La Biennale di Venezia 1/9/10 to 11/9/10

September 2, 2010 Comments Off on La Biennale di Venezia 1/9/10 to 11/9/10

Article by Sharon Abella

 “Black Swan”, a psychological thriller, directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel,  opened the 67th Venice Film Festival, at the Palazzo del Casino last night.   Natalie Portman portrays, Nina, a principal ballerina who recently landed the lead part in “Swan Lake”, and succumbs to the pressure of the demanding, competitive nature of the industry.  She is tormented, confused, and trying to find herself and differentiate between right from wrong, however, she  lives at home with a controlling ballet/stage mom, is tempted to indulge in promiscuity by collegues who secretly want her part in the ballet, and may not have her best interest in mind,  falls victim to sexual advances by her teacher, who could  either make or break her,  and  suffers from self mutilation, anorexia, and paranoia. How much is reality?  How much is delusion? Or is it all one big delusion? When asked about the complexity of the storyline,  Natalie responded, “I’m going to leave it ambiguous”.  Natalie, who started acting at the age of 12,  deserves the highest accolades not only with her flawless acting as the troubled young adult, but also as a ballet dancer, as she received training from Benjamin Millepied, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet and a ballet choreographer who assisted Natalie to perform all of her ballet scenes on her own.

It is difficult not to compare “Black Swan” to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 classic, “The Red Shoes”.

Darren Aronofsky, Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Quentin Tarantino, (President of the Jury),  Clio and Giorgio Napolitano, (President of the Italian Republic),  Luca Guadagnino, Isabella Ragonese, Ingeborga Dapkunalte, (Jury member and actress), Guillermo Arriaga, Gabriele Salvatores, Arnaud Desplechin, and Danny Elfman in attendance.

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