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A lot has been written about Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, both in the mainstream media and even here on TNB. It was an important feature of Matt Baldwin’s “When Stupid People Go To Smart Movies,” and was also mentioned in “Legacy, Lightcycles, and Lady Gaga,” a discussion between Cynthia Hawkins and Gloria Harrison. As it happens, I’ve also tapped Ms. Hawkins, who has become TNB’s resident film expert, for a post about Black Swan. Below you’ll find a conversation she and I recently had about how audiences perceive independent films compared to those built using the more traditional Hollywood model, as well as some questions for you, the TNB reader. Thanks in advance for sharing your time and thoughts with us.

This past Christmas I found myself with some time to kill between the morning festivities and the evening hijinks, so I decided to treat myself to a matinee showing of Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s newest film. I thought it was a safe choice, as the film had been in general release for a couple of weeks, and theaters were full of new, fluffy holiday fare like Little Fockers and the Jack Black vehicle Gulliver’s Travels (or period pieces like True Grit and The King’s Speech for those without kids). It seemed unlikely there’d be much turnout for a psychosexual drama set in a professional ballet company.

Gloria Harrison:  My summary of Tron: Legacy is this: it was a visually beautiful, highly entertaining Lady Gaga video.

Cynthia Hawkins:  I like that summary. I think anyone who thinks Tron: Legacy is either a good or bad movie based on its story is missing the point. It’s more than its story. Let me ask you this. What did the first Tron mean to you?