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Nobody’s Perfect

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Aronofsky currently finds himself riding out something even more unpredictable than Rourke: his own success, which includes admission into the exclusive club of A-list directors, like David Fincher (who recently sent Aronofsky a note that read, “BS. No BS”—“Black Swan. No bullshit.”) His next film is an intended blockbuster—a reboot of the Wolverine franchise, starring his Fountain star Hugh Jackman—that Aronofsky plans to inject with his own fleshy concerns. “Give me some time,” he says. “I’ll be on the outside again real quick.”

Something of Aronofsky’s ambivalence plays out doing the Q&A portion of the evening at Lincoln Center. The Walter Reade Theater is packed with a more diverse crowd than you might expect at an Aronofsky event: old, young, black, white, male, female. He’s greeted with rapturous applause, and for the most part it’s a polite back-and-forth—are his films a search for God? Is too much perfection a good thing?—until, toward the end, a middle-aged woman raises her hand and asks why the film was so “unnecessarily grotesque.” The hall fills with laughter. “It’s about transformation,” explains Aronofsky patiently. “It’s ultimately a werewolf movie. Swan Lake is about a girl trapped as a swan. At night she’s half-swan, half-human, so I saw it as a werewolf movie. I’m sorry if I upset you and offended you, but … beware of my films!”

When he steps off the stage, he’s gently mobbed by the crowd. One young man stands patiently, waiting for an opportunity to ask his question. “Do you work at [he names the address of Aronofsky’s production offices]—that old redbrick building?” Aronofsky looks a little wary: “Um, yes. Why?” The young man says he lives opposite the building. “I see you sometimes,” he says with unnerving solemnity. When he leaves, Aronofsky says, “That was a little creepy. That guy was a little weird.”


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