One of my coworkers has been after me to see Black Swan for months now because she wanted my opinion on the dance double controversy. After finally getting around to watching it with SB this past week, I …kind of don’t see why it was such a big deal? The dance sequences in this movie are second only to Anne Bancroft’s in The Turning Point in terms of editing around the limitations of the actor, and none of the choreography we actually see is that difficult anyway. During the famous fouette sequence in the Black Swan coda, shots of Portman never show her supporting foot and upper body at the same time, which makes me think she may have been doing most of them on half-pointe (and this wouldn’t have been the first ballet movie to splice together a string of fouette turns anyway, Center Stage). Portman clearly worked very hard and is completely believable doing what she’s asked to do, but she’s not really asked to do that much. I can understand Sarah Lane being irked that her work was pretty much ignored, but one might have thought Portman was claiming to be firing off entire variations in a single take, when truthfully there’s no dance sequence in any part of the film that lasts longer than 30 seconds except for the barre exercise (during which no one dancer is a focus for more than 5 seconds at a time). Portman made me believe in Nina’s transcendent final performance almost solely with her eyes and body language, which is why the controversy is so beside the point in the first place.
Category Archives: reviews
Because my family has gotten so spread out geographically of late, I set up a private group on ESPN to run our annual bracket. My parents are currently on vacation and not near a computer regularly, so this morning I had to pester them to send me their picks so I could set up brackets for them. I can clearly remember being about 8 years old and Dad calling me while I was sleeping over at my grandmother’s house to get my picks. (Yes, my family has had its own NCAA bracket pool since I was 8. What?) I can’t decide whether I’m more amused by the role reversal or the fact that my dad sent his picks by text message, while my mom used the Gmail app on her phone. I don’t think it’s even been a year yet since they got the Droids.
Continuing in the technology vein, how is it that CBS is lagging behind when it comes to making their regular shows available on the internet, but has such well-functioning and elaborate interfaces for live sports? I don’t have that much bandwidth in my apartment, but with the new computer I’ve had very little problems watching any game I want. I did notice that whoever designed CBS’s system this year made all the controls lock up every time they cut to commercial so you can’t just flip to another game every break — but since I’ve been watching two games at once all evening (one on the laptop and one on CBS on the TV) it’s not that bad of a trade off.
The only tiny complaint I have is that the live scoreboard that displays over the video if you watch the game on the web is actually live — which means if your video starts running behind (which mine occasionally did), the scoreboard can give away what’s about to happen. At the end of the Vanderbilt-Richmond game, I resorted to making the video full screen so I could hide the scoreboard, but I could only do that if I didn’t want to talk to Radio Brother or SB over GChat. Still, it’s a very tiny complaint that is vastly outweighed by my delight in watching the cable channel games online with no restrictions — something I can’t do with ESPN3 or during the MLB playoffs.
Now, if you’ll excuse me Michigan State has pulled within 4 and I actually have an interesting game to watch.
Sainted Boyfriend had a moment of pop culture prescience in January, and as a result we’ve wound up with tickets to two of what are shaping up to be the hottest tickets in town. Next Thursday we have Knicks-Hornets tickets (which means I’ll be interrupting my Knicks cheering to scream “CHRIS PAUL!!!!!” every so often); this past Thursday, we were sitting in the second row for the first official preview performance of The Book of Mormon, otherwise known as “the musical written by the South Park guys.”
I should note, I’m at best indifferent on the subject of South Park. I’ve seen only a handful of episodes in their entirety — most of what I know about the series actually comes from the Behind the Music (I think? It was about ten years ago) episode focused on Parker and Stone. So I am pretty well qualified to say that you can enjoy this show without being a South Park fan, because I definitely did.