7. Black Swan - Nina's Fractured Personality
This 2010 psychological horror follows a very unstable ballerina, Nina, as she desperately pursues her dream ballet role.
One night her good friend (and also sort of enemy), Lily, takes her to a club for a rave and gets her all drugged up. Unsurprisingly things start to go a bit crazy and, in a seizure-inducing mess of flashing lights and quick cuts, we watch as Nina begins to fall apart.
It’s hard to see clearly in real time, but if you slow down a certain sequence we see things are slightly off. Nina begins morphing between being herself and Lily, she splits into multiple versions of herself and, in the background, another Nina in her white swan costume appears and disappears.
It’s the most literal illustration of what is to come in the film: Nina losing her sense of self and the audience seeing multiple versions and sides of her all at the same time, unsure of which is the real one.
Furthermore it illustrates that Lily isn't as real as we first thought she was. Whilst she does exist, much of what we see of her doesn't actually happen and is instead a projection of Nina's insecurities.
Nina's blending with Lily foreshadows her transition into the darker character she previously couldn’t embody, as her white swan self is swallowed into the shadows.
With her multiple selves and her projection of Lily, we're shown throughout the film that, regardless of what her teacher may say, it is inevitable that Nina will become the black swan and it will tear her apart.