Darren Aronofsky: Explained
Darren Aronofsky is known for disturbing and controversial films such as Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, and Mother! A Harvard graduate who has garnered numerous nominations and awards, he has also received both criticism and praise for his unflinching directorial style. Although his seven films vary somewhat in the depth of the message they convey, they all speak to human frailty in a way that connects with audiences. At the same time, each of his films contains psychologically disturbing scenes that have sparked heated discussions.
While Aronofsky is ambitious, he doesn’t pull any punches when he’s trying to get his viewers to face hard realities. In Requiem for a Dream, he shows, in very gritty and uncomfortable detail, how addiction and abuse can ruin people’s lives. Oscar-nominated Black Swan includes a scene in which the main character, a mentally unstable ballerina played by Natalie Portman, pulls off a hangnail all the way up to her knuckle. Mother!, Aronofsky’s most recent film, has a very specific message about Mother Nature and humanity’s destruction of the environment. And--*spoiler alert*--there’s also a scene in which an infant is murdered and then eaten.
Such scenes are by no means enjoyable to watch. You may not like Aronofsky’s films, but you cannot deny the way the excellent scripts, brilliant cinematography, and high-quality production values drive home a point about how extreme situations can promote awareness when nothing else can.
- Madei Davis '18, Ava Davis '18, Grace O'Malley '18