Darren Aronofsky : biography

1969-2-12 -

Early life

Aronofsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1969, the son of public school teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky, who are Conservative Jews. He grew up in the borough's Manhattan Beach neighborhood, where "I was raised culturally Jewish, but there was very little spiritual attendance in temple. It was a cultural thing — celebrating the holidays, knowing where you came from, knowing your history, having respect for what your people have been through." He graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School. He has one sister, Patti, who attended a professional ballet school through high school. His parents would often take him to Broadway theater performances, which sparked his keen interest in show business. Undated; updated version of story from The Star, 1998, n.d.

During his youth, he trained as a field biologist with The School for Field Studies in Kenya in 1985 and Alaska in 1986., The School for Field Studies (official site), 2009-12-22 He attended school in Kenya to purse an interest in learning about ungulates. He later said, "[T]he School for Field Studies changed the way I perceived the world". Aronofsky's interest in the outdoors led him to backpack his way through Europe and the Middle East. In 1987 he entered Harvard University, where he majored in social anthropology and studied filmmaking; he graduated in 1991.

He became seriously interested in film while attending Harvard after befriending Dan Schrecker, an aspiring animator. Aronofsky's senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, was a finalist in the 1991 Student Academy Awards. In 1992, Aronofsky received his MFA degree in directing from the AFI Conservatory, where his classmates included Scott Silver, Doug Ellin, and Mark Waters.Kay, Jeremy. , ScreenDaily.com, 2008-06-09 He won the institute's Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.

Directing style

Aronofsky's first two films, Pi and Requiem for a Dream, were low-budget and used montages of extremely short shots, also known as hip hop montages. While an average 100-minute film has 600 to 700 cuts Requiem features more than 2,000. Split-screen is used extensively, along with extremely tight closeups. Long tracking shots (including those shot with an apparatus strapping a camera to an actor, called the Snorricam) and time-lapse photography are also prominent stylistic devices. Often with his films, Aronofsky alternates between extreme closeups and extreme distance shots to create a sense of isolation.

With The Fountain, Aronofsky restricted the use of computer-generated imagery. Henrik Fett, the visual effects supervisor of Look Effects, said, "Darren was quite clear on what he wanted and his intent to greatly minimize the use of computer graphics... [and] I think the results are outstanding." He used more subtle directing in The Wrestler and Black Swan, which less visceral directing style showcases the acting and narratives. Aronofsky filmed both works with a muted palette and a grainy style. The cinematographer Matthew Libatique has collaborated with Aronofsky on three films, and film composer Clint Mansell has worked with him on all five films. Mansell's music is an often important element of the films.

Themes and influences

Pi features several references to mathematics and mathematical theories. The majority of reviewers characterized Requiem for a Dream in the genre of "drug movies", along with films like The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting, Spun, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But, Aronofsky placed his movie in a wider context, saying:

With his friend Ari Handel, Aronofsky developed the plot for The Fountain; the director wrote the screenplay. In 1999, Aronofsky thought that The Matrix redefined the science fiction genre in film. He sought to make a science fiction film that explored new territory, as did The Matrix and its predecessors Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. He wanted to go beyond science fiction films with plots driven by technology and science.

In the Toronto International Film Festival interview conducted by James Rocchi, Aronofsky credited the 1957 Charles Mingus song "The Clown" as a major influence on The Wrestler. It's an instrumental piece, with a poem read over the music about a clown who accidentally discovers the bloodlust of the crowds and eventually kills himself in performance.

Aronofsky called Black Swan a companion piece to The Wrestler, recalling one of his early projects about a love affair between a wrestler and a ballerina. He eventually separated the wrestling and the ballet worlds, considering them as "too much for one movie". He compared the two films: "Wrestling some consider the lowest art—if they would even call it art—and ballet some people consider the highest art. But what was amazing to me was how similar the performers in both of these worlds are. They both make incredible use of their bodies to express themselves." About the psychological thriller nature of Black Swan, actress Natalie Portman compared the film's tone to Polanski's 1968 film Rosemary's Baby, while Aronofsky said Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and The Tenant (1976) were "big influences" on the final film. Actor Vincent Cassel also compared Black Swan to Polanski's early films, commenting that it was also influenced by David Cronenberg's early work.

Personal life

Aronofsky began dating English actress Rachel Weisz in the summer of 2001, and in 2005 they were engaged. Their son, Henry Chance, was born on 31 May 2006 in New York City. The couple resided in the East Village in Manhattan. In November 2010, Weisz and Aronofsky announced that they had been apart for months, but remain close friends and are committed to raising their son together in New York.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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