The ballet thriller Black Swanhad all the ingredients of a great indie film: a psychologically tense plot, plenty of weird/artsy visuals, a French person and Hollywood starlets desperate to break away from their “good girl” image.
Altogether the movie was voted “Most Likely to Get a Thumbs Up from Both Partners on Date Night.”
What It’s Suspiciously Like:
A Japanese cartoon, of all things. Perfect Blue is about a pop singer instead of a ballet dancer, but other than that, Black Swan could pass for its American remake. In both movies, the young, innocent protagonist has just moved on to a more demanding job (dramatic actress/lead dancer), and the pressure turns her apeshit. She gets chased by a “double” who may or may not be the product of her imagination, and at one point becomes convinced that she killed someone.
Check out the scene at the end of both movies where (if you don’t like spoilers and you’re still reading there’s something wrong with you) she has a physical fight with her double, glass shatters, and the other woman ends up being stabbed in the stomach and dies (it starts at 4:07 in this video):
Although the plots are really similar, it’s the little moments that give it away here. Like the short scene where she stares at herself on the window of a subway door:
Or the part where images of herself/her mother become animated and taunt her from a wall:
So how do we know that Black Swan’s director, Darren Aronofsky, is familiar with Perfect Blue? Mainly because it’s not the first time he borrows from it: Check out this scene from an earlier film of his, Requiem for a Dream.
It’s the exact same scene.
Aronofsky allegedly bought the remake rights for Perfect Blue in 2000 in order to use that one scene. When asked if Perfect Blue influenced Black Swan at all, he said: “Not really, there are similarities between the films, but it wasn’t influenced by it.”