Black Swan Needs More Gay – Rantasmo

Rantasmo examines the Virgin/Whore dichotomy and the potential for queer exploitation in Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 psycho-thriller.

About rantasmo

Needs More Gay dissects the highs and lows of gay pop culture with the precision of a dull machete.

15 comments

  1. Ah fuck great reference lol

  2. Great review animorphs tv show not so great books are much better

  3. I was seriously disappointed with that review.

    Point is that both movie and ballet don’t focus on such dichotomy. Main character of that show is simply stiff and ambitious person, who not care about romances because of her focus on her work. She is inexperienced but not asexual, and reason why she react negatively on producer courtship is because she price more perfection, then paying for position with sex instead proving skills. In ballet princess was kidnapped by wizard, but she is in romance with prince what oppose whole virgin interpretation. Black Swan in ballet is evil because she seduce prince impersonating his fiance. She not represent opposition to virginity but is simply deceiver. They demand from our protagonist more sexual and especially improvised approach to black swan role only because of trope, and that simply is not strong side of our calm perfectionist, what cause here psychosis. She was sick because she try do something for any cost, what she in end simply couldn’t because of her calm character.

    In end: Movie was about sick perfectionism, and his destructive effect. Not directly about sexuality.

    PS: In end it is good that you mention that movie. It remind my in many aspect Birdman.

    • I refuse to believe the whore/virgin dichotomy doesn’t at least feature a bit into Nina’s issues. She is literally kept a pure virginal child by her mother, and she is contrasted against far more sexually confident women.

      • It doesn’t really, even so far as exploring her long repressed sexuality she only does so specifically so that she could play the black swan aspect of the character to perfection. The same obsession that drove her to set aside repress her sexuality is the same one that drove her explore and release it. Fundamentally the story is about self-destructive all consuming obsession.

        I can see where if certain aspects of the story had been slightly changed how it could be seen of a tale about a person destroyed by trying meet other people’s expectations with sexuality being prominently featured among those expectations but the movie it quite clear that while there were certainly external factors like her mother planting the seeds of obsession she had completely internalized the obsession and had detached herself from those external factors along with reality itself

        • Thanks for explanation.

          I could add only that: Yes, such dichotomy exist in some small amount, but it is almost like saying that Batman is about pedophilia. And for her mother.. yes, I see tons of virgins from puritan families every day (end of sarcasm). That is not how sexuality work in real life.

  4. The problem with saying that the mainstream audience’s interpretation is what matters is that that interpretation is filtered through cultural norms. Lesbian sex is fetishised to a ridiculous degree in western culture, so any lesbian sex scene will be seen by many male audience members as nothing but ‘girl-on-girl is hot’. For fuck’s sake, they were capable of finding eroticism in the sex scenes of Blue is the Warmest Colour, which are the most abusively boring and devoid of any meaning sequences I have ever seen (and I’ve seen The Star Wars Holiday Special). Also directors rarely have any say in marketing, which always goes straight for the lowest common denominator.

    My personal interpretation of Black Swan was that Nina is gay/bisexual, and her hallucinatory shagging with Jupiter Jones was a combination of her repressed sexual desires finally coming to the surface, her terror from being instilled with ‘sex is evil’ her whole life (and in a heteronormative culture no less), and her mental problems, which likely run in the family. Overall, great movie.

    • For first part, I can’t disagree. Also opinion that the mainstream audience’s interpretation is what matters is downright stupid. From practice I can say that many directors simply do several layer interpretation where on surface is cheap nitwit interpretation, made only because mainstream would say that movie is chaotic and nonsensical. And commonly true interpretation for many good movies is hidden behind several layer. Not that I saying that Black Swan was deep, but that people focus on something what is secondary plot of the movie.

      And here we go to second part, that is.. yes, she probably is homo/bi but that is in fact totally irrelevant to plot of the movie. In fact we could totally cut that part without harm. Her sexual research were directly connected to fact that Black Swan role demand more sexual and improvised approach. What matter for her was her sick ambition, and rest is simply offshoot of that. I could say that she was more like stereotypical nerd who is so focused on his work/hobby, that he don’t have time for real people and so have own imagined “Wifu”. I personally don’t find much about morality restrictions in that movie, and think that people put here own anticipation instead.

  5. Queer women are the safe queers. They serve as titillation for straight males and they can be used try and score points with the LGBTQ population.

    Also, friend zone never stops being really hilarious to me.

  6. Great review, Rantasmo. And can I just say I’m really digging the beard. Woof!

  7. Have you seen Perfect Blue, Rantasmo? It has quite the heavy influence on this film, and the director. It is the same type of plot, but with a pop star as the focus. Incredible animated film.
    Aronsofky actually bought the rights to Perfect Blue so he could recreate that bathtub scene shot for shot in Requiem for a Dream where Jennifer Connelly is screaming underwater.

    That anime director’s last film, Paprika, dealt with going into dreams, and came out a few years before Inception. I know his idea was around for a while, but you can still see a few things here and there that were done in paprika happen in inception.

  8. This is a pretty awesome movie
    alto I will side with those who interpret this movie as being more about self-destructive perfectionism, alto there also clearly are elements of going against one’s own nature

    also, I never understood the whole Virgin/Whore dichotomy thing
    how are either of those things bad?

  9. It is interesting to compare to how this was handled in Perfect Blue, where it was the childlike “virgin” who was the evil-ish hallucination while the matured “whore” was the main character. (Also there were no lesbian sex scene.)

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