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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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I Love Your Nails


I was told we needed more Black Swantent on This Recording. Surely you read Durga's review. What about Elizabeth Gumport on Wild Things or when I did Basic Instinct? As with Inception, I joked about Black Swan forever before I finally saw it, and then it shut me up completely with all the subtlety and charm of Mila Kunis sitting on my face.

The erotic thriller genre is never dead because it has enduring core appeal. Despite the abundance of porn on the internet, there's no substitute for the speedball of narrative pleasure and filmic sex. Audiences are voyeurs by definition. Sitting in a dark movie theater surrounded by strangers is the exemplary mundane sensual experience. Sitting in bed alone with your computer is the black swan of mundane sensual experiences.

Inception and Black Swan would make good partners for a double bill; one glassy and phallic, the other wet and feathery. Architecture and Ballet are the barely disguised stand-ins for Film Direction. Both men take on their rivals and fatherpigs (Kubrick, Hitchcock, Lynch, De Palma). Both are meditations on control and release. Is any profession more like being the Old Testament God than directing movies? Blogging?

David Fincher made The Social Network into a movie about how we use the internet to create and control our images. Life is the contrast between perception and truth. Nina Sayers looks like Natalie Portman, but that doesn't help her with dancing or fucking. Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly are cast as the spouses of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James and we are somehow supposed to ignore the cognitive dissonance that follows.

Women especially are told not to talk about or ask what is going on, to trust men and male decision making abilities without question. It's the cornerstone of horror and basis of the "final girl" trope. It is what makes Rosemary's Baby, Alien, Carrie and Halloween, the ultimate horror films about being a woman, so insanely effective. 

Natalie Portman is great. She does the thing in the movie that the movie is about. Mila Kunis, girl honestly if you get google name search alerts and you see this, I just wanna go half on some weed brownies with you and Miley Cyrus and Macauley and some internet Mollys. Seriously Mila is so cool, and part of it is that you know if you saw her and American Psycho 2 somehow came up she'd be the first person to laugh about it.

Every time Vincent Cassel talked about "doing the black swan" I thought of that thing from The Game about subliminal seduction cues like saying "below me" to get a girl to think you're saying "blow me." When you are a girl most of culture is not addressed to you but you are supposed to act as interested in it as if it were. Would men rather see The A Team or an erotic thriller about competitive ballet? Why can't it just be both?

The best thing is that Black Swan passes the Bechdel test with flying colors, was made for cheap, and is doing really well, going against the horribly off-base yet oft-repeated conventional studio wisdom that men won't see a movie with a majority of female characters, whereas women will still have to go see crap like the The Hangover.

Black Swan's box office isn't all dudes being dragged by their girlfriends. Nor is it all perverts in raincoats. Men are able to enjoy movies about women just as much as I am able to enjoy Caddyshack (and I really enjoy Caddyshack). Don't believe me? Just ask the people who watch Mean Girls whenever it's on TBS because that's EVERYBODY.

I mean thank god Aronofsky and Portman both went all the way, as promised. All of the tropes: the heavyhanded symbolism, the mirror scares, the crazy night out at the club from Blade. Without camp it would just be cold. Aronofsky embarrasses himself constantly in this movie, but that's why it works. He stops caring about cool because coolness is detachment, and this is a movie about getting wired into your damn self.

What if There Will Be Blood had closed with Daniel Day Plainview making Paul Dano suck his cock in the basement bowling alley? If instead of bashing his head in, he had forced him to fuck? What's the difference? Mentorship and rivalry are poorly disguised metaphors for sexual roles. Why is it only in movies about females that these tensions are ever noticed or played upon? If True Grit doesn't end with a gangbang, I'm out.

Kill your idols, kill your rivals. David Mamet is my Winona (forever) and Aaron Sorkin is my Mila Kunis. Let's be real, I am my own Mila, tacky backpiece and all. I'm from Hollywood. Ask me about the time I successfully Buellered my way through improvising my final solo project for a modern dance class in college. It was my Opening Night.

Stay tuned for Blog Swan, wherein the many Mollys of the internet get locked inside a library and have to read our way out like a flock of little literary Nomi Malones. "Publish or perish" is taken to the limits of seriousness as we are stalked down giallo lit hallways by the subway poltergeists that leave spam comments on squarespace.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She took dance classes in school for so much longer than you might imagine.

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Reader Comments (14)

Hello, yes, Fandango? One ticket for Blog Swan, please. What's that, SOLD OUT?? What about the IMAX 3D screenings? Oh, dear...

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGraham

Dario Argento's BLOG SWAN

December 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterMolly

eye-witness account of Molly's high school dance solo: better than Julie Taymor's Spiderman: Turn off the Dark but just as dangerous (emotionally).

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTess Lynch

Tess is the only person who saw me modern dance and lived.

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly


December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Gould

"What if There Will Be Blood had closed with Daniel Day Plainview making Paul Dano suck his cock in the basement bowling alley?"

this is the dumbest question ever asked, even if it's only a hypothetical one. it's almost as if you want us to believe you are truly an edgy writer, or whatever this excuse for an entry is supposed to be labeled. it was entertaining, i'll give you that.

you guys hiring?

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermatt

cute neg

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

whoever "matt" is... the name "matt" is like hella generic. get a new name bro... something more original. like what the heck. why would you ever have the name "matt." the dumbest question ever asked was actually...

matt's mom: "should we name our son matt?"
matt's dad: "yes."
matt's mom: "ok"

go like play horse or uno or like something else someone named "matt" would likely do... you generic dude.

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterjaqueslouisclintonIV

not everyone can be jaques louis clinton the IV

December 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterMolly

You really think this film holds up well from a feminist perspective just cuz two female characters talk to each other? Of the two leads, one is insane and frigid with erotic lesbian fantasies (the crowd pleaser) and the other is over-sexed druggie SF Bay Area dreads coolkid. I guess the rest of your race fall somewhere in between - is the point?
Now, if Portman character had actually bagged Mila Kunis in her kiddie bed, started their own company and hired the over-the-hill director to lick their boots/work for them - maybe.

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Tingle

"Inception and Black Swan would make good partners for a double bill; one glassy and phallic, the other wet and feathery."---This really stuck out to me, I loved it.

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennioFlurkey

Best part of this post was the term "Buellered"

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbe

OMG! "What if There Will Be Blood had closed with ...?" totally kryptonites There Will Be Blood, forever. That whole Anderson/Fincher/Nolan axis of bros are so humorless about their gays. You know what would make Blood Meridian The Movie better than Cohen-jokes? Constant sex.

At least Nina gets to get (herself) off. Fight Club ends and the narrator is just like, "okay, I shot myself, but at least I didn't have to fuck myself."

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDerrick
I just love all the guys on this thread who are getting so freaked out about the idea of gay sex at the end of "There Will Be Blood." Try to at least be subtle about your not-so-latent homophobia, dudes.
July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterS. Bond

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