Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spin-off blogathon

By Sati. Tuesday, March 11, 2014 , ,
I've never hosted a blogathon - I never seemed to have an idea for it. And then while making one of my lists last week and asking people about its subject on twitter I thought - hey, let's turn that into a blogathon.

The list I was making was a list of characters that were on screen for few short scenes but you would like to see a whole movie about them. Someone so mysterious, fascinating and charismatic that you wish they had more scenes in original film and you just couldn't get enough of them.

Here are the rules:

1. Choose a character that you love and would like to see as a leading character in the movie and write why you chose this character and what that movie would be like

2. Don't choose leading characters or supporting characters with lots of screentime, the goal is to focus on minor characters who have between 1-5 scenes. However if you really loved a character who is on screen for more than that, go for it.

3. You can use TV characters if you like

4. Include the crappy logo above and link back to this post. Let me know about your post in the comment section, via twitter or e-mail.
The deadline is March 30th.

My choice is:

Black Swan is my all time favorite movie and no matter how many times I see it, there is always something new that's bothering and intriguing me at the same time - a single shot that looks odd, mysterious paint of Lily's face that has no business being there (I'm never gonna let this one go, on my death bed I'll still be asking about this), the odd behavior of Nina's mother. And almost every time I watch it I can't help but think how wonderful would a stand alone movie about Beth Macintyre, an aging ballerina, be.

Darren Aronofsky, in his interview for Empire online, had this to say about the casting of Winona Ryder in the role - I cast her because, in many ways, Natalie – not Natalie herself, but someone one like Natalie, her generation – has replaced Winona. I mean, Winona used to be as big as Natalie, if not bigger, and now Natalie is there. And now there's Mila Kunis coming through... I was trying to use their reputations as actors a bit to play off what was happening in the dance world.

As practically every woman in the movie Ryder has physical similarity to Portman, to the point that I always thought it was her standing in the room, all bloody, when Nina gets back home from visiting Beth in the hospital. It took a lot of zooming in and editing to see that it was actually Portman standing there.

In the first draft of the script Beth had a handful more scenes. In this version, Nina was a 'friend' of hers - or to be more accurate she was hanging out with Beth a lot because she admired her so greatly. In the actual movie the first time we see Beth is after she trashes her own room and then yells at Nina, who is startled and scared. Nina goes into Beth's room and admires it, as well as Beth's things.

Beth is angry because her mentor and lover Thomas is replacing her as the star of ballet and he is forcing her to the early retirement. Beth doesn't want to go and it's clear that her fame and career are the most important things to her.

The next time we see Beth is when Nina is announced as the new Swan Queen. Beth is visibly upset when Thomas announces that she is leaving the company and then, drunk and erratic, she starts screaming at poor Nina in the hallway. She then lashes out on Thomas and proceeds to yell after Nina that she should enjoy it while it lasts and make the most of it.

The next we hear of her she tried to commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a car. Thomas remarks how destructive Beth is and that it is one of the reasons she is such an incredible artist. She survived her suicide attempt but her leg is badly broken. Nina comes over to see her in the hospital while Beth is unconscious.

The final time we see Beth is when Nina comes over to give back the things she stole from her - the earrings, the lipstick, the nail filer. Beth seems shocked and slightly amused that Nina stole her things. She starts saying that she is not perfect and she is nothing after which she starts stabbing herself in the face. What happened in this scene - whether Beth stabbed herself or Nina did - she drops a bloody filer in the elevator - is left ambiguous. We never hear of Beth again in the movie.


While most people subscribe to the straight froward theory of Black Swan being a look inside the mind of mentally disturbed young woman, I always liked the horror explanation - the possession theory on which I wrote a lengthy article about - the most. In my theory the ballerinas - Beth and Nina - are possessed by some sort of force. The first time, apart from the opening Black Swan title card, that we hear the mysterious laughter is when Nina picks up Beth's lipstick - almost as if the destructive force was going inside her then. And then after Nina takes Beth place - perhaps in more ways than one - Beth is tossed aside and almost dies.

I'd love to see a prequel movie about Beth - how she became who she is and how devastated she was knowing her fame and her 5 minutes of being the one is slipping away. While Black Swan was about the rise of Nina, the movie about the rise and inevitable fall of Beth would be just as, if not more so, interesting. With such strong horror undertones and Beth and Thomas being much closer than Nina and him, I think that would make a very sensual, creepy film.

If it was to go on horror route perhaps it could explore just what Beth did to become the most famous ballerina in the company - sold her soul, perhaps? Or was she just a victim of malevolent force living in the theater? Think Suspiria but with more focus on just one victim, not many and with demonic force instead of witches.

And finally there is the Winona Ryder factor. As much as I love the movie and it is my all time favorite film, a little part of me is saddened that Aronofsky didn't make Beth a central figure of the movie - giving Ryder the comeback she deserves.

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86 comments:

  1. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know exactly what I'm going to do!

    I think...

    I have to mull this over because someone else just came to mind. Fuck, maybe I'll put them both in the same movie!

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    1. It's up!

      http://afistfuloffilms.blogspot.com/2014/03/spin-off-blogathon.html

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    2. Finally someone from Tarantino's universe!:)

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  2. Totally in. Unless I kill myself. (I'm driving)

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    1. You must survive! Daddario! Babysitters! :D

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  3. This is a really great idea. (I'm surprised you didn't choose McConaughey in Wolf of Wall Street :P) I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.

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    1. I thought about it but when I started to wonder what that movie would include I started to feel a little light headed so I figured I should probably go with a safer choice :)

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  4. Awesome!! I was struggling to come up with a post for this week but hey, you solved my problems right away.. I just have to think of a character now, that seems to be the most difficult for me as per usual.

    Welcome to the blogathon world and what a great idea ! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! You're kinda a blogathon expert so it's high praise! :)

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  5. Great idea Sati, there is so much potential for a great blog post. I'm already thinking of several choices and trying to narrow it down. Great choice in Beth as well. I remember when Winona was the 'it' girl of the late 80s and early 90s. She was older than me when she came of age in 'Heathers,' but at the time that was the mandatory teen girl drama movie of its era. I was a preteen then, so it was a little before my time. However, I was a proper teenager in the 90s when Winona was in 'The Age of Innocence,' 'Little Women,' and 'The Crucible." So I have vivid memories of her during that time. In many ways Portman has filled her shoes.

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    1. Thank you! You can use several characters if you like :)

      I really wish Winona would have her come back - she is so talented and her acting is so subtle and natural.

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  6. Shit, that is a great fucking idea. I love Winona Ryder and I wished she had more scenes in that film. The idea for a blogathon is cool. I'll need some time to figure out which one that I would want to do as I've already decided to participate in another blogathon that is coming as well. At least it will give me something to do other than watch films and old WrestleMania PPVs.

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    1. If I could change one thing about Black Swan it would be to give Ryder more scenes. I hope you'll participate!

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  7. Brilliant idea! Love your choice too.
    I wish Ryder was given more to do in Black Swan, I honestly don't understand why people aren't hiring her more. She's fucking talented as hell.

    I'll get thinking on my choices.

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    1. Thank you!

      Every time she has a movie out I keep hoping this will be her break and I'm disappointed over and over again :/

      Can't wait to see your post!

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  8. Woo hoo!! Cinematic Corner's first ever blogathon, of course I will join in!! What a fabulous idea and I have at least a couple of ideas in mind already! I don't think I could write something as meticulous like this though, but hey, since I'm not doing a movie pitch blogathon I might as well turn this into that, ahah.

    Beth Macintyre as an aging ballerina is a great choice!! I too would like to see a film from her perspective, that'd be intriguing and Ryder would be great. Oh someone should tell Aranofsky to make this!!

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    1. That's great! I really don't know why Aronofsky is wasting his time with something like Noah - psychological thriller is his niche and he is so good doing movies like Black Swan.

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  9. Oooooo nice! I will almost definitely take part. Have to do some brainstorming first.

    Great choice with Beth. I would love to see a film about her, though I imagine it rather All About Eve-ish, which isn't a bad thing really. Winona needs more amazing roles!

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    1. She sure does, I was really hoping Black Swan would be her turning point :/

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  10. Already started writing mine. I think....

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  11. Fabulous idea and post, Sati. I think I'll take a little piece this action. I'll ponder a little and get to work..

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    1. Awesome, great to have you on board!

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  12. Excited to join in on this one! Already have a good idea of who I'll pick :)

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    1. That's great, can't wait to see your post!

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  13. Nifty idea. If I can come up with something fun over the next few weeks I'll definitely add something. I actually never saw Black Swan, so I can't comment much on your choice. But I like Winona Ryder so I can see it working.

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    1. Oh you should definitely see Black Swan!

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  14. Such an awesome idea! I have no idea who I'll pick, but I'm 100% in on this.

    Also--I really love the graphics in this post and I'm going to rewatch Black Swan now. :D

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    1. Awesome! So many good news in your comment here :)

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  15. Given my die hard affection for character actors, this blogathon fucking ROCKS. My god, I have no idea how I'll pick just one! Great idea here Sati. Can't wait to participate!

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    1. Thanks! If you can't decide you can write about several characters! :)

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  16. Great idea and I love your post about Beth from Black Swan having her own film. It's errie how much the real world matches the fictional one in terms of the actors playing them and I loved how you mentioned that in the post. Will get to working on mine this weekend.

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    1. Awesome, can't wait to see your post! The casting in Black Swan was truly perfect and eerie indeed!

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    2. My choice could be considered a supporting character but she doesn't have much screen time

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    3. Here is my entry. http://videovortex.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/the-vern-posts-on-spinoff-blogathon-by-cinematic-corner/ She is a supporting character but she doesn't have a lot of screen time.

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    4. Awesome, will check it out soon! Thanks for participating!

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  17. Great idea. I'm gonna try and think of one to do Sati.

    BTW, love your site!

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    1. Thank you so much! hope you'll participate!

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  18. Definitely up for this, although my awful short term memory means I often forget about the lesser known characters! I'll have a think though and I'm sure I can put something together!

    Apologies if I missed this, but are you hosting or are we?

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    1. What do you me?:D If you write a post just send me a link and I'll make a post with all the entries on March 30th :)

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    2. I meant I wasn't sure if you were posting people's entries on here or if people were using there own blogs, but you've kinda answered that now :)

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  19. Didn't know if it was easier to leave the link to my post in these comments, so here it is! http://heartofcinema.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/spin-off-blogathon.html

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  20. Amazing article Sati. I can't tell you how pleased I am that you'll be bringing attention to the smaller characters in film. The character I chose is one very dear to my heart, and your blogathon gave me the opportunity to shed light on exactly what that is. So thank-you, and congratulations on reaching over 1 million views!

    Here's my article:

    http://themovieman-bennyjayruss.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/spin-off-blogathon.html

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    1. Thank you so much, what a beautiful post!

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  21. This is a great idea for blogathon...your post is amazing and well prepared.

    I want to do this but it will need a bit of thinking

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    1. Thank you, hope you'll participate!

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  22. Great idea, I'll certainly take part Sati.

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  23. Great blogathon idea, Sati! Here's my little entry: http://girlmeetscinema.blogspot.com/2014/03/spin-off-blogathon-by-cinematic-corner.html

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    1. Thank you so much for participating!

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  24. Hi Sati, this is the link to my post: http://vinnieh.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/spin-off-blogathon/

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  25. im so in love with this idea, my friend and i once tried to write a sequel based on this exact theory... i recently lost everything on my site an had to start from scratch and was struggling to find fresh views but this idea has reignited some old ideas...
    i think i may have 2, will let you know

    Haldon365

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    1. Sorry to hear about you site! Hope you'll participate! :)

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  26. Such an amazing idea and I love your choice! I'll definitely be taking part! :)

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    1. Thank you! Can't wait to see your post!

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    2. I finally made my post! Here tis: http://filmgrimoire.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/cinematic-corners-spin-off-blogathon/

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    3. Awesome, thanks for joining!

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  27. Wonderful idea! I haven't a clue which character I'll chose, but Beth is an awesome pick for a spin-off. I'd definitely see that movie.

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  28. Posted one.
    http://thedorkportal.blogspot.com/2014/03/on-spin-off-blogathon.html

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  29. Interesting pick. I had never thought of the parallels between Nina/Beth and Winona/Portman in terms of fame, but makes total sense. Also Beth's story could be very interesting yes, I'd watch that prequel.

    Can I still join, is there a date for this?

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    1. I wish Aronofsky would make that movie instead of Noah...

      Sure, the deadline is 30th March :)

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  30. I will definitely be doing this, although it might be a short post. Actually I think i have an idea already.

    Actually I'm the typical person who doesn't know Winona Ryder... I don't remember seeing her in anything but this movie - but your idea about a movie about her sounds cool.

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    1. Oh you should see her work in 90's - so many great movies and performances! I highly recommend Mermaids.

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  31. Hello again, miss! Here's my contribution...
    http://mrmarakai.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/spin-off-blogathon/

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    1. Awesome, thanks so much for joining in!

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    2. My pleasure! It was a lot of fun. I only wish I had the time to do more. My list could have been endless.

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    3. Same here! Unfortunately it's the kind of thing that comes to you while you actually watch the movie so it's hard to remember all or even most of awesome minor characters :)

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  32. Hi Sati: Great idea. Allow me to join in? I have a few ideas perculating. :)

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    1. Sure, just drop me a link when you publish! :)

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  33. I've done my entry and here it is...
    http://terrymalloyspigeoncoop.com/2014/03/25/spinoff-blogathon/

    Awesome blogathon, had real fun writing it :)

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    1. Thanks so much, love your choice!

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  34. Great idea and a fun one to write up

    http://fromthedepthsofdvdhell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/spin-off-margot-tenenbaum-wilderness.html

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    1. Thanks so much, awesome contribution!

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  35. Ah finally posted it! Thanks for having seen it, Sati!

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  36. Such a great idea, I loved doing this!

    Here's mine: http://thatdandyboy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/spin-off-blogathon.html

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    1. Love your choice, thanks so much for joining in!

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    2. Thanks for hosting such an awesome blogathon!

      I love what you wrote about a Beth spin-off, she really was such an interesting character from the film. I'd never read your post about the possession theory, that's such an interesting reading of the film and I look forward to watching it again with that in mind!

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    3. Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it! Black Swan is honestly so fascinating - there are so many theories about the plot and because we only see Nina's point of view they are all quite plausible.

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