Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969) is an Jewish film director, screenwriter and film producer. He attended Harvard University to study film theory and the American Film Institute to study both live-action and animation filmmaking. He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist. Aronofsky has received acclaim for his often surreal, disturbing films and has been noted for frequent collaborations with cinematographer Matthew Libatique and composer Clint Mansell. His films have generated controversy and are well known for their often violent, bleak subject matter.
Aronofsky’s feature debut, Pi, was shot in November 1997. The low-budget, $60,000 production, starring Sean Gullette, was sold to Artisan Entertainment for $1 million, and grossed over $3 million; Aronofsky won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay. Aronofsky’s followup, Requiem for a Dream, was based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr. The film garnered strong reviews and received an Academy Award nomination for Ellen Burstyn’s performance. After turning down an opportunity to directBatman Begins and writing the World War II horror film Below, Aronofsky began production on his third film, The Fountain. The film received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box-office, but has since garnered a cult following.
His fourth film, The Wrestler, was released to critical acclaim and both of the film’s stars, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, received Academy Award nominations. In 2010 Aronofsky was an executive producer on The Fighter and his fifth feature film, Black Swan, received further critical acclaim andmany accolades, being nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Aronofsky received nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and a DGA nomination. Filming on Aronofsky’s sixth film, Noah, began in Iceland in July 2012.
Aronofsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1969, the son of conservative-Jewish teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky. 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 Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow High School, and while visiting Israel spent time in an Orthodox yeshiva, an experience that later informed his movie Pi. He had one sister, Patti, who attended a professional ballet school through high school. His parents would often take him toBroadway theater performances, which sparked his keen interest in show business.
During his youth he trained as a field biologist with The School for Field Studies in Kenya in 1985 and Alaska in 1986. One of the main reasons why he chose to attend school in Kenya was to purse an interest in learning about ungulates, as he had taken a personal interest into animals. He later commented that „the School for Field Studies changed the way I perceived the world“, musing that he had researched the environment during his stay there. During his youth Aronofsky was interested in the outdoors, backpacking his way through Europe and the Middle East. In 1987 he enteredHarvard University, where he took anthropology, live action film, and animation courses, eventually majoring in social anthropology and graduated from Harvard in 1991 with honors.
He became seriously interested in film while attending Harvard, where he roomed with aspiring animator Dan Schrecker. After seeing his roommate’s assignments, Aronofsky considered pursuing a career in animation. His 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. He also won the institute’s Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.
Aronofsky’s debut feature, Pi (also known as π), was shot in November 1997. The film was financed entirely from $100 donations from friends and family. In return, he promised to pay each back $150 if the film made money, and they would at least get screen credit if the film lost money. Producing the film with an initial budget of $60,000, Aronofsky premiered Pi at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where he won the Best Director award. The film itself was nominated for a special Jury Award. Artisan Entertainment bought distribution rights for $1 million. The film was released to the public later that year to critical acclaim and it grossed a total of $3,221,152 at the box-office.
Aronofsky followed his debut with Requiem for a Dream, a film based on Hubert Selby, Jr.’s novel of the same name. He was paid $50,000, and worked for three years with nearly the same production team as his previous film. Following the financial breakout of Pi, he was capable of hiring established stars, including Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto, and received a budget of $3,500,000 to produce the film. Production of the film occurred over the period of one year, with the film being released in October of 2000. The film went on to gross $7,390,108 worldwide. Aronofsky received acclaim for his stylish direction, and was nominated for another Independent Spirit Award, this time for Best Director. The film itself was nominated for five awards in total, winning two, for Best Actress and Cinematography. Clint Mansell’s soundtrack for the film was also well-regarded, and since their first collaboration in 1996, Mansell has composed the music to every Aronofsky film. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for numerous awards, including for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and ultimately won the Independent Spirit Award.
In mid-2000, Warner Bros. hired Aronofsky to write and direct Batman: Year One, which was to be the fifth film in the Batman franchise. Aronofsky, who collaborated with Frank Miller on an unproduced script for Ronin, brought Miller to co-write Year One with him, intending to reboot the series. „It’s somewhat based on the comic book,“ Aronofsky later said. „Toss out everything you can imagine about Batman! Everything! We’re starting completely anew.“ Regular Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique was set as cinematographer, and Aronofsky had also approached Christian Bale for the role of Batman. Bale later would be cast in the role for Batman Begins. However, the studio abandoned Year One in favor of Batman vs. Superman. After that project failed to develop, Aronofsky declined the opportunity to direct Batman Begins.
In March 2001, he helped write the screenplay to the horror film Below, which he also produced. In April 2001, Aronofsky entered negotiations with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow to direct a then-untitled science fiction film, with Brad Pitt in the lead role. In June 2001, actress Cate Blanchett entered talks to join the film, which Aronofsky, wanting the title to remain secret, had given the working title of The Last Man. Production was postponed to wait for a pregnant Blanchett to give birth to her child in December 2001. Production was ultimately set for late October 2002 in Queensland and Sydney, Australia. By now officially titled The Fountain, the film had a budget of $70 million, co-financed by Warner Bros. and New Regency, which had filled the gap after Village Roadshow withdrew. Pitt left the project seven weeks before the first day of shooting, halting production. In February 2004, Warner Bros. resurrected it on a $35 million budget withHugh Jackman in the lead role. In August, actress Rachel Weisz filled the vacancy left by Blanchett. The Fountain was released on November 22, 2006, a day before the AmericanThanksgiving holiday, and ultimately, grossed $15,978,422 in theaters worldwide. The film remains divisive amongst audiences and critics alike.
In 2007, Aronofsky hired writer Scott Silver to develop The Fighter with him. He had approached actor Christian Bale for the film, but Aronofsky dropped out because of its similarities to The Wrestler and to work on MGM’s RoboCop remake. In July 2010, Aronofsky had left the project due to uncertainty over the financially distressed studio’s future. Aronofsky himself, when asked about the film, replied, „I think I’m still attached. I don’t know. I haven’t heard from anyone in a while.“ Later during 2007, Aronofsky said he was planning to film a movie about Noah’s Ark.
Aronofsky had the idea for The Wrestler for over a decade. He hired Robert D. Siegal to turn his idea into a script. Actor Nicolas Cage entered negotiations in October 2007 to star as Randy, the film’s protagonist. The following month Cage left the project, and Mickey Rourke replaced him in the lead role. Cage pulled out of the movie because Aronofsky wanted Rourke to star, Aronofsky said, stating that Cage was „a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but, you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race.“ The roughly 40-day shoot began in January 2008.
The Wrestler premiered at the 65th Venice International Film Festival. Initially flying under the radar, the film wound up winning the Golden Lion, the highest award at the world’s oldest film festival. The Wrestler received great critical acclaim, and both Rourke and co-star Marisa Tomei receivedAcademy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations for their performances. Rourke won a Golden Globe, as did Bruce Springsteen for the original song the rock star wrote for the film. The Wrestler grossed $44,674,354 worldwide on a budget of $6,000,000 making it Aronofsky’s highest grossing film to that point.
Aronofsky’s next film was Black Swan, which had been in development since 2001, a psychological thriller horror film about a New York Cityballerina. The film starred actress Natalie Portman, whom Aronofsky had known since 2000. She also introduced Aronofsky to Mila Kunis, who joined the cast in 2009. Black Swan had its world premiere as the opening film at the 67th Venice Film Festival on October 2010. It received a standing ovation whose length Variety said made it „one of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory“.
Black Swan has received high praise from film critics, and received a record 12 Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations, four Independent Spirit Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, three SAG nominations, and many more accolades. Aronofsky himself received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director. The film broke limited-release box-office records and grossed an unexpectedly high $329,398,046. On January 25, 2011, the film was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress,Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing and in March the film won one for Portman’s performance. Aronofsky served as an executive producer on The Fighter, which was also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Larger budget production
Aronofsky was attached to The Wolverine which was scheduled to begin production in March 2011, but he left the project due to scheduling issues. The film was set to be fifth entry of the X-Men film series, featuring a story revolving around character Wolverine’s adventures in Japan. In December 2011, Aronofsky directed the music video for Lou Reed and Metallica’s „The View“ from their album Lulu.
In 2011, Aronofsky was attempting to launch production on Noah, a retelling of the Bible story of Noah’s Ark, projected for a $115 million budget. By the following year, the film had secured funding and distribution from New Regency and Paramount Pictures, with Russell Crowe hired for the title role. The film will adapt a serialized graphic novel written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel, published in French in October 2011 by the Belgian publisher Le Lombard. By July 2012, Aronofsky’s crews were building an ark set in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. Aronofsky announced the start of filming on Noah on Twitter in the same month, tweeting shots of the filming in Iceland. The film will feature Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly, who starred in Requiem for a Dream.
Aronofsky will direct an HBO series pilot called Hobgoblin. Announced on June 16, 2011, the series will depict a group of magicians and con artists who use their powers of deception to defea Hitler during WWII. He is set to work on this project with Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman. It was also announced that Aronofsky will also produce an upcoming horror film, XOXO, written by Black Swan writer Mark Heyman. George Nolfi of the The Adjustment Bureau is set to helm the project, that will be overseen by Aronofsky.
Aronofsky’s first two films, Pi and Requiem for a Dream, were low-budget and used montages of extremely short shots, sometimes termed a hip hop montage. 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 attempted to use as little computer-generated imagery as possible. 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.“ The Wrestler and Black Swan both are more subtly directed and have a less visceral directing style in order to showcase the acting and narratives more. Aronofsky filmed both films with a muted palette and a grainy style. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique has collaborated with Aronofsky on 3 films together, and film composer Clint Mansell has worked with him on all five films. Mansell’s music is an often important aspect to 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. However, Aronofsky has said:
Requiem for a Dream is not about heroin or about drugs… The Harry-Tyrone-Marion story is a very traditional heroin story. But putting it side by side with the Sara story, we suddenly say, ‚Oh, my God, what is a drug?‘ The idea that the same inner monologue goes through a person’s head when they’re trying to quit drugs, as with cigarettes, as when they’re trying to not eat food so they can lose 20 pounds, was really fascinating to me. I thought it was an idea that we hadn’t seen on film and I wanted to bring it up on the screen.
Aronofsky and his friend Ari Handel created the story for The Fountain, and Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. When Aronofsky saw The Matrix in 1999, he considered it a film that redefined the science fiction genre. He sought to make a science fiction film that would explore new territory in the genre like The Matrix and its predecessors Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Aronofsky had in mind a science fiction film that would go beyond the other films whose plots were driven by technology and science. He has often drawn inspiration from the work of directorStanley Kubrick, whose film 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired The Fountain. In the Toronto International Film Festival interview conducted by James Rocchi, Aronofsky credited the 1957Charles 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, as a major source of inspiration for the movie.
Aronofsky called Black Swan a companion piece to his previous film 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 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 also shared influences with David Cronenberg’s early work.
Several aspects of Aronofsky’s films have been controversial, most notably Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and especially Black Swan. Requiem for a Dream was originally set for release in 2000, but it met with controversy in the United States, being rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to a graphic sex scene. Aronofsky appealed the rating, claiming that cutting any portion of the film would dilute its message. The appeal was denied and Artisan decided to release the film unrated. The film is often noted for its graphic sex scenes and has attracted negative media opinions for its content.
The Wrestler has been condemned as an „anti-Iranian“ film in many Iran newspapers and websites, in response to a scene in which Mickey Rourke violently breaks a pole bearing an Iranian flag in half across his knee. Borna News, a state-run Iranian newspaper, also criticized the heel (bad-guy) wrestler character „The Ayatollah“, who is portrayed as a villain wearing Arabic clothings Keffiyeh and Bisht creating a deliberate amalgam of Iranians and Arabs among the audience. On the wrestling ring he wears a skimpy leotard in the pattern of an Iranian flag with the alef character, representing the first letter of the word Ayatollah.
Some Iranian newspapers avoided mentioning the character, presumably to avoid offending Iran’s clerical rulers. On March 2009, Javad Shamaqdari, cultural adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, demanded an apology from a delegation of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actors and producers visiting Iran for what he characterized as negative and unfair portrayals of the Islamic republic in The Wrestler and other Hollywood films.
A publicized controversy arose regarding the question of who had designed 40 ballet costumes for Portman and the dancers in Black Swan. There was substantial media attention given to a dance double controversy over how much credit for the dancing in the film was being given to Portman, and how much to her „dance double„, American Ballet Theatre soloist Sarah Lane. In response, people involved with the film (particularly Aronofsky) and Fox Searchlight disputed Lane’s claim. They released statements that stated: „We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film.“ Aronofsky stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
- „I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math, that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time, over 90% would be Natalie Portman. And to be clear, Natalie did dance en pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic.“
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.
|1996||Phat Beach||Yes||Second-unit director|
|1998||Pi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Assistant positive cutter|
|2000||Requiem for a Dream||Yes||Yes||Yes||Visitor (uncredited cameo)|
|The Fighter||Yes||Executive producer|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Darren Aronofsky|
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Darren Aronofsky (* 12. Februar 1969 in Brooklyn, New York City) ist ein jüdischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor.
Aronofsky stammt aus einem konservativen jüdischen Lehrerhaushalt. Nach der Schule besuchte Aronofsky die Harvard University und studierte Anthropologie, Film und Animation. 1991 schloss er die Universität mit Auszeichnung ab. Danach besuchte Darren das American Film Institute. 1996 begann er, an der Konzeption seines ersten Spielfilms Pi, der 1998 fertiggestellt wurde, zu arbeiten. Auf dem Sundance Film Festival 1998 bekam Aronofsky dafür den Preis für die beste Regie.
Im Jahr 2000 folgte Requiem for a Dream, mit größerem Budget realisiert und mit noch mehr Aufmerksamkeit seitens der Filmkritik bedacht. 2006 kam sein Film The Fountain mit Hugh Jackman und Rachel Weisz in die Kinos. Im Jahr 2008 erhielt Aronofsky für The Wrestler mit Mickey Rourke als Titelheld den Goldenen Löwen der 65. Filmfestspiele von Venedig 2008. Aronofskys filmisches Markenzeichen ist eine Technik, die als Hip-Hop-Montage bezeichnet wird. Dabei werden Bilder oder Handlungen in Zeitraffer gezeigt, parallel dazu Soundeffekte geschnitten, die eine bestimmte, immer wiederkehrende Handlung bzw. tranceartige Rauschzustände verdeutlichen sollen (z. B. der Drogenkonsum der Protagonisten in Requiem for a Dream oder die panikartigen Anfälle in Pi). Des Weiteren benutzt er oft dieSnorricam, oder auch Bodymount genannt, bei der die Kamera am Bauch des Darstellers befestigt wird und in sein Gesicht filmt und sich so nur der Hintergrund zu bewegen scheint.
2011 erhielt Aronofsky für seine Regie des im New Yorker Ballettmilieu spielenden Psychothrillers Black Swan eine Oscar-Nominierung. Ende April 2011 wurde bekannt, dass er die Jury der diesjährigen 68. Filmfestspiele von Venedig leiten wird.
Aronofsky war mit der Oscar-Preisträgerin Rachel Weisz verlobt, die er 2002 kennenlernte und mit ihr den Film The Fountain drehte. Im Jahr 2006 wurde ihr erstes gemeinsames Kind, ein Sohn, geboren. Im November 2010 gab Rachel Weisz die Trennung bekannt.
- 1991: Supermarket Sweep
- 1991: Fortune Cookie
- 1993: Protozoa
- 1998: Pi
- 2000: Requiem for a Dream
- 2006: The Fountain
- 2008: The Wrestler
- 2010: Black Swan
- 2010: The Fighter – nur Produzent
- Darren Aronofsky in der deutschen und englischen Version der Internet Movie Database
- Literatur von und über Darren Aronofsky im Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
- Porträt bei excessiv.com
- ↑ vgl. Darren Aronofsky to chair International Jury for the Competition in Venice bei labiennale.org, 27. April 2011 (aufgerufen am 28. April 2011).
- Natalie Portman Might Play Jackie Kennedy In A New Biopic (pinkisthenewblog.com)
- Cinematographer Matthew Libatique Shares a Peek Inside the Ark for Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH (collider.com)
- ‚Noah‘ First Look: New Photo Reveals The Inside Of The Ark (screencrave.com)
- A Look Inside Darren Aronofsky’s Noah’s Ark (geektyrant.com)
- First Sneak Peek at What’s Inside the Ark of Darren Aronofsky’s ‚Noah‘ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Set photo reveals the Ark in Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH is filled with snakes [Noah] (io9.com)
- Why Did it Have to be Snakes? First Look Inside the Ark of ‚Noah‘ (slashfilm.com)
- Russell Crowe looks Noah fun in Darren Aronofsky’s bash at biblical epic (guardian.co.uk)
- First Look: Russell Crowe as Darren Aronofsky’s ‚Noah‘ (slashfilm.com)