Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969)[1] is an American filmmaker and screenwriter, who is noted for his surreal, melodramatic, and often disturbing films.

Aronofsky attended Harvard University, where he studied film and social anthropology, and the American Film Institute where he studied directing.[2] He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist. Aronofsky's feature debut, the surrealist psychological thriller Pi, was shot in November 1997. The low-budget, $60,000 production, starring Sean Gullette, was sold to Artisan Entertainment for $1 million, and grossed over $3 million; Aronofsky won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

Aronofsky's followup, the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream, was based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr. The film garnered strong reviews and received an Academy Award nomination for Ellen Burstyn's performance. The film also generated considerable controversy due to the graphic nature of several scenes, and was eventually released unrated. After writing the World War II horror film Below, Aronofsky began production on his third film, the romantic fantasy sci-fi drama The Fountain. The film received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box-office, but has since garnered a cult following.[3]

His fourth film, the sports drama The Wrestler, was released to critical acclaim and both of the film's stars, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, received Academy Award nominations. In 2010, Aronofsky was an executive producer on The Fighter and his fifth feature film, the psychological horror film Black Swan, received further critical acclaim and many accolades, being nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director; Natalie Portman won Best Actress for her performance in the film. Aronofsky also received nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for his work on Black Swan. Aronofsky's sixth film, the biblically inspired epic Noah, was released in 2014 becoming Aronofsky's first film to open at No.1 at box office.[4] His seventh film, the psychological horror mother! (2017), sparked controversy upon release due to its biblical allegories and depiction of violence,[5] and polarized audiences.[6][7]

Darren Aronofsky
Laughing Darren Aronofsky at the Odessa International Film Festival
Aronofsky in 2015
BornFebruary 12, 1969 (age 50)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University
AFI Conservatory
OccupationFilmmaker
Partner(s)Rachel Weisz (2001–2010)
Children1

Early life and education

Aronofsky was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, the son of teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky,[8][1] and grew up in the borough's Manhattan Beach neighborhood.[9][10] He said he was "raised culturally Jewish, but there was very little spiritual attendance in temple. It was a cultural thing—celebrating the holidays, knowing where you came from, knowing your history, having respect for what your people have been through."[9][11] He graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School.[12] He has one sister, Patti, who attended a professional ballet school through high school.[13] His parents would often take him to Broadway theater performances, which sparked his keen interest in show business.[14][15]

During his youth, he trained as a field biologist with The School for Field Studies in Kenya in 1985 and Alaska in 1986.[16] He attended school in Kenya to pursue an interest in learning about ungulates.[16] He later said, "[T]he School for Field Studies changed the way I perceived the world".[16] Aronofsky's interest in the outdoors led him to backpack his way through Europe and the Middle East. In 1987, he entered Harvard University, where he majored in social anthropology and studied filmmaking; he graduated in 1991.[17]

He became seriously interested in film while attending Harvard after befriending Dan Schrecker, an aspiring animator,[18] and Sean Gullette, who would go on to star in Aronofsky's first film, Pi.[19] His cinematic influences included Akira Kurosawa,[20] Roman Polanski,[21] Terry Gilliam,[21] Shinya Tsukamoto,[21] Hubert Selby, Jr.[21] Spike Lee,[22] Satoshi Kon,[23] and Jim Jarmusch.[22]

Aronofsky's senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, was a finalist in the 1991 Student Academy Awards.[24] In 1992, Aronofsky received his MFA degree in directing from the AFI Conservatory, where his classmates included Todd Field, Doug Ellin, Scott Silver and Mark Waters.[25][26] He won the institute's Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.[27]

Career

Early work

Aronofsky's debut feature, titled Pi—sometimes stylized as π—was shot in November 1997. The film was financed in part from numerous $100 donations from friends and family.[28] In return, he promised to pay each back $150 if the film made money, and they would at least get screen credit if the film lost money.[14] Producing the film with an initial budget of $60,000, Aronofsky premiered Pi at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where he won the Best Director award. The film itself was nominated for a special Jury Award.[29] Artisan Entertainment bought distribution rights for $1 million.[14] The film was released to the public later that year to critical acclaim and it grossed a total of $3,221,152 at the box-office.[30][31] Pi was the first film to be made available for download on the Internet.[32]

Aronofsky followed his debut with Requiem for a Dream, a film based on Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel of the same name. He was paid $50,000, and worked for three years with nearly the same production team as his previous film.[33] Following the financial breakout of Pi, he was capable of hiring established actors, including Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto, and received a budget of $3,500,000 to produce the film.[34] Production of the film occurred over the period of one year, with the film being released in October 2000. The film went on to gross $7,390,108 worldwide.[35] Aronofsky received acclaim for his stylish direction, and was nominated for another Independent Spirit Award, this time for Best Director.[36] The film itself was nominated for five awards in total, winning two, for Best Actress and Cinematography.[36] Clint Mansell's soundtrack for the film was also well-regarded, and since their first collaboration in 1996, Mansell has composed the music to every Aronofsky film.[37][38] Ellen Burstyn was nominated for numerous awards, including for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and won the Independent Spirit Award.[36][39][40] Aronofsky was awarded the PRISM Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the film's depiction of drug abuse.[41]

In May 2000, Aronofsky was briefly attached to make an adaptation of David Wiesner's 1999 children's book Sector 7 for Nickelodeon Movies, the project remains unmade.[42] In mid-2000, Warner Bros. hired Aronofsky to write and direct Batman: Year One, which was to be the fifth film in the Batman franchise.[43] Aronofsky, who collaborated with Frank Miller on an unproduced script for Ronin, brought Miller to co-write Year One with him, intending to reboot the series.[44] "It's somewhat based on the comic book", Aronofsky later said. "Toss out everything you can imagine about Batman! Everything! We're starting completely anew".[45] Regular Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique was set as cinematographer,[46] and Aronofsky had also approached Christian Bale for the role of Batman. Bale later would be cast in the role for Batman Begins.[47] After that project failed to develop, Aronofsky declined the opportunity to direct an entry in the Batman franchise.[48]

In March 2001, he helped write the screenplay to the horror film Below, which he also produced.[49] In April 2001, Aronofsky entered negotiations with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow to direct a then-untitled science fiction film, with Brad Pitt in the lead role.[50] In June 2001, actress Cate Blanchett entered talks to join the film,[51] which Aronofsky, wanting the title to remain secret, had given the working title of The Last Man.[52] Production was postponed to wait for a pregnant Blanchett to give birth to her child in December 2001. Production was ultimately set for late October 2002 in Queensland and Sydney. By now officially titled The Fountain, the film had a budget of $70 million, co-financed by Warner Bros. and New Regency, which had filled the gap after Village Roadshow withdrew.[53] Pitt left the project seven weeks before the first day of shooting, halting production.[54] In February 2004, Warner Bros. resurrected it on a $35 million budget with Hugh Jackman in the lead role.[55] In August, actress Rachel Weisz filled the vacancy left by Blanchett.[56] The Fountain was released on November 22, 2006, a day before the American Thanksgiving holiday; ultimately it grossed $15,978,422 in theaters worldwide.[57] Audiences and critics were divided in their responses to it.[58][59][60]

Breakthrough

In 2007, Aronofsky hired writer Scott Silver to develop The Fighter with him.[61] He had approached actor Christian Bale for the film, but Aronofsky dropped out because of its similarities to The Wrestler and to work on MGM's RoboCop remake.[62] In July 2010, Aronofsky had left the project due to uncertainty over the financially distressed studio's future.[63] When asked about the film, he said, "I think I'm still attached. I don't know. I haven't heard from anyone in a while".[64] Later during 2007, Aronofsky said he was planning to film a movie about Noah's Ark.[65]

Aronofsky had the idea for The Wrestler for over a decade.[66] He hired Robert D. Siegal to turn his idea into a script. The actor Nicolas Cage entered negotiations in October 2007 to star as Randy, the film's protagonist.[67] The following month Cage left the project, and Mickey Rourke replaced him in the lead role. Aronofsky said that Cage pulled out of the movie because Aronofsky wanted Rourke to star; Aronofsky said, stating that Cage was "a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but, you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race."[68] Cage responded, "I wasn't quote 'dropped' from the movie. I resigned from the movie because I didn't think I had enough time to achieve the look of the wrestler who was on steroids, which I would never do".[69] The roughly 40-day shoot began in January 2008.[70]

Black Swan press 2010
Aronofsky with the cast and crew of Black Swan

The Wrestler premiered at the 65th Venice International Film Festival. Initially receiving little attention, the film wound up winning the Golden Lion, the highest award at the world's oldest film festival.[71] The Wrestler received critical acclaim, and both Rourke and co-star Marisa Tomei received Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations for their performances.[72] Rourke won a Golden Globe, as did Bruce Springsteen for his original song written for the film. The Wrestler grossed $44,674,354 worldwide on a budget of $6,000,000 making it Aronofsky's highest-grossing film to that point.[73]

Aronofsky's next film was Black Swan, which had been in development since 2001, a psychological thriller horror film about a New York City ballerina.[74][75] The film starred actress Natalie Portman, whom Aronofsky had known since 2000. She introduced Aronofsky to Mila Kunis, who joined the cast in 2009.[76] Black Swan had its world premiere as the opening film at the 67th Venice Film Festival in September 2010. It received a standing ovation whose length Variety said made it "one of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory".[77]

Black Swan has received high praise from film critics, and received a record 12 Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations, four Independent Spirit Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, three SAG nominations, and many more accolades.[78][79][80] Aronofsky received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director.[80] The film broke limited-release box-office records and grossed an unexpectedly high $329,398,046.[81][82] On January 25, 2011, the film was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. On February 27, 2011, Portman won for Best Actress.[83] The film was awarded the PRISM Award from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration for its depiction of mental health issues.[84] Aronofsky served as an executive producer on The Fighter, which was also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and won two for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.[83]

Larger-budget productions

Aronofsky was attached to The Wolverine, which was scheduled to begin production in March 2011, but he left the project due to scheduling issues.[85] The film was set to be sixth entry of the X-Men film series, featuring a story revolving around Wolverine's adventures in Japan.[85] In December 2011, Aronofsky directed the music video for Lou Reed and Metallica's "The View" from their album Lulu.[86]

Aronofsky was set to direct an HBO series pilot called Hobgoblin. Announced on June 16, 2011, the series would have depicted a group of magicians and con artists who use their powers of deception to defeat Hitler during World War II.[87] He was set to work on the project with Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman.[87] In June 2013, it was announced that HBO had dropped the show and Aronofsky had pulled out, as well.[88]

In 2011, Aronofsky tried to launch production on Noah, a retelling of the Bible story of Noah's Ark, projected for a $115 million budget.[89] By the following year, the film had secured funding and distribution from New Regency and Paramount Pictures, with Russell Crowe hired for the title role.[90] The film was adapted into a serialized graphic novel written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel, published in French in October 2011 by the Belgian publisher Le Lombard.[91] By July 2012, Aronofsky's crews were building an ark set in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.[92] Aronofsky announced the start of filming on Noah on Twitter in the same month, tweeting shots of the filming in Iceland.[93] The film featured Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, and Jennifer Connelly, with the latter having also starred in Requiem for a Dream.[94] During its opening weekend, Noah held the largest non-sequel opening within Russia and Brazil, and the fourth-largest opening of all time.[95] Aronofsky did not use live animals for the film, saying in a PETA video that "There's really no reason to do it anymore because the technology has arrived".[96] The HSUS gave him their inaugural Humane Filmmaker Award in honor of his use of computer-generated animals.[97]

Aronofsky's next film, mother!, was released by Paramount Pictures on September 15, 2017.[98] It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris and Kristen Wiig.[99][100] The film sparked controversy upon release for its depiction of violence,[5] and, though it received generally positive reviews,[101] it polarized audiences, becoming one of few films to receive a "F" CinemaScore grade.[6][7] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 69% based on 278 reviews, and an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "There's no denying that mother! is the thought-provoking product of a singularly ambitious artistic vision, though it may be too unwieldy for mainstream tastes."[101]

Directing style

Aranofsky, Libatique, Weisblum 2011
Aronofsky with frequent collaborators Matthew Libatique and Andrew Weisblum

Aronofsky's first two films, Pi and Requiem for a Dream, were low-budget and used montages of extremely short shots, also known as hip hop montages.[102] While an average 100-minute film has 600 to 700 cuts Requiem for a Dream features more than 2,000. Split-screen is used extensively, along with extremely tight closeups.[103] Long tracking shots, including those shot with an apparatus strapping a camera to an actor, called the Snorricam, and time-lapse photography are also prominent stylistic devices.[104] Often with his films, Aronofsky alternates between extreme closeups and extreme wide shots to create a sense of isolation.[105]

With The Fountain, Aronofsky restricted the use of computer-generated imagery. Henrik Fett, the visual effects supervisor of Look Effects, said, "Darren was quite clear on what he wanted and his intent to greatly minimize the use of computer graphics ... and I think the results are outstanding."[106] He used more subtle directing in The Wrestler and Black Swan, in which a less-visceral directing style better showcases the acting and narratives. Aronofsky filmed both works with a muted palette and a grainy style.[107] Part of this consistent style involves collaborations with frequent partners cinematographer Matthew Libatique, editor Andrew Weisblum and composer Clint Mansell.[108] Mansell's music is an often important element of the films.[109]

Themes and influences

Pi features several references to mathematics and mathematical theories.[28] In a 1998 interview, Aronofsky acknowledged several influences for Pi:

"I'm a big fan of Kurosawa and Fellini. In this film in particular I think there's a lot of Roman Polanski influence and Terry Gilliam influence as well as a Japanese director named Shinya Tsukamoto—he directed The Iron Man, Tetsuo."

The visual style of Pi and Requiem for a Dream features numerous similarities to Tetsuo: The Iron Man.[110][111]

The majority of reviewers characterized Requiem for a Dream in the genre of "drug movies", along with films like The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting, Spun, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.[102] But, Aronofsky placed his movie in a wider context, saying:

Requiem for a Dream is not about heroin or about drugs ... The Harry-Tyrone-Marion story is a very traditional heroin story. But putting it side by side with the Sara story, we suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, what is a drug?' The idea that the same inner monologue goes through a person's head when they're trying to quit drugs, as with cigarettes, as when they're trying to not eat food so they can lose 20 pounds, was really fascinating to me. I thought it was an idea that we hadn't seen on film and I wanted to bring it up on the screen.[112]

Dream logic is another leitmotif.[113]

With his friend Ari Handel, Aronofsky developed the plot for The Fountain; the director wrote the screenplay. In 1999, Aronofsky thought that The Matrix redefined the science fiction genre in film. He sought to make a science fiction film that explored new territory, as did The Matrix and its predecessors Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. He wanted to go beyond science fiction films with plots driven by technology and science.[50]

In the Toronto International Film Festival interview conducted by James Rocchi, Aronofsky credited the 1957 Charles Mingus song "The Clown" as a major influence on The Wrestler. It is an instrumental piece, with a poem read over the music about a clown who accidentally discovers the bloodlust of the crowds and eventually kills himself in performance.[114]

Aronofsky called Black Swan a companion piece to The Wrestler, recalling one of his early projects about a love affair between a wrestler and a ballerina. He eventually separated the wrestling and the ballet worlds, considering them as "too much for one movie". He compared the two films: "Wrestling some consider the lowest art—if they would even call it art—and ballet some people consider the highest art. But what was amazing to me was how similar the performers in both of these worlds are. They both make incredible use of their bodies to express themselves."[76] About the psychological thriller nature of Black Swan, actress Natalie Portman compared the film's tone to Polanski's 1968 film Rosemary's Baby,[115] while Aronofsky said Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and The Tenant (1976) were "big influences" on the final film.[76] Actor Vincent Cassel also compared Black Swan to Polanski's early films, commenting that it was also influenced by Alejandro Jodorowsky's movies[116] and David Cronenberg's early work.[117]

Controversy

Several aspects of Aronofsky's films have been controversial, most notably Requiem for a Dream, ', Black Swan, and mother!. Requiem for a Dream was originally set for release in 2000, but it met with controversy in the United States, being rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to a graphic sex scene.[118] Aronofsky appealed the rating, claiming that cutting any portion of the film would dilute its message. The appeal was denied and the film's distributor Artisan Entertainment decided to release the film unrated.[119]

The Wrestler has been condemned as an "anti-Iranian" film in many Iran newspapers and websites, in response to a scene in which Mickey Rourke violently breaks a pole bearing an Iranian flag in half across his knee.[120] Borna News, a state-run Iranian newspaper, also criticized The Ayatollah, the heel, the "bad guy" wrestler character. Portrayed as a villain, he wears Arabic items of clothing (keffiyeh and bisht), which the newspaper believed was intended to lead audiences to associate Iranians with Arabs.[120] In the wrestling ring, he wears a skimpy leotard in the pattern of an Iranian flag with the alef character, representing the first letter of the word Ayatollah.[120]

Some Iranian newspapers avoided mentioning the character, presumably to avoid offending Iran's clerical rulers.[120] On March 2009, Javad Shamaqdari, cultural adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, demanded an apology from a delegation of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actors and producers visiting Iran for what he characterized as negative and unfair portrayals of the Islamic republic in The Wrestler and other Hollywood films.[121]

The question of who had designed 40 ballet costumes for Portman and the dancers in Black Swan was one publicized controversy related to the film.[122] The media gave substantial coverage to the dance double controversy: how much credit for the dancing in the film was being given to Portman and how much to her "dance double," Sarah Lane, an American Ballet Theatre soloist.[123] Lane claimed to have danced more than she was credited. The director and Fox Searchlight disputed Lane's claim. Their released statements said, "We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film."[124]

Aronofsky said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:[125]

I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math, that's 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time, over 90% would be Natalie Portman. And to be clear, Natalie did dance en pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic.

While Aronofsky's other movies have evoked significant emotional response, they were still far from the turmoil aroused by Noah. It was screened for the first time on March 28, 2014, and despite its PG-13 rating, it has quickly been recognized by Box Office Mojo as one of the most controversial movies of the last 35 years along with such titles as The Passion of the Christ or The Da Vinci Code.[126] Noah has been banned in United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Indonesia on religious grounds with other countries following suit.[127]

Personal life

Aronofsky began dating English actress Rachel Weisz in the summer of 2001, and in 2005 they were engaged.[128] Their son was born on May 31, 2006, in New York City.[129][130] The couple resided in the East Village in Manhattan. In November 2010, Weisz and Aronofsky announced that they had been apart for months, but were continuing to raise their son together in New York.[131] In September 2016, he began dating actress Jennifer Lawrence, whom he met during the filming of mother!.[132][133] The couple split in November 2017.[134]

He said of his spiritual beliefs in 2014, "I think I definitely believe. My biggest expression of what I believe is in The Fountain".[135]

He writes his films on a custom-built desk, crafted from Bastogne walnut, an extremely valuable wood.[136][137] Within the desk is a wooden pipe organ, which plays with the opening of its drawers. David Blaine commented, "The desk is a very cool thing that’s a lot like Darren himself—there’s always another twist and turn."[137]

In April 2011, Aronofsky was announced as the President of the Jury for the 68th Venice International Film Festival.[138]

In November 2014, Aronofsky was announced as the President of the Jury for the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, for February 2015.[139]

Environmental activism

Aronofsky is known for his environmental activism. A number of his films, notably Noah and mother!, can be read as environmental parables. In 2014, he traveled to the Alberta Tar Sands with the Sierra Club's Michael Brune and Leonardo DiCaprio.[140] In 2015, he traveled to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with Brune, Keri Russell, and the leaders of several veterans groups.[141]

He has received the Humanitarian Award from both the Humane Society of the United States[142] and PETA.

In 2015, he collaborated with the artist JR on "The Standing March," a public art installation in Paris encouraging diplomats at COP21 to take action against climate change.[143]

He is a board member of The Sierra Club Foundation[144] and The School for Field Studies.[145]

Filmography

Short films

Year Film Director Writer Producer
1991 Supermarket Sweep Yes Yes No
Fortune Cookie Yes No Yes
1993 Protozoa Yes Yes No
1994 No Time Yes No No

Feature films

Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
1998 Pi Yes Yes No Also assistant positive cutter
2000 Requiem for a Dream Yes Yes No Role: Visitor (uncredited cameo)
2002 Below No Yes Yes
2006 The Fountain Yes Yes No
2008 The Wrestler Yes No Yes
2010 Black Swan Yes No No
2014 Noah Yes Yes Yes
2017 Mother! Yes Yes No

Producer Only

Year Film Notes
2010 The Fighter Executive producer
2015 Zipper
2016 Jackie
2017 Aftermath
2018 White Boy Rick

Other productions

Year Title Notes
2018 One Strange Rock Television documentary series
Spheres: Songs of Spacetime Virtual reality

Accolades

Year Award Category Title Result
1998 Gotham Awards[146] Open Palm Award Pi Won
National Board of Review[147] Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking Won
Sundance Film Festival[29] Best Director Won
Grand Jury Prize Nominated
1999 Independent Spirit Awards[36] Best First Screenplay Won
Best First Feature Nominated
2000 National Board of Review[148] Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking Requiem for a Dream Won
Valladolid International Film Festival[149] Best Picture – Golden Spike Award Won
2001 Independent Spirit Awards[36] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Webby Award[150] Movie & Film Webby Award Winner Won
American Film Institute[151] Franklin J. Schaffner Award Recipient Won
2006 Venice Film Festival[71] Golden Lion The Fountain Nominated
Stockholm International Film Festival[152] Visionary Award Won
Chicago International Film Festival[153] Emerging Visionary Award Recipient Won
2008 Venice Film Festival[71] Golden Lion The Wrestler Won
Golden Tomato[154] Best Drama Won
2009 Independent Spirit Award[72] Best Film Won
London Critics Circle Film Awards[72] Best Film Won
Best Director Won
National Board of Review[155] Best Film Nominated
Fantasporto[156] Audience Award Won
2010 Venice Film Festival[157] Golden Lion Black Swan Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards[158] Best Director Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards[79] Best Director Won
Best Film Won
Gotham Awards[159] Best Feature Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association[160] Best Director Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards[161] Best Director Won
Satellite Award[162] Best Director Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association[163] Best Director Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle[164] Best Director Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association[165] Best Director Nominated
Camerimage[166] Cinematographer – Director Duo Award Won
2011 British Academy of Film and Television Arts[167] Best Direction Nominated
Golden Globe Award[80] Best Director Nominated
Directors Guild of America[168] Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Nominated
Academy Awards[83] Best Director Nominated
Provincetown International Film Festival[169] Filmmaker on the Edge Award Recipient Won
Scream Awards[170] Best Director Won
2012 Japanese Academy Awards Outstanding Foreign Language Film Nominated
2014 Woodstock Film Festival[171] Honorary Maverick Award Recipient Won
2015 Odessa International Film Festival[172] Golden Duke for Lifetime Achievement Won
Motion Picture Sound Editors[173] Filmmaker's Award Recipient Won
2017 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion mother! Nominated
Deauville Film Festival Achievement Tribute Award Won
PETA Oscats PETA Pick Award mother! Won
2018 Yerevan International Film Festival Parajanov Thaler Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution Into World Cinema Won
Venice Film Festival Best Virtual Reality SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime Won
Mumbai Film Festival Excellence in Cinema Award Won

See also

References

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External links

Aftermath (2017 film)

Aftermath (originally titled 478) is a 2017 American drama thriller film directed by Elliott Lester and written by Javier Gullón. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Grace, and Martin Donovan. The film was released on April 7, 2017 by Lionsgate Premiere. The film is based on events and persons surrounding the 2002 Überlingen mid-air collision of a passenger airliner with a cargo jet, although the names, places, nationalities and incidents were changed. It was released on video on demand.

Andrew Weisblum

Andrew Weisblum is an American film and a visual effects editor. He has collaborated frequently with directors Darren Aronofsky and Wes Anderson. Weisblum was nominated for two American Cinema Editors's Eddie Award for Best Edited Animated Feature Film for his work on Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs and an Academy Award for Best Film Editing for his work on Black Swan.

Below (film)

Below is a 2002 American World War II submarine horror film directed by David Twohy, written by Darren Aronofsky, Lucas Sussman, and Twohy, and stars Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Matthew Davis, Holt McCallany, Scott Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Flemyng, and Dexter Fletcher. The film tells the story of a United States Navy submarine that experiences a series of supernatural events while on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean in 1943.

Below was filmed on location in Lake Michigan for exteriors (using the World War II-era U.S. Navy submarine USS Silversides) and at Pinewood Studios. The film was released theatrically on October 11, 2002 to mixed reviews from critics.

Black Swan (film)

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The screenplay was written by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on an original story by Heinz. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by the prestigious New York City Ballet company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new arrival Lily (Kunis). Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the part, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into a living nightmare.

Usually described as a psychological horror film, Black Swan can be also interpreted as a metaphor for achieving artistic perfection, with all the psychological and physical challenges one might encounter, i.e. "the film can be perceived as a poetic metaphor for the birth of an artist, that is, as a visual representation of Nina's psychic odyssey toward achieving artistic perfection and of the price to be paid for it."Aronofsky conceived the premise by connecting his viewings of a production of Swan Lake with an unrealized screenplay about understudies and the notion of being haunted by a double, similar to the folklore surrounding doppelgängers. Aronofsky cites Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Double as another inspiration for the film. The director also considered Black Swan a companion piece to his 2008 film The Wrestler, with both films involving demanding performances for different kinds of art. He and Portman first discussed the project in 2000, and after a brief attachment to Universal Studios, Black Swan was produced in New York City in 2009 by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Portman and Kunis trained in ballet for several months prior to filming, and notable figures from the ballet world helped with film production to shape the ballet presentation.

The film premiered as the opening film for the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 1, 2010. It had a limited release in the United States starting December 3, 2010 and opened in wide release on December 17. The film upon release was a critical and commercial success. Critics praised Portman's performance and Aronofsky's direction, while the film grossed over $329 million worldwide. It received five nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and winning Best Actress (for Portman).

Clint Mansell

Clinton Darryl "Clint" Mansell (; born 7 January 1963) is an English musician, composer, and former lead singer of the band Pop Will Eat Itself. He has written film scores for several films and television episodes.

Jackie (2016 film)

Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and tells the story of her life immediately after the 1963 assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy. Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt also star; it was Hurt's final film released before his death in January 2017.

The film follows Jackie Kennedy in the days when she was First Lady in the White House and her life immediately following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. It is partly based on Theodore H. White's Life magazine interview with the widow at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in November 1963.The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, and was released in the United States on December 2, 2016, by Fox Searchlight Pictures to positive reviews and was nominated for three Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Actress (Portman), Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.

List of accolades received by Black Swan

Black Swan is a 2010 independent psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky. It premiered as the opening film for the 67th Venice International Film Festival. The film had a limited release in selected cities in North America on December 3 and took in a total of about $415,800 on its opening day. After Black Swan's opening weekend it grossed over $1.4 million, averaging around $80,200 per theater, the second highest per location for the opening weekend of 2010. When Black Swan finished its worldwide theatrical run, it had achieved blockbuster status with ticket revenue amounting to more than $325 million. Critics appreciated the film, with review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reporting an approval rating of 88 percent and placed it among their lists for the year's best films.Black Swan has received honors in categories ranging mostly from recognition of the film itself, to its cinematography, direction and editing, to the cast's performance, particularly Natalie Portman's portrayal of the film's protagonist, ballerina Nina Sayers. The film was submitted for consideration for the Best Film Golden Lion at Venice's International Film Festival, but lost to Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. Mila Kunis was later given the Emerging Performer award for her portrayal of Nina's rival Lily, at the same ceremony. Darren Arnonofsky also earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film. He was also named Best Director by the San Diego Film Critics Society and San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards. The Visual Effects Society and Cinema Audio Society Awards each gave the film a single nomination, while Amy Westcott won for her work on Black Swan's contemporary costumes from the Costume Designers Guild.

Natalie Portman has won a majority of the critic awards given to actresses for a leading 2010 film role. Out of the four nominations received from the 68th Golden Globe Awards, its only win was Best Actress in a dramatic motion picture, for Portman. It also received five Academy Award nominations, which included Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing, Of those, its sole win was for Best Actress. More recognition for the film came from the Screen Actors Guild at their 17th annual ceremony, awarding Portman in her respective field as well as nominating the entire cast. A kiss shared between Kunis and Portman in Black Swan was nominated at the viewer-voted MTV Movie Awards and Teen Choice Awards.

Black Swan swept the Austin Film Critics Association and Independent Spirit Awards, winning five and four awards respectively. The film also won three awards at both the New York Film Critics Awards and the Oklahoma Film Critics Awards, and received a record 12 Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations. At the latter, the film was nominated in vastly different categories, ranging from its production design, to costumes and makeup to music featured in it. Black Swan performed similarly at the 64th British Academy Film Awards, again with 12 nominations, and was also nominated in similar categories. Another organization to laud the film with the same number of nominations was the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. They recognized Black Swan in categories including Most Beautiful Film and its depiction of sexuality, but despite Aronofsky's feature winning Best Film, it was also nominated in their Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn‘t category.

Matthew Libatique

Matthew Libatique, ASC is an American cinematographer who is best known for his work with director Darren Aronofsky on the films Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), Black Swan (2010), Noah (2014) and Mother! (2017). He also shot Bradley Cooper's directorial debut film, A Star Is Born (2018), which received critical acclaim.

Mother!

Mother! (stylized as mother!) is a 2017 American psychological horror film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The plot follows a young woman whose tranquil life with her husband at their country home is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious couple.

Mother! was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, and premiered there on September 5, 2017. It was released in the United States on September 15, 2017, by Paramount Pictures, and grossed $44 million worldwide against its $30 million budget. Although the film received generally positive reviews from critics, its biblical allegories and depiction of violence sparked controversy.

Noah (2014 film)

Noah is a 2014 American epic biblical drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and inspired by the Biblical story of Noah's Ark from the Book of Genesis. Noah, which was co-written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel, stars Russell Crowe as Noah, along with Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, and Anthony Hopkins. The film was released in North American theaters on March 28, 2014, in 2D and IMAX, while a version converted to 3D and IMAX 3D was released in several other countries.Noah received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed over $362 million worldwide, making it Aronofsky's highest-grossing film to date. It was praised for its direction and acting, but generated controversy, primarily due to its lack of racial diversity, its perceived left-leaning political messages and its extensive use of non-biblical sources for inspiration such as the Book of Enoch. It was banned in China for religion-related reason. Also, it was banned in several Muslim countries because it was seen as contradicting the teachings of Islam.

One Strange Rock

One Strange Rock is an American television documentary series, produced by Nutopia in conjunction with Darren Aronofsky, which premiered on National Geographic on March 26, 2018. On July 25, 2018, National Geographic renewed the series for a second season, which is set to premiere sometime in 2019.

Pi (film)

Pi (stylized as π) is a 1998 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. Pi was filmed on high-contrast black-and-white reversal film and earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay and the Gotham Open Palm Award.

The title refers to the mathematical constant pi. The film is notable for its covering of an array of themes including religion, mysticism and the relationship of the universe to mathematics.

The story is about a mathematician and the obsession with mathematical regularity contrasts two seemingly irreconcilable entities: the imperfect, irrational humanity and the rigor and regularity of mathematics, specifically number theory.

Protozoa Pictures

Protozoa Pictures is an American production company founded in 1997 by American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, headquartered in New York City. It is mainly a handle for Aronofsky's filmography, but has financed other projects alongside Arronofsky's.

The company currently has a three-year first look deal with Regency Enterprises to develop film and television projects.

Rachel Weisz

Rachel Hannah Weisz ( VYSE; born 7 March 1970) is a British actress. Born in Westminster, London, she began her acting career in the early 1990s, appearing in British television series such as Inspector Morse and Scarlet and Black. She made her film debut in Death Machine (1994).

Weisz's Hollywood breakthrough was in the blockbuster action films The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), in which she portrayed Evelyn Carnahan, the female lead. She starred in a string of films throughout the 2000s, including Enemy at the Gates (2001), About a Boy (2002), Constantine (2005), The Fountain (2006), and The Lovely Bones (2009). In 2005, for her supporting role in the drama thriller The Constant Gardener, she received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

In 2012, Weisz starred in The Bourne Legacy, based on the series of books by Robert Ludlum. The following year, she appeared as the main antagonist in Oz the Great and Powerful, based on the series of children's books by L. Frank Baum. Weisz portrayed Deborah Lipstadt in Denial (2016), based on Lipstadt's book and directed by Mick Jackson. In 2017, she starred as the titular character in a film adaptation of My Cousin Rachel, based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. Also that year, Weisz's production company, LC6 Productions, released its first feature film, Disobedience, starring Weisz and Rachel McAdams. In 2018, she garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, in Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite, winning both a BAFTA and a British Independent Film Award. Weisz also garnered her second Academy Award nomination for this performance.Weisz has also performed on stage throughout her career. Her stage breakthrough was the 1994 revival of Noël Coward's play Design for Living, which earned her a London Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She later starred in the 1999 Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer, and their 2009 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in the latter play earned her the Olivier Award for Best Actress.

In 2006, Weisz received the BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year. At the 28th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, she received two awards: a special Jury Award for her work as part of the ensemble of The Favourite and a Tribute Award for her career. Previously engaged to filmmaker Darren Aronofsky from 2005 to 2010, she married actor Daniel Craig in 2011. That year, she also became a naturalised U.S. citizen.

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological tragedy film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr., with whom Aronofsky wrote the screenplay.

The film depicts four different forms of drug addiction, which lead to each character being imprisoned in a world of delusion and reckless desperation that is subsequently overtaken by reality, thus leaving them as hollow shells of their former selves.Requiem for a Dream was screened out of competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and received positive reviews from critics upon its U.S. release. Burstyn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Scott Franklin

Scott Franklin is an American film producer. Born and raised in New York, Franklin continues to work there as a producer with Darren Aronofsky at Protozoa Pictures. He is an Oscar nominee for his work on Black Swan and a two time recipient of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture.

The Fountain

The Fountain is a 2006 American epic magical realism romantic drama film that blends elements of fantasy, history, spirituality, and science fiction. It is directed by Darren Aronofsky, and stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. The film consists of three storylines involving immortality and the resulting loves lost, and one man's pursuit of avoiding this fate in this life or beyond it. Jackman and Weisz play sets of characters bonded by love across time and space: a conquistador and his ill-fated queen, a modern-day scientist and his cancer-stricken wife, and a traveler immersed in a universal journey alongside aspects of his lost love. The storylines—interwoven with use of match cuts and recurring visual motifs—reflect the themes and interplay of love and mortality.

Aronofsky originally planned to direct The Fountain on a $70 million budget with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the lead roles, but Pitt's withdrawal and cost overruns led Warner Bros. to shut down his production. The director rewrote the script to be sparser, and was able to resurrect the film with a $35 million budget with Jackman and Weisz in the lead roles. Production mainly took place on a sound stage in Montreal, Quebec, and the director used macro photography to create key visual effects for The Fountain at a low cost.

The film was released theatrically in the United States and Canada on November 22, 2006. It grossed $10,144,010 in the United States and Canada and $5,761,344 in other territories for a worldwide total of $15,978,422. Critics' reactions to the film were divided, but it has gained a large cult following since its release.

The Wrestler (2008 film)

The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film produced and directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. Production began in January 2008 and Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired rights to distribute the film in the U.S.; it was released in a limited capacity on December 17, 2008, and was released nationwide on January 23, 2009. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 21, 2009, in the United States. It was released in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2009.Rourke plays an aging professional wrestler who, despite his failing health and waning fame, continues to wrestle in an attempt to cling to the success of his 1980s heyday. He also tries to mend his relationship with his estranged daughter and to find romance with a woman who works as a stripper.The film received universal critical acclaim and won the Golden Lion Award at the 65th Venice International Film Festival, where it premiered. Film critic Roger Ebert called it one of the year's best films, while Rotten Tomatoes reported that 98% of critics gave the film positive reviews. The success of the film revitalized the career of Mickey Rourke, who went on to receive a BAFTA award, a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Tomei also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

White Boy Rick

White Boy Rick is a 2018 American biographical crime drama film directed by Yann Demange and written by Andy Weiss, and Logan and Noah Miller. Based on a true story, the film stars Richie Merritt as Richard Wershe Jr., who in the 1980s became the youngest FBI informant ever at the age of 14. Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Eddie Marsan, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie also star.

The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018 and was released in the United States on September 14, 2018, by Sony Pictures Releasing. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $25 million.

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