Our next Fretworks program on Classical 101 will feature the Concierto Madrigal by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. It’s a concerto for two guitars, not quite as well-known as the more famous Concierto de Aranjuez. The Concierto Madrigal was written in the form of a suite and is based on the Renaissance madrigal “Felices ojos mios” (Happy Eyes of Mine).
Film Review: Black Swan
Listen to the Story
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Rating: R for for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use
Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
Rico: Pay attention to the MPAA ‘R’ rating; This is a caution for all those youngsters studying ballet and their parents.
Joyce: Boy, is this not a beautiful dance film, as one would suspect. It’s a supernatural thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. No little dancers should see this enigmatic film.
Rico: “The Black Swan” is about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) who finds herself in a tense situation with a rival (Mila Kunis) and her ballet master/director of the company, played by Vincent Cassel. Cassel is usually cast as a villain, and is here, as well.
Joyce: In this film, you canâ€™t be sure about what you are seeing. This veteran ballerina, played brilliantly by Portman, has severe mental problems, including hallucinations, so youâ€™re not sure what is real or unreal.
Rico: Itâ€™s interesting to note that Portman did most of her own dancing on film.
Joyce: The cast is excellent, with totally believable performances by Cassel and Barbara Hershey, the lead’s demanding and overpowering mother.
Rico: If youâ€™re looking for a behind-the-scenes view of Swan Lake,Â youâ€™ll probably be disappointed. This is a story about the difficulties demanded of a prima ballerina.
Joyce: This was definitely hard to watch for me. Though very well done, I would never choose to see it a second time. ***1/2
Rico: It’s a tough film to watch, but Iâ€™ll still give itÂ ***1/2.