Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On Darren Aronofsky's Filmography from 1998 to 2014: Obsessions, Addictions, and the Pursuit of Perfection
by Skorin-Kapov, Jadranka, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2014, 150; 3686455
Abstract (Summary)

The subject of the proposed dissertation is the oeuvre of the film director, screenwriter, and producer Darren Aronofsky in the period 1998-2014. Chronologically speaking, Aronofsky's themes can be traced along the following trajectory of dualities: obsession and acceptance (π, 1998), addiction and reality (Requiem for a Dream, 2000), denial and acceptance (The Fountain, 2006), faded perfection and resignation ( The Wrestler, 2008), artistic perfection and reality (Black Swan, 2010), idealization and reality (Noah, 2014). Aronofsky's filmography is discussed with respect to his style and the themes of his films. His films deal with existential questions facing humanity, providing artistic counterparts to well-known philosophical works. Hence, the themes and the questions arising from his films are discussed in relation with relevant philosophical writings. In addition, Aronofsky's filmic sensibility and his treatment of his themes demonstrate the influence of and shared sensibility with several notable directors. In particular, his inclination towards storytelling, involving characters that are caught up in obsessions that lead to extraordinary situations, shows affinity with both Kubrick's and Spielberg's work, despite their opposing sensibilities. Aronofsky's films extend the genre of melodrama by coupling complex characters and their transformations with ambiguous endings. Despite working in different times and different cultures, the melodramatic tone brings him close to Fassbinder, who redefined the melodrama genre through the presentation of human psychology, the elasticity of moral convictions and the elusiveness of satisfying desire. The Appendix to this manuscript includes a transcript of the conversation I had with Aronofsky on December 2, 2013.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Uroskie, Andrew V.
Commitee: Gabbard, Krin, Luterbie, John, Patterson, Elisabeth
School: State University of New York at Stony Brook
Department: Art History and Criticism
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cinematography, Aesthetics, Film studies
Keywords: Darren aronofsky, Film and philosophy, Film studies, Melodrama
Publication Number: 3686455
ISBN: 978-1-321-63205-7
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