Black Swan Analysis

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Using Oral Conventions in Black Swan to Expose Mental Turmoil Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, showcases Nathalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a member of a prestigious dance company where she faces external and internal pressures to be the elite. In the NYC dance company, Nina struggles to maintain the lead role. The constant mental instability consumes her, leading to her downfall. Orals have the power to intensify a performance, and they can allow for insight on a person’s thoughts and troubles. Visual conventions work alongside and help support oral conventions to successfully present both a rhetorical message and experience. Oral conventions such as speed and length, volume and tone set by instruments parallel and portray Nina’s monstrous characteristics of a constant rush of conflicts resulting in an unstable mentality. Composer, Clint Mansell, was the former lead singer of the band, Pop Will Eat Itself. He debuted his film scoring in the film Pi and then worked alongside director, Darren Aronofsky to compose the soundtrack to Black Swan. Clint Mansell was inspired by Tchaikovsky when he created the instrumental pieces. Mansell relates “with the desire to move forward, change, and become the things you'd really really love to be” (Acharya). He was able to portray this mental state because he acknowledges that in today’s world “you identify with that double-edged sword, of really wanting to achieve things and do your best, while realising that there's a bit of an ache to the other parts of your life” (Acharya). He experiences the hardships of trying to perfect his work in the music industry. Mansell personally resonates with the theme of confusion that Black Swan carries enabling him to create a relatable and raw soundtrack.
In 2010, this film was released to a modern society where individuals suffer from diagnosed psychological illnesses. Constant pressures of school, work, and balancing a healthy life can cause physical, emotional, and mental harm, transforming an individual’s sanity to complete insanity. This medium allows for an audience to be able to relate to the concept of feeling in constant turmoil with oneself. Mansell’s instrumental composition, “Perfection” embodies and showcases this theme

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