Monday, January 17, 2011

My Review of 'Black Swan'

A psychological thriller set in the world of New York City strip clubs, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina, an exotic dancer who discovers she is the mutant lovechild of giant swans: one white and one black. Besides grappling with the obvious oh-my-god-my-parents-are-birds thing, Nina also struggles with her newfound biracial identity, and like all who are haunted by mixed heritage, she questions the worth of her existence.

Portman gives a wonderfully disturbing performance. From her climatic girl-on-girl “homework” to her willingness to undergo swan leg implant surgery for the Kafkaesque role, her passionate portrayal of a mulatto bird woman is as real as it gets. Black Swan will—without a doubt—alter Portman’s career and sex life.

Director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler) does what he does best: craft artistic, edgy films about “don’t ask, don’t tell” matters. With Swan, he unabashedly handles the delicate subject of mixed-race bird freaks with care. Especially attentive is his decision to score the film to a chopped and screwed version of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Black Swan is the most important movie about whiteness, blackness, and birdness this year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red No. 40 is the New Vitamin D

The cover story in this Sunday's Chicago Tribune is on the potential harm of artificial food coloring. Supposedly, research suggests that the synthetic hues used in food are linked to rashes and attention disorders, especially in children. This infuriates me. I’ve eaten colorful food-like stuff my entire life and…wait, what was I writing about?

Anyways, the title of the article asks, "Are Food Dyes Worth the Risk?" Duh! People, come on already. You can’t live your life in a cave and expect to become the star of car insurance commercials. You have to go out and take risks. Besides, it’s not even that big a deal. I mean, if it just affects kids, who cares? They don’t have jobs. They aren’t the president.

For those of you concerned about "the future," allow me to give you a scientific history lesson. Humans evolved. The ones who survived were good. The ones who died were bad or old. At one point in time, every person was lactose intolerant. Then, some genius was born with a mutation that allowed that genius to consume animal milk without puking. That genius had sex with lots of people. This filled the planet with milk-drinking humans. This is how we came to be. It’s called survival of the best, and it makes us better, attractiver, and smarterer people (trust me, cave chicks were not that hot). My point is, we should be encouraging genetic mutations, not playing it safe. And yes, there are still people who are lactose intolerant today, but they are ugly.

Nowadays, you have all these books saying this and that about food. And they do it to the movies too. All that stuff is nonsense! In the movies, the real ones, do you see people in the future eating vegetables? No, only food from tubes. The next thing you know, these "authors" will be telling us we shouldn’t be eating the packaging the food comes in! I got to hand it to Morgan Spurlock though. That guy was on to something. Still, he was too weak. People like him need to die. If you can’t flourish on a diet of McDonald’s and Go-Gurt, that's fine, but don't get in the way of superhuman evolution. Besides, we need to protect the food product industry. If it disappears, how are we supposed to eat? What jobs will we have? You can’t expect people to farm in ties and pant suits. And even if we did farm, how would we know when to stop? And what if it rains?

Blue No. 1 and Orange B are not killing me. They are making me, you, and our species stronger. And if I have to endure some itching, so be it. I just hope that my dietary commitment to the superhuman is enough to combat the ill intentions of those who eat food that comes out of the ground.