Her pores are deep and personal. On her right shoulder, a scab; sometimes she scratches herself raw. You see the scab when she Fouettés. You see her ribs, frailty, the sad, straining eyes of an artist striving for perfection. Then, because you spend hours writing and rewriting (shit, all of it), because you have a scar from when you buried the Bic pen in your wrist, because you know what it's like, Christ, you know what it's like; you cry.
This is why you go to the movies. You want to feel. With her performance, Natalie Portman reaches between your ribs and rips out the sleepless, eatless nights. The parallel is terrifying. Haunted and red-eyed, you draw perfect circles and splatter them with paint. You write stories that you hate. She's a dancer; you're a painter, a writer, a photographer. You're an actor. You're dying to get it right. Just this once, you want to get it right.
Black Swan is a two hour film that's over in fifteen minutes. In Requiem for a Dream, director Darren Aronofsky masters time; in Black Swan he transcends it, taking you to the place where art lives. The score rattles your bones. Tchaikovsky's original Ballet Suite evaporates the theater, leaving you alone with a screen deep enough to be a mirror.
On the car ride home you rest your forehead against the window, watching the film on closed eyelids. You run to your room and turn on Tchaikovsky. You close the door. You write:
Black Swan is a terrifying parallel.
Forgot about the theater;
See the film again.