In existentialism, the most basic idea is that the individual is solely responsible for applying meaning in his or her own life, coming to terms with the material world, and living as authentically as possible. With this article, it's my intent to dissect five films by Darren Aronofsky in exploring theme and focusing on how each protagonist is responsible for both finding and applying meaning in their own lives. Very rarely in cinema are we allowed to truly explore the psyche of our protagonists, and that's part of what makes Aronofsky's films so honest. Regarding tone, all five films carry a certain gravitas about them that can feel suffocating. It's in these claustrophobic moments that the struggle for authenticity, for meaning, are traversed and analyzed. The five films I'll be analyzing are: Pi, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan. Each of the films are similar thematically and are very much character studies in which these characters eventually reach a defining, self-determining moment, and find peace in their solace. By the end, I hope to have discussed not only the existential moments, but why these films are essential to the world of cinema, and what makes them that much more of a rewarding experience.
Graduate of UTEP with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film, Sergio also runs his own blog, Utterances Of The Mundane. Lover of all things geek including film, comics, tv, and music. He can be followed on twitter: @SergioBravoJr