Film’s place in our culture is one surrounded by questions and discussion. Part of what makes it so popular a topic is its subjectivity. It’s easy to talk about film’s various aspects for hours because nobody is in absolute agreement over any of them. This project is an analysis of that ongoing discussion and the various locations that this discussion takes place, with a focus on the Aronofsky film, Black Swan, and it’s peculiar position as a film considered both artistic and highly financially successful. My particular focus is on the discourse of artistic film and what separates the artistic or indie film from the the studio or “Hollywood” film, and who holds the power in determining where those boundaries lie.
There’s a reason I’m using the terms “artistic” and “indie” interchangeably. The independent film community places high value on the artistic value of its films, and those who consume the output of this industry do so with a focus on the community’s artistic value. My goal is to examine what makes a film artistic, and examine the paradoxes involved with Black Swan and its position in our culture’s film library as a representative of both independent films and studio films, two categories which manage to overlap despite the independent film community’s attempts to remain exactly what its name implies – independent.