The pursuit of greatness has been a topic of numerous films over the years, from true-life biopics and documentaries to fictional stories that look at the destructive downsides of doing so. Among the more recent films exploring the latter idea have been Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 ballet drama Black Swan and Damien Chazelle’s 2014 drumming drama Whiplash. Both films have been critically acclaimed, with Black Swan garnering a Best Performance Oscar for lead actress Natalie Portman, and Whiplash earning supporting actor JK Simmons a Best Supporting Performance Oscar.
Now Vimeo user Fernando Andrés has put together a video essay exploring the similarities between the two films, which go beyond just being well-regarded films that delve into the same theme in two different artistic professions. Andrés had this to say in the video description.
“I was perfect.”
My first video essay, quickly cut together to detail my realization that BLACK SWAN and WHIPLASH are parallel films in the strangest ways. Brother and sister films, so to speak, about the madness of perfecting one’s art. Here, I try to get across as many of the films’ similarities as I can in six minutes. I strongly suggest watching the films themselves back-to-back, they certainly make a great double feature… oh, and they’re just really, really great films.
The essay can be seen below.