Tag Archives: Darren Aronofsky

Requiem for a Dream is a hard truth

24 Sep


Requiem for a Dream consumes your mind, body and soul like a drug and holds onto to you after the final credits are over. Your skin feels like something is crawling on you, but nothing is there. It is one of the most powerful films ever. Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hubert Selby’s novel follows the lives of four different people, Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). The film explores the direct and indirect effects drugs have on each of them and reveals their blossoming hopes turn into a state of moral and physical helplessness.

Editor Jay Rabinowitz perfects Aronofsky’s hip-hop editing technique. The drug scenes are ground-breaking and the downward spirals of each character is a gut wrenching experience that stays with you forever. Everyone in the cast gives powerful performances, especially Burstyn and Leto whose addictions are scary reminders of the hard truth.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Black Swan is perfect

1 Apr


Director Darren Aronofsky exploration into the world of ballet has more going on than rival dancers vying for the lead role in Swan Lake. This psychological thriller introduces us to Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina given the opportunity to play the dual role of the Swan Queen. She is ideal for the White Swan, but struggles with the sensuality and emotion needed to become the Black Swan. She is confronted with the possibility of losing the role to Lily (Mila Kunis), an uninhibited ballerina that fits nicely in the darker role. Nina’s is willing to do anything to become the principal dancer, but her pursuit for perfection begins to take its toll.

Aronofsky’s ability to tell stories about single-minded characters’ is unmatched. Their desires and obsessions lead to moments of ecstasy, but their passions lead to their demise. Nina is no different and Portman’s portrayal in the Black Swan is perfect. She was deserving of her Best Actress Academy Award.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A+

This Film Is Not Yet Rated because THEY said so

11 Jan


In 1966, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) replaced the out-of-date Hays code with a new rating system that has evolved into our current understanding of the familiar letter grades.  Most artists understand the rating system’s purpose, but many disagree with the committee’s subjective censorship policies in regards to sex and nudity.

One of the ways to protect the MPAA’s rating board from outside influence is to keep their names anonymous from the public. Filmmaker Kirby Dick wants to know who these people are and their qualifications for such a powerful position. Dick hires a private investigator to track down these people’s identities while he inserts interviews with several prominent directors and clips from their films. His research reveals a prejudice against homosexuality and the female gender in particular, but a high tolerance for violence. The documentary is one-sided, but reveals some interesting facts about the movie business that have been kept in the “closet” for too long.


Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B