I've been pretty amused about the controversy that's arisen around the dancing in Black Swan--Natalie Portman's dancing double, ballerina Sarah Lane, has criticised the removal of a short documentary about her from the DVD and feels more of the dancing seen in the film is attributed to Portman than should be. Meanwhile, I can't help thinking about how very infrequently you actually see full frame dancing in the movie. Even the presumably competent dancing is shown in close-ups of fast moving feet that are pretty impossible to judge.
Now Darren Aronofsky has released a statement defending Portman in which he says, "If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe."
Yeah, I remember that prologue. I remember thinking, "Well, Portman's not an especially good ballerina, is she? But oh, well, that's to be expected. Time to suspend disbelief."
I also heard to-day that Portman used a "butt double" for the film. This despite the fact that she apparently feels comfortable going to the beach topless. It's a good thing she wasn't cast in Black Swan as the fun one.
Speaking of artists coming off a bit silly when defending their work against critics, to-day Neil Gaiman linked in his twitter to this literary review blog where an author whose book was reviewed in a post showed up and lost her shit in the comments section and was replied to by several anonymous people who, in typical internet fashion, managed to make themselves look even smaller and pettier in comparison. I kind of felt like it was a bad idea for Gaiman to link to the page, as he further exposed this lady's bad move to his over a million twitter followers, but the one or two comments I see actually expressing some compassion for her probably came from among Gaiman's readers.
I tend to not get so apoplectic when confronted with amateur criticism on the internet (which actually seems to piss off those critics a lot more), though I kind of wonder sometimes if exhibiting anger over something you worked hard on being criticised isn't a more human response. Then I think about those amateur critics desperately trying to suss out a human response in this way, doing so because it's the only way they feel they can connect emotionally with others, and it all seems so sad. Zetsuboshita.
Which is not to say I think the criticism in the original post is not valid. Though I would advise any author or artist to try not to take too hard anything said about them in a blog called "BigAl's Books and Pals."
I was getting kind of emotional yesterday listening to the Top o Nerae 2 soundtrack in my car and thinking about how great it was when Nono showed up in the fourth episode to take out that space monster. And I thought, "If only they had Gunbuster to save the day in Japan now." But then, "Wait, Gunbuster blows shit up. That's the opposite of what they need."
Although I think Gilbert Gottfried was treated unfairly, I don't feel quite right about people in the U.S. spending more time exonerating him than talking or doing anything about Japan. But this video was pretty good;