You wouldn’t necessarily think a young ballet dancer on the rise and an aging wrestler on the last legs of his career would have much in common, but in the eyes of Darren Aronofsky they couldn’t be more similar. “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler,” like most movies in Aronofsky’s career, focus on the obsession of its characters. Both Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) and Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) push their bodies to the extreme in the pursuit of artistic fulfillment, and Aronofsky captures their pain in similar ways.
A new video from Alejandro Villareal (via Film School Rejects) puts both movies side by side to compare the ways Aronofsky visualizes his character’s struggles. As Villareal explains in the introduction of the video, “Aronofsky takes his characters’ physicality and pushes them to the extreme. We cringe to see these two protagonists bruise, distort, strain, splinter, batter, wrench their bodies into rigorous instruments as they carry out their lives.”
With spiraling camera movements and isolating tracking shots, Aronofsky finds a similar visual entry point into his character’s obsessions. Watch the side-by-side video below.