Art: noun. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
Nobody can ever agree on what is, and is not, art.
Some people might accuse Piet Mondrian as a lazy artist who just uses lines and colors, while others see a revolutionary idea behind his work.
The way each of us sees and interprets forms of art is unique, which is why it is such a difficult topic to talk about.
Yet, after seeing Aronofsky’s Black Swan a couple nights ago, I felt compelled to write about it. This movie is too incredible not to write about.
The movie follows ballet dancer Nina (Natalie Portman). She lives and breathes her art, always striving for perfection in her technique. After getting the lead in a revamped version of Swan Lake, it becomes a metaphor for Nina’s life as she learns to indulge herself in the contrasting mindsets of both the White and Black Swan characters.
I can’t say much more without spoiling it.
This movie does what so few other movies are able to do: stick to the plot. Instead of veering off into annoying subplots and throwing in big, explosive action scenes, the focus is instead on Nina, and the development of her character.
Our society demands so much out of films now. Moviegoers now demand action-packed scenes, outrageous characters, and dumb comedy. And the sad part is, the film industry is giving in.
What was once an art form that required talent, insight, and a thorough thought process is now a fast-paced industry that spits out cookie-cutter productions with typecast actors who play the same character from their last movie, just with a different name and a slight alteration to their physical appearance. (See: Will Ferrell)
Black Swan is not a movie you can take at face value.
Art is something that is meant to be thought about, as it can be interpreted any number of ways. Producing a movie that gives the audience all the answers is not art. I’m not saying those movies aren’t good, even great, but they still are not art.
We need to start learning to appreciate the media we are exposed to beyond what we see. Look at that definition of art at the beginning of this post. Now think of the last movie you’ve seen. Would you consider that art?
Leave your thoughts below. I’m looking forward to this discussion.