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The Original Black Swan (2011)

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Funnier in concept than in delivery
2 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

Although the film Black Swan was a great success, it didn't start life as a film about a ballerina. Instead Darren Aronofsky's next film was meant to be a follow-up to The Wrestler which focused on comedian Todd Barry's role from that film as Deli Manager. In this short film both Barry and Aronofsky discuss the journey from the original idea through to when the film started to change direction.

I have been watching quite a few of the Funny or Die short films recently and found them to be of a pretty high standard so far – which maybe explains why I was a little disappointed to hit a little dip with this one. The idea is quite clever and nicely random and the makers have done well to get the two men on board (well Aronofsky for sure, Barry is more at home here anyway) but yet the short is best when it is an idea. As a one line summary it sounds like it will be hilarious but somehow it doesn't quite come off because the material isn't as good as the idea. An interview point that focuses on what type of pasta was eaten was funny but the inserting Barry into clips from Black Swan was only "OK"; this is a joke the Oscars do every year but they do it better than they did here.

It is still amusing but only really that. So, a really good idea that just needed to have more punch with each joke – as it was nothing in the film is as funny as the overall idea itself.


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