tectactoe
User

Reviews 3
Approval 92%

Soundoffs 52
Album Ratings 1922
Objectivity 93%

Last Active 12-19-19 2:55 pm
Joined 09-24-05

Forum Posts 22
Review Comments 3,098

 Lists
07.07.20 Top 25 of 2020: So Far! (Aug.)06.11.20 Favorite Metal of 2020 (So Far)
05.27.20 FILM: tectac's Hayao Miyazaki, Ranked 05.12.20 MUSIC: tectac's Swans, Ranked
03.15.20 FILM: tectac's Tsai Ming-liang, Ranked02.25.20 FILM: tectac's Robert Bresson, Ranked
01.21.20 MUSIC: tec's Top 50 of 2019 12.18.19 FILM: tec's Noah Baumbach, Ranked
12.09.19 MUSIC: tec's Top 100 Songs of 2019 11.25.19 FILM: tectac's Sergio Leone, Ranked
10.30.19 FILM: tectac's Darren Aronofsky, Ranked10.24.19 FILM: tectac's Top 10(0) Films of the D
10.17.19 MUSIC: tectac's Top 20 Metal Albums of 10.15.19 FILM: tectac's Gus Van Sant, Ranked
10.09.19 FILM: tectac's David Fincher, Ranked09.27.19 14 Years on Sput/mx: Top Albums of the
09.09.19 FILM: tectac's Christopher Nolan, Ranke08.28.19 FILM: tectac's Coen Brothers, Ranked
More »

FILM: tectac's Darren Aronofsky, Ranked

A divisive director, and rightfully so. Admittedly, he's got some films I hate, but he's also got some films I love, though my personal of which are which tend to stray from the critical consensus. But such is the beauty of art, I guess. Either way, even when I hate an Aronofsky film, I'm never bored by it, and that goes a long way for credibility in my mind.
7Susanne Sundfor
Ten Love Songs


>> THE FOUNTAIN (2006)

Respect the audacity, but that’s about as far as my praise extends. Not sure Aronofsky harnessed - at the time this was made - the amount of bravado required to execute this level of grandeur; a high-minded concept like this seems much more suited to the faculties of someone like Terrence Malick. The mesh of (intended) pathos and (intended) existential profundity falls short in both camps, especially when you consider that there’s no logical (or theoretical) reason for this man to occupy three drastically different time periods, other than maybe giving Aronofsky a reason to make superficial “connections” later-on, under the pretense that interweaving narrative strands equals acuity. There isn’t much fervor to it, and the product is self-important (and self-conscious) nothingness. Lots of glitz and glamour that left me feeling exhausted, not enlightened. Certainly doesn’t help that I can’t stand Jackman and his inability to drum up palpable emotion of any sort.
6The National
High Violet


>> REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000)

All in all, just a bit “too much” for my tastes—too much overacting, too much excessive gesturing, too much of the pseudo-inebriated formalism, too many unbearably pointed musical cues, too many montages—and the pared-down, overarching condemnation of drug use and addiction makes for an experience both joyless and predictable. As a completely visceral exercise, it works in a “I never want to watch this again” type of way; the thing is, you never want to watch it again. Even grueling, emotionally grim films like e.g. COME AND SEE or DANCER IN THE DARK, I occasionally yearn to revisit; I’d be okay never seeing REQUIEM again—not because it’s so depressing that my nervous centers can’t handle it, but because there’s nothing of interest beyond its bleak complex. It exists almost solely as a pit of disenchantment and little else. If I wanted to experience that kind of guttural melancholia with such little artistic achievement, I’d browse my old Facebook posts.
5Swans
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky


>> THE WRESTLER (2008)

Another exhibit of Aronofsky’s predilection for antiheroes with quavering mental stability, guided gracefully by a career-best performance from Rourke. (His sub-venture as a meat counter employee is especially revealing/touching for all the right reasons.) I’m mostly turned off by the estranged daughter stuff; I understand its purpose to further emphasize Rourke’s unabated commitment to his craft, but its an obvious attempt to highball us with pity, empathy, and disgust, elapsing way too quickly to feel organic, capped off with the most overused “breaking a promise to be there” trope that cinema has ever known. Ending is comparatively cheesy to something like BLACK SWAN, but the cerebral cataclysm is still evident. It devolves not into a sappy story of redemption (thankfully), but something much more self-centered, narcissistic, and lonely. Something Bukowski would write a poem about. (Oh, I guess he already did: "Find what you love and let it kill you.”)
4Can
Future Days


>> NOAH (2014)

Was never sure why this film got everyone all up in arms and instantly ready to join the choirs lamenting how putrid and terrible it was, all but calling for Aronofsky at the stake. (Take a look at online score: IMDb, Letterboxd, Metacritic, etc., and you’ll arrive to the same conclusion: Abysmal.) This really ain’t bad, and that’s coming from an adamant atheist. (And non-religious people who baselessly dismiss films due to their supposedly religious foundations make me cringe.) Sure, it’s hardly an “Aronofsky Film” by his usual standards - this feels like something Ridley Scott would’ve made in the mid-aughts - checking many of the usual boxes for blockbuster period pieces, but it still posits an interesting view of The Rebellious vs. The Obedient, and how the blind devoutness of the latter can make them nearly as cancerous as the former (a sentiment that can be applied outside of solely religion). Some bad CGI and melodrama aside, I dub thee a decent ‘action’ film.
3Isis
Panopticon


>> PI (1998)

Aronofksy is no stranger to psychosis-ridden protagonists, and that métier extends all the way back to his first feature film, which plays out like a nightmarish crosspollination of ERASERHEAD and BARTON FINK—not at as narratively obscure as the former, a bit more surrealist than the latter, and every bit as dismal and heady as that hybridization sounds. The gritty black-and-white was apparently unavoidable due to budgetary constraints, but if anything it helps achieve a gothic tenderness that cascades over Max’s entire life and tosses the audience into the same macabre headspace. The engineer/mathematical nerd in me was hoping for a bigger payoff re the various numbers and patterns as applied to nature, but the film isn’t so much about 3.14 or the Golden Ratio as it is the madness encumbered from the fruitless search for something that may or may not exist. The boundaries are blurred elegantly between “reality” and the constant decomposition of Max’s psyche.
2Great Grandpa
Four of Arrows


>> BLACK SWAN (2010)

I laugh at the number of women who dismissed this for the lesbian scene and the men who dismissed it on the pretense that it was a “ballet film.” Ballet and lesbian attraction are to this film what boxing was to RAGING BULL—merely catalytic mediums that play host to the *real* theme: Mental entropy. The ‘white swan’ role analogous to Nina’s adolescence and how she clings to it like static, the ‘black swan’ representing her baleful and haphazard ascent into maturity and all the psychosomatic dread that accompanies it. The text plays like a documentary of obsession i.e., the relentless (and endless) strive for perfection. (People love to namedrop WHIPLASH as the model for this theme, but BLACK SWAN did it four years earlier…and to a much more harrowing degree.) Gets a little overzealous with the grotesquerie at times, but the subtler declinations of psychosis are brilliant. Every time I revisit this, I notice details I hadn’t before: The gift that keeps on giving.
1Arcade Fire
Funeral


>> MOTHER! (2017)

Easily Darren’s greatest achievement thus far, and still standing strong as my favorite Film of 2017. Don’t let the ostensible biblical text - which, to my mind, is nothing but a mere smokescreen - subtract you from the surface level pleasures of this claustrophobic, Buñuelian descent into madness. I wrote thousands of words on the various ‘readings’ you could herald from this metaphorical beast, but I don’t love it for its supposed depth or allegorical register. I love it because it slowly ratchets you up a hill - like an old, wooden rollercoaster that’s seen better days - at a snail’s pace, seemingly forever, before suddenly heaving you over the edge and letting you plunge thousands of feet through the endless pit of hell, only getting weirder and infinitely more morbid the farther down you go. It’s a fucking nightmare, basically, starting as one derived from social anxiety and ending as one rooted in a catastrophic collapse of sanity. Wonderful piece of work.
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