what you even mean by "psychosis became sexual titillation" - do you think that the audience was aroused by the dancer's psychosis? or that psychotic personalities should not have sexual fantasies?

Have you watched any films in this genre? There are quite a few good ones that have psychosis and sexual titillation, like Dead Ringers. I'm not sure why you think there can't be sexuality in a film about psychotic character(s).

anonacfr Mon 01-Jul-13 14:54:23

I said essentially! What I meant was that (in my opinion) her psychotic breakdown was unconvincing. I didn't 'buy' it- because of the whole ridiculous 'go home and touch yourself' comment. As it was it seemed to reduce her psychosis to sexual exploration, which annoyed me. I did think it was exploitative.

Cassel's interview was in Elle magazine back when the film came out. There's another one in the Cahiers du Cinema (I think) where he said he wanted to make his character gay so that he could really camp it up but the director wouldn't let him. So he played it extreme narcissistic instead.

Basically I thought the whole thing was v heavy-handed. The mother was hysterical, the choreographer was 'mad' etc etc
It would have made for a far more powerful movie without all that excess.

I saw Dead Ringers years ago. I seem to remember it was rather good.

Anyway please tell me what films you hate!

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 15:14:42

"I didn't 'buy' it- because of the whole ridiculous 'go home and touch yourself' comment. As it was it seemed to reduce her psychosis to sexual exploration, which annoyed me."

Ah you see, it turns out that you didn't get it after all smile

Her psychosis was related to the extreme pressure she was under, not the sexual exploration aspect which was only a small part of the movie. She really wanted the role and obviously was pushed & primed all her life to desire it by her mum, but was nowhere near ready to deal with the stress that getting it, keeping it, and performing under it would bring. As a result, she cracked.

'Go home and touch yourself' was a jackass type of comment from the narcissistic choreographer who thought she needed to loosen up and bring out her passionate side. Break through the "nice girl" persona, if you will. A bit of masturbation didn't cause her psychosis, and her psychosis was not reduced to sexual exploration.

"I did think it was exploitative."

Exploitive would have been for him to take her to bed, which would have been easy enough. Was he a nice guy? No. Did he exploit her? I wouldn't say so.

In any case, would you write off a film if a main character is exploitative? Does that mean the film is "shite"?

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 15:21:12

Again, choreographer wasn't "mad". There was nothing irrational about him, he didn't do anything crazy, and "narcissist" doesn't mean "mad".

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 01-Jul-13 15:53:59

Dances with Wolves won Oscars! What does that prove?

Cote, please do not make this yet another thread about how clever you think you are. People are entitled to their opinions, Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB be damned.

Anon - How good is Animal Kingdom? Have you seen Snowtown? That is definitely the creepiest film I have seen.

anonacfr Mon 01-Jul-13 16:19:58

Thanks for being patronising. I understand her psychosis was caused by years of stress and trauma and the extremely unforgiving nature of her 'job'.
However to me I didn't feel it was properly conveyed. I thought ultimately her psychological collapse which had clearly been years in the making was reduced to cheap sexual gimmicks.
I didn't feel the choreographer was exploitative, I felt the movie was. It would have been much more dramatic and interesting to see her unravel in a more 'balanced' setting.

And I called him mad in the same way you would use the mad scientist cliche. He's not clinically insane but he is so one-dimensional that he comes across as a plot contrivance. IN MY OPINION.

Quite frankly I didn't feel the film was deep enough to not be understood. That's why I didn't like it. Because TO ME it wasted a potentially great storyline.

Gosh to seen these films you mention. I'm going to have to check them out but I'm a bit of a wuss these days when it comes to creepy films.

KikeriFreedomCastle Mon 01-Jul-13 16:25:35

It had potential, but it wasn't very good in reality.

I remember a ballet dancer in an interview being asked how realistic they thought it was. They, quite rightly, looked like this hmm

KikeriFreedomCastle Mon 01-Jul-13 16:27:12

Yes, the dancing was rubbish! Agreeing with the poster who said that.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 01-Jul-13 16:31:02

However, Black Swan did inspire this:

So it isn't entirely without merit. smile

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Jul-13 16:53:06

"ultimately her psychological collapse which had clearly been years in the making was reduced to cheap sexual gimmicks"

But there was nothing in the movie to warrant your impression that the suggestion to go masturbate and loosen up a bit caused her psychological collapse. Maybe the drugs she was fed in the club, but not the teeny little masturbation, surely. Who would believe that would be the cause of anyone's psychological collapse?

If this is what you have understood, it is just not correct.

I'm sorry that you think I'm being patronising for saying this, fwiw.

anonacfr Mon 01-Jul-13 16:53:57

Gosh that was superb. Better acted than the film. wink

cumfy Mon 01-Jul-13 18:07:23

Out of curiosity, can anyone who dislikes BS recommend a good psychological thriller ?

bootsycollins Tue 02-Jul-13 09:54:20

I thought that it was the actual dance part that got into her head in a spooky woo way. She had to surrender herself to the dance and release her dark side and then the dance possessed her. Also the lesbian scene with Mila Kunis wasn't a fantasy, Natalie Portman woke up the morning after and her bedroom door was jammed shut from the inside. I thought it was in the same vein as Devils Advocate confused

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