Saturday, May 12, 2012

Visual Parallels: Black Swan + Shame

By Sati. Saturday, May 12, 2012 , ,
Visual parallels is something I came up during watching films and noticing very similar shots or events in two different movies. with "Black Swan" and "Shame" their respective protagonists - Nina and Brandon - often find themselves in the very similar locations, situations and at times the shots looks almost identical. Not only are these two people struggling with their inner demons but for some reasons the directors of both movies - Daren Aronofsky and Steve McQueen used very similar places and techniques to show their characters' anguish. We have them looking with admiration and fascination and hidden sadness at someone their admire, we watch them in the subway many times in the movie and we go to hell with them - when they are surrounded by their obsessions, demons and weakness, bathed in red light of the underworld.

Next in the series - Amelie + The Artist

60 comments:

  1. My favorite film of 2010 and my favorite film of 2011, visually compared in one ingenious post. This, my friend, is fucking remarkable film blogging.

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  2. Congratulations, you have won the internet *bows down*

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  3. Wow... and the fact that both films are shot in NYC just adds to your argument. I look forward to the Amelie/The Artist similarities.

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    1. NYC seems to attract stories about depressed people, Allen should really come back and make some movies there just to level the depression and quirky neurosis to the normal balance.

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  4. Wow, this is really stunning. I have yet to see Shame, but the parallels between these images are incredible. You must have a pretty good eye to pick up on things like these.

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    1. Thanks! I saw Black Swan so many times it's kinda stuck in my brain forever :) Once I saw all the subways and the red corridor in Shame something just clicked.

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  5. I still haven't seen Shame (next month, woohoo!), but this is a remarkable post. Love how you picked up all of these things!

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    1. Thanks! I'm sure you're going to love the movie!

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  6. Wow, that is really cool. Even more reason to watch Shame.

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    1. And watch it again and again :)

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  7. +1000 film blogging points to you! This is an amazing post!! Counting the days until Shame is out on DVD!! And looking at the Black Swan images is even giving me chills...I need to see it again soon! Gah! You have such an amazing eye!

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    1. Thank you! I saw Shame only twice but Black Swan probably around 20 :) For some reason even naked Fassy can't make the film less depressing.

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  8. I was just going to say what Tyler said - you have a remarkable eye for detail. This is stunning!

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    1. Thank you! I do memorize things like that - shots from the movies, names of the actors, details in the scenes... If only I had such good memory for studies-related things... :)

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  9. Very interesting post! I love the comparison. Both films are incredibly internal, focusing entirely on the inner struggles of the main characters, so it's ridiculously awesome to see how well they match up. Hats off to you!

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    1. Thanks! I think for some reason being in NYC both directors associated loneliness with very industrial looking, sad and sterile interiors.

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  10. I thought about this! And I kept comparing Shame to The Piano Teacher too, as I had seen them in closer proximity. I love Black Swan... Shame will be little harder to rewatch.

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    1. The Piano Teacher is also extremelly similiar to both - sometimes Huppert's character almost seems like the older version of Nina, especially when it comes to her relationship with her mother.

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  11. Damn that's impressive. I would have never made those connections. Simply incredible work

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  12. Awesome! Looking forward to more of these! Is there an Alien/Prometheus trailer special in the pipeline or would that be too easy? Still waiting for Shame to be out for rental!

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    1. I'm definetly going to do Alien/Prometheus edition once the latter is on DVD, the trailer may not contain all the similarities :)

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  13. Impressive post!
    I'll see Shame very soon, finally.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you'll like the film!

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  14. I'm the opposite; I haven't seen Black Swan but this post is really, really stunning.

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    1. Thank you! You should really see Black Swan, it's not as depressing as Shame but it's equally fascinating character study.

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  15. I watched 'Shame' just two days ago with a couple friends, and several people noted the similarity, particularly in the bathroom scenes. It's probably also due to the fact that both films filled with strong psychoanalytic views and themes. For those who haven't see it, Steven McQueen's direction is beautiful and Fassbender is brilliant, as always.

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    1. Yes, the movies do deal with quite similar issues and I'm sure some of the influences are the same. Fassbender was brilliant indeed!

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  16. Great great Post !! and I agree with Tyler too. You have a great eye for detail.

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  17. Such a great idea for a post, and you really do have an awesome attention to detail when watching films, it seems. Well done!

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    1. Only good films :) Usually takes me 2-3 viewings to really catch the similiar things so I can't put myself through bad films this many times :)

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  18. This is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I love both films - and the way you have made everyone aware of these striking parallels is truly stunning. Be very proud of your work here, my friend.

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  19. Brilliant!! Truly brilliant and inspiring.

    I am amazed at how similar these shots are!!

    Well done

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    1. Thank you! I hope the next parallels will be as good in the eyes of the readers :)

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  20. Fantastic fantastic fantastic post this,I've never visited your blog before but going to be keeping an eye on here from now on,going to share this with a few friends.keep up the good work

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you'll enjoy the blog :)

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  21. I kept thinking of American Psycho visual parallels while watching Shame, but now, seeing your post, it seems even clearer.
    Very nicely pointed out

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    1. Thanks! I guess the sheltered and secretive way of life makes for similarities for Patrick and Brandon.

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  22. Amazing! Very, very nice work here. I never realized just how similar the two films are, so this was awesome to see highlighted.

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  23. Very impressive work Sati! Must have taken a lot of time to remember/find each moment and take a screenshot.

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    1. Oh I had a bunch of screencaps made already for the reviews, articles etc. When I was watching Shame for the second time I only took the ones that were missing.

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  24. Wow, girl, this is brilliant! Can I give you a Lammy for this article alone? The films are so similar visually, it makes you wonder if they had the same DP or director! I loved them both, although Shame is superior, in my case, anyway!

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    1. Well, whenever fellow Lambs drop by on the blog and comment it is like getting a Lammy :D For me Black Swan is my favorite movie so Shame even with all the Fassy couldn't beat it but it may be better character study, since we focus so much and so closely on Brandon.

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  25. I feel I should have noticed this now! Loved both these movies, although Shame's ending was more clear cut whereas Black Swan had me thinking.

    I haven't seen any of your other visual parallel posts but will definitely be checking them out from now on :)

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    1. This was the first post in the series, the next one should be up sometime in next week :)

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  26. Sati, I agree with everyone else. This is brilliant! It's amazing how you draw these parallels; never fails to impress me.

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  27. Wow, can't believe I missed this post. Truly, seriously, excellent work. You have a very perceptive eye. Seeing them all side by side like that makes for some very interesting comparisons.

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    1. Thanks! I'm working on Drive/Taxi Driver now :)

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  28. Excellent idea and post! Did not realize they have similarities. If you edit the video, it could feel like they are in the same movie and connected. Very nice, Sati.

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    1. I wish I had video editing skills :) Thank you!

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  29. Absolutely adore this. when I was watching that scene in Shame where he throws his dvds out I had a feeling I had seen that one before...
    Also love how you compared Lily and Sissy: they both are a threat to the main characters!

    oh and ps: love your blog :)

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    1. Thank you! Glad that others noticed those too.

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  30. Great to see this post getting the attention it's getting! Great work.

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