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Black Swan

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NEWS
October 14, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
'I had the craziest dream last night, about a girl who was turned into a swan," Natalie Portman says, tremulously, in the early going of Black Swan . But it can't possibly be as crazy as the Darren Aronofsky dream that follows for the next 100 minutes. The director of The Wrestler has, with Portman as his fragile, fantastic collaborator, crafted a ballet movie that is also a psy-chological horror story and a scary reverie about obsession and paranoia. Black Swan opens the 19th Philadelphia Film Festival on Thursday night, reprises Saturday, and will be released locally on Dec. 10. Wild and woolly, the movie is a breathtaking head trip that hails from a long tradition of backstage melodramas: 42nd Street , A Star Is Born , All About Eve , and, yes, that kitschy '90s relic, Showgirls . That Aronofsky's Black Swan takes place in the rarefied spheres of the dance world - with its thoroughbred ballerinas, sinewy and high-strung - makes the nutty psychodrama somehow all the more intriguing.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2011
THERE SEEMS to be an assumption in Hollywood that girls don't like basketball. All of the major DVDs released this March Madness finals weekend tilt toward women - "Black Swan," "Tangled," "Fair Game. " "Black Swan" earned a best-actress Oscar for Natalie Portman, playing the tormented ballerina with the svengali director (Vincent Cassel) and ambitious rival/sex-crush Mila Kunis. I found the movie demented and unintentionally funny, but never dull. "Fair Game," on the other hand, was frequently dull, despite its contentious story of CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 2011 | By Dan Gross
THE PENNSYLVANIA Ballet can't directly attribute the brisk ticket sales for its production of "Swan Lake" to the popularity of the film "Black Swan," but a ballet spokeswoman suspects that the movie has helped. "Swan Lake," which runs March 3-12 at the Academy of Music, is selling "really well," says Marissa Montenegro , public- relations manager for the ballet. " 'Black Swan' is putting ballet on the tips of people's tongues and attracting people who hadn't previously thought of ballet, which is great," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
'I had the craziest dream last night, about a girl who was turned into a swan," Natalie Portman says, tremulously, in the early going of Black Swan. But it can't possibly be as crazy as the Darren Aronofsky dream that follows for the next 100 minutes. The director of The Wrestler has, with Portman as his fragile, fantastic collaborator, crafted a ballet movie that is also a psychological horror story and a scary reverie about obsession and paranoia. Wild and woolly, the movie is a breathtaking head trip that hails from a long tradition of backstage melodramas: 42nd Street, A Star Is Born, All About Eve, and, yes, that kitschy '90s relic, Showgirls.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2010 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
IN "THE WRESTLER," Mickey Rourke rakes his body with staples, glass fragments, razors and barbed wire. But is he tough enough to be a ballerina? Probably not, judging by the marathon of masochism that is "Black Swan," featuring Natalie Portman as a dancer who threatens to drown in a production of "Swan Lake. " Both movies are the work of director Darren Aronofsky, cinema's leading authority on self-mutilation, if not suffering in general (now that Mel Gibson's in early retirement)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
To say that Natalie Portman's character in Black Swan - a ballerina wound tighter than the bun on her head - undergoes a transformation is to proffer a mammoth understatement. But for audiences who have grown accustomed to the actress' mostly tempered, tamped-down, sensitive screen work, her performance in Darren Aronofsky's dance-world psychodrama will come as a revelation. As Nina Sayers, a twentysomething New Yorker tapped to star in a production of Swan Lake , taking the lead as the innocent white swan and her dark-souled doppelganger, Portman goes places nobody's seen her go before.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2011
GIMME FIVE Natalie Portman's Oscar success in "Black Swan" obscured the fact that her Ashton Kutcher romcom, "No Strings Attached," made a surprisingly large pile of money, considering the obvious handicap. Portman's non-"Star Wars" top five: 1. "Black Swan," $106 million. 2. "No Strings Attached," $71 million. 3. "V For Vendetta," $70 million. 4. "Where the Heart Is," $33 million. 5. "Closer," $33 million.
NEWS
February 2, 1989 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / GERALD S. WILLIAMS
The unseasonably warm, dry weather of late has played havoc with flora and fauna alike. Sprouts have been sprouting. Buds have been budding. The black swan at the Philadelphia Zoo has been so a-twitter she's already laying eggs. "It's really confusing all the birds," said Sonny Warner, the zoo's senior bird keeper. The black swan has three or four eggs, and others, such as the Egyptian geese, are getting ready to lay eggs, a process that normally begins in April, Warner said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Why were we utterly unprepared for the Sept. 11 attacks? How come political pundits didn't foresee the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Soviet Union? How could our economic brain trust, with all their Nobel Prizes, not anticipate the 2008 economic meltdown? We didn't see any of it coming, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, because we couldn't. History, Taleb argues in his new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder (Random House, $30), is shot through with random, unforeseeable events.
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
The mega-hyped Fifty Shades of Grey is finally upon us, and even with Christian Grey's Red Room full of floggers and ropes, and Anastasia Steele's willingness to submit to them, the adaptation of E.L. James' bestselling erotic romance is being met with tepid reviews, puzzlement, and yawns. In fact, the best that can be said about Fifty Shades is that it offers a stark reminder that there actually are movies - other movies - that know how to do sex. So thank Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan for making us consider some of the more memorable and meaningful, iconic and erotic sex scenes of films past and present.
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NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
The mega-hyped Fifty Shades of Grey is finally upon us, and even with Christian Grey's Red Room full of floggers and ropes, and Anastasia Steele's willingness to submit to them, the adaptation of E.L. James' bestselling erotic romance is being met with tepid reviews, puzzlement, and yawns. In fact, the best that can be said about Fifty Shades is that it offers a stark reminder that there actually are movies - other movies - that know how to do sex. So thank Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan for making us consider some of the more memorable and meaningful, iconic and erotic sex scenes of films past and present.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's a Cinderella story, a musical that is at once compelling and bizarre. Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal presented "Harry" on a program of four dances when it opened Thursday night at the Annenberg Center. In Barak Marshall's account, it's not a glass slipper that is proffered for the foot that fits it, but a pot in search of its lid. Women line up with covers of all sizes, trying to force them on Harry's crockery, but the special someone holding the right lid must break free from a group forcibly holding her back.
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Michael Smerconish
When a federal judge sided recently with two unpaid interns who later sought compensation, he worsened an already bleak employment picture for young Americans. U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ruled in favor of two men who worked on the movie Black Swan and then sued Fox Searchlight Pictures for wages. He ruled that it wasn't enough that the two interns received some benefits, "such as resumé listings, job references, and an understanding of how a production office works," because "those benefits were incidental to working in the office like any other employee and were not the result of internships intentionally structured to benefit them.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
IT'S BEEN ONE of those weeks where I read the news and can't stop yelling, "Where's your accountability? Stop whining!" Exhibit A: Kobe Bryant. For years, the 34-year-old former Lower Merion basketball phenom and current NBA star stored his crap at his parents' house here. Maybe there wasn't enough room in his $4 million California mansion for his sweaty old high-school jerseys, trophies, jockstraps and whatever else athletes are reluctant to part with, let alone launder.
NEWS
June 14, 2013 | By Sam Hananel, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent grads looking to get a foot in the door in the entertainment, publishing and other prominent industries, even if it takes a generous parental subsidy. But those days of working for free could be numbered after a federal judge in New York ruled this week that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie Black Swan . The decision by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley 3d may lead some companies to rethink whether it's worth the legal risk to hire interns to work without pay. For many young people struggling to find jobs in a tough economy, unpaid internships have become a rite of passage essential for building resumes and gaining practical experience.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
She was inspired to the music life by child star Michael Jackson . Yet when she finally had it all - fame, glory, riches - all Whitney Houston wanted to do was quit. So writes Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston , 79, in Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped , a memoir due out Tuesday about the diva known as Nippy to her family. "I remember Nippy watching television and seeing Michael Jackson doing his thing," Cissy writes.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Why were we utterly unprepared for the Sept. 11 attacks? How come political pundits didn't foresee the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Soviet Union? How could our economic brain trust, with all their Nobel Prizes, not anticipate the 2008 economic meltdown? We didn't see any of it coming, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, because we couldn't. History, Taleb argues in his new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder (Random House, $30), is shot through with random, unforeseeable events.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 2012 | Tirdad Derakhshani
Now that her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, is done with his silly part-time job as leader of the world's escargots, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 44, can finally return to her work making us all bothered and overheated with her rhymes. The former model and chanteuse wrote fiercely throughout her man's reign and has stored up, like a Gallic squirrel, lots of material. "She continues to compose," Carla's manager tells London's Telegraph. "What she gave up for practical reasons was her public concerts, which she is now able to start again.
SPORTS
January 29, 2012 | Associated Press
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Ashley Wagner picked the perfect time for the performance of her career. Wagner won her first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday, salvaging what was an otherwise dismal night of splats and spills with a majestic rendition of "Black Swan. " She finished with a score of 187.02 points and then watched as two-time champion Alissa Czisny and Agnes Zawadzi melted down. When the final results were posted, tears filled Wagner's eyes and she rested a hand on the shoulder of coach John Nicks.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2011 | By Ellen Dunkel, For The Inquirer
To celebrity watchers, he's Natalie Portman's fiance and the father of her baby, due this summer. To cinephiles, he's the man who created and appeared in the dance scenes in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan , which nabbed Portman a best-actress Oscar. But in the ballet world, Benjamin Millepied has long been a familiar presence, successful as both dancer and choreographer. Now 33, he has performed with the New York City Ballet since 1995, as a principal dancer since 2002. He has created works for some of the world's finest companies: City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Paris Opera Ballet among them.
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