Retro Poster for the film designed by LaBoca
Black Swan. If you haven’t heard of it, you should definitely watch the trailer now, and then go to the theater. Seriously, I haven’t been this moved and excited about a film since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Anyway, if you have heard of it, you’ve probably read about how it’s this psycho-sexual thriller that pits Natalie Portman (good) against Mila Kunis (evil). Here’s the thing, though: I think that if you go into the movie thinking this is going to be some hot, sexy lesbian battle for power, you’re setting yourself up to (possibly) miss the point and the beauty of this movie. Yes, there’s sex (more on that in a minute), but the movie is deeply psychological and leaves you questioning reality, a la Shutter Island.
So why am I so into this movie? At first, I was completely taken aback by the cinematography, the striking visuals, the simplicity of & reliance on black and white (and of course, the stirring pops of red)…but after conversations with friends and my second viewing of the film, I realized it was more than that.
Without giving anything away, this movie is for anyone who has ever stood in their own way; anyone who has felt repressed by themselves, society, and the people they keep closest to them; anyone who has sought perfection. And who hasn’t, really?
This movie forced me to consider real-life repercussions of identifying with what’s playing out on the big screen. Sometimes I want to be perfect and that yearning ignites a sense of competition with myself and with others. Does that drive occasionally take over? Do I lose myself in it? I guess I’d have to answer ‘yes’ to both of those questions. But is that bad? At what point does it become bad? Furthermore, what the hell is “bad” in this case and why should anyone but me get to decide that? Talk about reevaluating your own shit. (If that doesn’t make sense, definitely go see the movie…)
And of course, about that sex scene…
Several of the men I know have only shown an interest in seeing the film because of the publicity surrounding the sex scene between Portman and Kunis. While I’ve got to admit that it is a beautifully crafted, intense, and sexy scene, it makes me think about double standards surrounding sexuality and arousal.
I was talking with my friend Pat about how it seems that society is okay with two girls getting it on and that it’s okay for a woman to be turned on by said girl-on-girl action. Yet our society remains so homophobic. What gives?
Pat and I tried to figure out what a possible explanation could be, and all that I can think of is that girls making out and lesbian sex scenes don’t necessarily show an acceptance of homosexuality/bisexuality, but a further objectification of female sexuality. To me, that double standard trivializes female sexual experience.
I majored in art history and I saw a lot of nude/naked (yes, there’s a difference) figures in my classes. I appreciate the beauty of the human body and of human sexuality. I’m cool with two ladies doing it, two men doing it, whatever. But why are we, as a culture, so damn obsessed with lesbian action? And not even all lesbians, only the “hot” ones. I think it’s bullshit. Those women are not making out or having sex for your pleasure, but for their own. And the same goes for gay men. Whether you’re turned on or disgusted by either, get off your high horse because it’s not about you; it’s about fulfilling a basic human need and/or expressing feelings. (End rant.)
Regardless of your motivations, I hope that you’ll see Black Swan and find something to take away from it.
Thoughts? Comment here or head over to Twitter and tag us (@mislabeledblog) and use #blackswan and #femalesexuality to keep the conversation going!
This post brought to you by Dawn.