Friday 22 July 2016

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, USA, 2010)

Riding the subway, Nina glances at her own reflection in the now blackened windows of the train. She touches her hair, her skin. Something catches her attention out of the corner of her eye. When she turns – through the glass doors separating the cars – she sees someone she recognises. Although she cannot at first place this figure. Turned slightly way from her, this woman – Nina realises – reminds her of herself. Except, this doppelgänger is dressed in a long black coat; while Nina is in the palest of pink with white scarf. The woman will leave the train at the next stop, and before Nina is able to catch her face, she disappears into the crowd. This moment, at the beginning of Black Swan, has an essential function in the film, for it immediately links the reflected image with the doppelgänger, and such a doubling of the body with an echoing of bodies. In other words, director Darren Aronofsky creates and develops mirror images: bodies in mirrors; the mirrored body and the mirroring of bodies. These three mirror images are without doubt interrelated, they interpenetrate and circulate through one another – and as the film progresses they will become increasingly inseparable, so much so that we no longer know where one begins and another ends. Black Swan creates a film-world of mirror images.

To read the full exploration of Black Swan through the Deleuze's sign of 'mirrors face to face,' see Deleuze's Cinema Books: Three Introductions to the Taxonomy of Images...

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