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Aronofsky, Darren

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Film, People.

(1969-    ) US filmmaker whose sf films to date have been the Mathematical psychodrama π or Pi (1998) and the Immortality quest epic The Fountain (2007); he also co-wrote David Twohy's World War Two haunted-submarine (see Under the Sea) fantasy Below (2002), and was briefly but pivotally involved in the development of Watchmen (2009) – he suggested the film version's ending – as well as unrealized Comics adaptations including a 2000 version of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One (1987; graph 1988) and an early stint on The Wolverine (2013) (see X-Men Films). He is primarily regarded for his non-sf films Requiem for a Dream (2000) – based on Requiem for a Dream (1978) by Hubert Selby Jr – The Wrestler (2008), and Black Swan (2010), the first and last of which, like π, evoke Psychological breakdown through increasingly hallucinatory cinematic subjectivity. Between The Wrestler and Black Swan Aronofsky also worked on early versions of The Fighter (2008) and the 2014 remake of RoboCop, though the version of the latter eventually filmed owed nothing to Aronofsky's more radical reinvention. He has also adapted various projects as Graphic Novels, including two then-unmade films: The Fountain (graph 2005) and Noah (2011-2014 as Noé; graph 2014). The second of these became the biblical Fantasy epic Noah (2014), his first blockbuster hit.

Though not commonly thought of as a genre filmmaker, Aronofsky's career can be read as a backwards stumble into mainstream awards-bait from an essentially fantastic background and sensibility, frequently using elements of Horror cinema in non-genre film to potent effect, and with a trademark master narrative of Phaethonic heroes burning up while reaching for the stars. [NL/DRL]

Darren Aronofsky

born New York: 12 February 1969

works (selected)

  • Pi: The Book of Ants (New York: Dark Horse Comics, 1998) with Edward Ross Flynn [graph: π or Pi: illus/pb/Edward Ross Flynn]
  • Pi: Screenplay & The Guerilla Diaries (London: Faber and Faber, 1998) [π or Pi: pb/]
  • Noah (Berkeley, California: Image Comics, 2004) with Ari Handel and Niko Henrichon [graph: illus/hb/Niko Henrichon]
  • The Fountain (New York: DC Comics/Vertigo, 2005) with Kent Williams [graph: illus/hb/Kent Williams]


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