Black Swan - Psychological Thriller

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  • 1. Black Swan Analysis
  • 2. Institutional information Dark logo which matches given at the very start of with the thriller genre. the trailer. Cross creek pictures - established in psychological thriller/horror type films.Black background - common feature in psychological thriller films - used throughoutthe promotion of Black Swan.
  • 3. Long shot, straight angle, Isolated Sense of the darknessmakes the audience feel like environment, closing in on her, outsidethey are in the room watching she is dancing of the spotlight it is verythis rehearsal. alone. dark.Lonely femaleprotagonistintroduced tous at the verybeginning. Bright spotlight on her shows the audience that Sense of control - ballet requires a lot of she will be the main control - assumption that this will be character. shattered as the film progresses.
  • 4. Close up as the female Again the character ischaracter massages her alone, no one is aroundfeet after a dance session; her.focus on the normality ofthis action/situation. Fairly light setting, there are shadows in the corners of the rooms. Set up as a normal room - typical in psychological thrillers that the settings tend to look normal, but are made abnormal - absence of light, stormy weather etc.
  • 5. Variation of the over the shoulder Everyday city lifestyle, walkingshot, showing her alone again. through a well-lit busy square.Sense of her being watched with this Use of daylight contrasts to the darkkind of angle/shot combination. nature of the rest of the trailer.
  • 6. Close-ups create a sense of tension. Thriller element - image in the mirror moves without the real Panic-stricken expression adds to object. the tension already created by the close up.Well lit room, but shadows areevident in the background. The character is not wearing a lot of make up in this scene; revealing her true self?
  • 7. Poorly lit; tense atmosphere. Can barely see the face of this character; but we can tell that it is not normal, there is something wrong.Background is a familiar one to theaudience as it is where the ballet dancerhas been practicing - creates a sense ofunease because this strange characterhas appeared in a place where thedancer seemed to be comfortable.
  • 8. The protagonist is wearing white, Audience shocked by the sudden typically a colour which connotes violence of the protagonist, pushing innocence and purity - contrasts to someone/something into a mirror. her violent behaviour in this scene.Appears to be setin a dressingroom typesetting. Contrasting sides of the room;Use of mirrors in psychological thrillers one side is very bright and well-lit,is fairly common; seeing things from a allowing us to see everythingdifferent viewpoint/how the character there, whereas the other is verysees themselves. dark and does not allow us to see very much.
  • 9. Extreme close up of the protagonist, Red/bloodshot eyes; there issense of overexposure/nowhere to something very wrong with thishide. character, sense of something that she has been hiding coming to the surface?Orange/red lighting; sense of Panicked expression on the facedanger, the need to be alert of the character, making thebecause something is audience feel uneasy andimportant is going to happen. uncomfortable.
  • 10. Title of the film given at the very end Black background becomesof the trailer, makes it more solid, with a feather like texturememorable - you’ve seen the action to it - reflecting the ‘swan’ in theand what the film is about, now you title.know what it is called. White typography - fractured in the middle like the split in her personality?
  • 11. Black background The crack in hersimilar to the face suggests thatothers in the she has some darkpromotional secret that she ispackage. hiding and that is coming to theSimple, bold surface.blacktypography, Close up of thegiving nothing female protagonist,away about the heavily made up,story line. again re-enforcing the idea that we are not seeing herDark typography ‘real’ features.stands out againstthe pale skin ofthe female Institutional informationcharacter, again at the bottom of thethe suggestion of poster in a light coloureda dark secret. font - barely noticeable.
  • 12. Simple white typography is used Dark clothes alsoBlack again, although this time the namebackground represent the genre of the film is not particularly bold. and reflect thereflecting themystery of the package overall;psychological these clothes arethriller. similar to the rest in the promotional materials.A long shot is Again, in thisused for this image the femaleimage, the protagonist isexact opposite wearing a lot ofof the image make up - hidingused for the her true self fromtheatrical the audience.poster - adifferentviewpoint?
  • 13. Common features• Black background.• Simple, white typography - occasionally bold.• Main feature is the protagonist.• Use of make up on the protagonist - sense of hiding who she is.• Focus on something that is not as it seems with the character; sudden personality change in the trailer, crack in the face in the poster and the vacant expression in the magazine cover.
  • 14. Links with Genre Theory• Lawrence Alloway states that genre boils down to symbols - character types, settings, props etc.• A genre consists entirely of symbols used to create a link with the audience and what they expect.• This fits with the promotion of Black Swan because it has very similar symbols to other psychological thriller films; for example, the use of mirrors is similar to many other psychological thriller films. Also, the type of character is very similar; a character that from the outside appears fairly normal, but there is something dark within.• Steve Neale also argues that both the audience and the institution like familiarity in a film, and this is why Black Swan fulfills so many of the typical conventions of the psychological thriller – to maintain the audience.