When watching this brief but dense video homage to Darren Aronofsky’s work by Edgar Martinez, one is reminded that Aronofsky never does anything by halves. The emotions he portrays are massive, embedded within timeless stories, and yet he manages, through his kinetic, sinewy style, to render these emotions with powerful detail, never short-changing their complexity. With The Wrestler, for example, Aronofsky managed to bring numerous unexpected shades to what could have been a cartoonish turn for Mickey Rourke–but at the same time, Rourke’s literal and figurative muscle was an unmistakable force in the film; part of the thrill of watching was following Rourke’s thrashing around his stage bounded by ropes, trying to correct there what he couldn’t fix outside those ropes. Black Swan displayed another aspect of Aronofsky’s work addressed here: relentless movement, a flow, for lack of a better word, that might make a film seem like one continuous, unpunctuated sentence, rather than a series of connected phrases. And Requiem for a Dream drew its energy from its daring–not trapeze-act daring, but a sense that the film was daring itself to go farther and farther into its portrayal of degradation and humiliation. There’s a tremendous amount of visual darkness in this tribute, which suits a director who seems to be constantly swimming in darkness and, at the same time, encouraging his viewers: come on in, the water’s fine.
Watch: Darren Aronofsky’s Cinema of Extremities: A Video Tribute