The Opening to Black Swan


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The Opening to Black Swan

  1. 1. Abi on Black Swan<br />
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  3. 3. Fox Searchlight Pictures<br />This is the institution/film company that made Black Swan; the institution is always shown first to inform the viewer of whose production they are watching. This is because people who have seen other productions created by the same company and enjoyed them will most likely be interested in watching it because they know the institution is reliable and makes good films that are worth seeing.<br />
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  5. 5. Cross Creek Pictures<br />After the institution, the next thing to be shown is the studio that participated in the creation of the film. They are always second because they are usually not as important or as well-known as the institution, but still played a major part in production and therefore, deserve their credit.<br />
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  7. 7. The Second Reminder<br />This is a second reminder to the viewer of who created the film, reminding them once more that the film they are watching was made by very well-known and successful companies who always create films worth talking about.<br />This is also where the music begins. The piece used is easily the most recognisable song associated with ballet, and most people viewing the film will have some background knowledge of ballet and will recognise the music. This helps make the audience want to watch the film for they are familiar with it already, and feel comfortable for they are not experiencing anything they have not seen – or in this case, heard – before.<br />
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  9. 9. Black Swan<br />The title fades in from black, and with the title comes echoed, distant laughter over the music.<br />The title is bold and white, which is very contrasting. The boldness represents strength and ferociousness, whereas the colour represents innocence and good. It can leave the viewer wondering whether the film is going to be about good or evil, for the title suggests that it is both.<br />The echoed laughter only lasts for three seconds but it is enough to be noticed. It stops just as abruptly as it starts, and the echoed effect gives a sense of uneasiness and leaves the viewer wondering, ‘Who is laughing?’, ‘What’s so funny?’ and ‘Why does it seem so far away?’<br />
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  11. 11. Girl Dancing Alone<br />From black, the image of a girl fades in. She is dressed in white and is dancing alone in a dark room.<br />Much like the title, there is a lot of contrast in this. The girl is performing ballet, which is classically thought of as the “innocent dance”, and is dressed in white, suggesting purity, good and vulnerability. The dark room, lit purely by natural sunlight from one high-up window, creates the sense of mystery and gloom. The strength of the girl’s dancing infers that she is not quite as vulnerable as one might assume, however the gestures she uses seem very similar to pleading gestures, which again represents vulnerability and dependence on others.<br />She is shown in a long shot and her expressions are not, therefore, clear, however the gestures used in her dancing infer that this dancer is very vulnerable and could not look after herself well.<br />
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  13. 13. Close-up of Dancer’s Feet<br />The close-up of the dancer’s feet show her grace and control over her movement, but also the daintiness of her movements once again suggest that she is the epitome of the female stereotype: vulnerable, in need of help from others (dependable on others) but also beautiful.<br />
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  15. 15. High-Angle Shot of the Dancer<br />This high-angled shot of the dancer shows her as very vulnerable, for she is being looked down upon by the audience. She is also seated on the floor which suggests that she is weak and helpless, for she is not in any position to defend herself from where she is. The angle of the shot suggests that somebody else, other than the viewer, is looking down on her, and as it zooms in slightly closer to her (although not by very much), it is suggested that perhaps the camera shot used is a Point of View (POV) shot and we, as the viewer, are looking down on her, just as somebody else is, somebody a lot stronger and more powerful than she, the dancer.<br />
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  17. 17. The Approach of a Dark Man<br />As the first two minutes of Black Swan draws to a close, a man dressed in very dark clothing approaches the dancer from behind. She appears unaware of him, and sits gracefully on the floor. He leads his body and movement with his chest, suggesting that he is very strong and powerful, and the dark clothing suggests that he has a dark side to him, himself.<br />He comes out from the dark and this creates an air of mystery around him, for it is not made clear where he came from, and he appears behind the dancer and so could easily do anything to her, without her being aware until the last possible second. This suggests that he is very much in control of what she does and may or may not do. This is another stereotypical interpretation of gender: the man is in control of the woman, is stronger than the woman and therefore, much more powerful than the woman.<br />
  18. 18. And that was the first two minutes of Black Swan...<br />