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Award-winning thriller 'Black Swan' to screen

RELEASED: Sept. 7, 2011

Black Swan

EAU CLAIRE — "Black Swan" (2010), a psychological thriller by Darren Aronofsky ("Pi," "Requiem for a Dream," "The Fountain"), will screen Sept. 15-18 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the film at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a young ballerina in a prestigious New York City company, is consumed with dance and the pressures of artistic perfection. She lives with her obsessive former-ballerina mother (Barbara Hershey), who exerts suffocating control over her. When the company's artistic director (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace the prima ballerina (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of the new season — "Swan Lake" — Nina is his first choice for the demanding dual role. The ballet requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan with guile and sensuality. But while Nina is a perfect fit for the White Swan, a new dancer (Mila Kunis) has a character that matches the Black Swan. As the two dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina is drawn into her own dark side.

The Washington Post called the film "a near masterpiece ... Aronofsky, working from a script by Mark Heyman, takes all of the classic tropes of ballet films — the lushness and lyricism, the determination and competition — and ruthlessly twists their classical lines, contorting them with gothic horror that only grows more brutal as Nina's interior life becomes more unhinged."

Portman received the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film also received nominations for directing, editing, cinematography and Best Picture.

The 108-minute film is rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films can purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; and a family membership is $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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