Darren Aronofsky

"Though none of his features to date fit the genre per se, Darren Aronofsky is in some ways a horror director at heart, given his films' fascination with deranged paranoia and physical affliction, as well of his use of subjective camera and exaggerated sound design to mimic jumbled, monomaniacal and sometimes even psychopathic states of mind." - Jessica Winter (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Darren Aronofsky

Director / Screenwriter
(1969- ) Born February 12, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Psychological Drama, Thriller, Psychological Sci-Fi, Urban Drama
Key Collaborators: Clint Mansell (Composer), Mark Margolis (Character Actor), Matthew Libatique (Cinematographer), Eric Watson (Producer), Ellen Burstyn (Leading Actress), Scott Franklin (Producer), Andrew Weisblum (Editor), Jay Rabinowitz (Editor), Sean Gullette (Leading Character Actor), James Chinlund (Production Designer), Samia Shoaib (Character Actress), Ben Shenkman (Character Actor)

"Aronofsky is drawn to characters in the grip of compulsion and addiction. Requiem for A Dream, like Pi, is powered by its protagonists' desperation and their descent into various private hells... Like Pi and Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain centers on the self-isolation of a character trapped in his own bubble of existence. Whether by choice or compulsion, Aronofsky's films ask if everyone is fatally trapped in their own private worlds." - Matt Hills (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"The unifying theme of Aronofsky's work – epitomised by The Wrestler – is a fixation on the body and its fragility. Mickey Rourke's character is unable to surrender the spotlight despite the havoc his vocation wreaks on his ageing body. The obsessions of Pi's protagonist are manifested in crippling migraines. Requiem for a Dream's haunting depiction of drug addiction makes it an ultra-effective, 102-minute public health warning: one character loses his arm, another her sanity." - Tim Walker (The Independent, 2011)
"Darren Aronofsky secured a reputation as a brash, intelligent filmmaker at the age of 29, with Pi, his 1998 feature directorial and screenwriting debut... A self-described "Brooklyn hip-hop kid," Aronofsky was born in the borough on February 12, 1969. His upbringing was marked by his Jewish heritage, painting graffiti art on subway cars, and filmgoing in Times Square. An alumnus of the New York public school system, he attended Harvard, where he studied live action and animation and met future collaborator and Pi star Sean Gullette." - Rebecca Flint Marx (All-Movie Guide)
"Ever since his emergence with the breakout indie feature Pi (1998) - a schizophrenic sci-fi meditation on life, death and the cruelty of fate - writer-director Darren Aronofsky became something of a wunderkind who, unfortunately, would fall prey to artistic hubris and creative excess by the time he directed the incomprehensible time travel fable, The Fountain (2006)... Nonetheless, Aronofsky remained a dedicated artist, steadfastly refusing to succumb to studio pressures on his way to making visually flamboyant, metaphysically probing and emotionally engaging films." - Turner Classic Movies
"It's easy to say that only extraordinary talent could make Requiem for a Dream. And it's hard not to be intimidated by the controlled frenzy of the montage. But notice, too, the chronic misanthropy and the barely concealed torture of Ellen Burstyn. Time will tell. Aronofsky helped write the screenplay of the very dull Below (02, David Twohy), and eventually made The Fountain, a film to divide all groups. It is a love story set in three separate centuries - as ambitious as it is pretentious but with no certainty of tone. By contrast, The Wrestler (Mickey Rourke's comeback) was a very crude, very obvious picture and the work of a man who seemed afraid of being out of work." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2010)
"To me, watching a movie is like going to an amusement park. My worst fear is making a film that people don't think is a good ride." - Darren Aronofsky
"I think it's important as a creative person to keep challenging yourself and keep doing new stuff. If you end up trying to repeat yourself it's death. It just becomes boring and takes the passion out of it. You gotta find stories and characters that you really want to hang out with." - Darren Aronofsky
TSPDT Guide
Worth a Look
Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000) , The Wrestler (2008) , Black Swan (2010)
Approach with Caution
The Fountain (2006)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Darren Aronofsky / Favourite Films
Brazil (1985) Terry Gilliam, Breaking Away (1979) Peter Yates, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Sergio Leone, Time Bandits (1981) Terry Gilliam, Yojimbo (1961) Akira Kurosawa.
Source: First Showing.net (2008)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Black Swan
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