Clint Mansell Scoring Aronofsky's Black Swan With Tchaikovsky

December 26, 2009

Darren Aronofsky / Clint Mansell

Great news for those of you who are fans of the immensely talented and vastly underrated composer Clint Mansell. In a recent interview with IFM's Little White Lies (via The Playlist), Mansell revealed that he will be reteaming with Darren Aronofsky for his upcoming film Black Swan. Aronofsky is currently shooting the supernatural thriller, that's about rival ballet dancers (including one that may be a ghost), in New York as we speak. Mansell also explains that he's talked with Aronofsky about creating the score for this entirely out of elements from Tchaikovsky's 1876 ballet Swan Lake. Wow, now that could be a truly amazing score.

The interview is fantastic, so I suggest reading it if you're a fan of Mansell, but here's the Black Swan part:

"Well it's all really embryonic at the moment, one of the main ideas we've got is building the entire score out of elements from Swan Lake. I mean it would have to be vastly screwed with, but that's a starting point. Sometimes we've had ideas in the past and you put them into practice and they just suck, so we'll see. Darren only just started shooting so for now it's about doing the nuts and bolts really and providing him just what he needs to shoot with and in January I'll start to mess around with some of the things we've talked about."

Although he scored Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream in 2000, I became a true fan of Mansell after hearing his amazing score in The Fountain (iTunes link). He also scored Duncan Jones' Moon and Aronofsky's The Wrestler and a few other movies, but sadly has never been nominated for an Oscar, even though he certainly deserves one. I was already looking forward to Black Swan but this just makes it even better. Using music from Swan Lake kind of reminds me of how Quentin Tarantino has recently built up the soundtracks in his movies out of pieces of old Ennio Morricone scores. I'm already anxious to find out if this actually happens.

If you're interested, you can hear the theme to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake on YouTube. Just imagine hearing that music remixed by Clint Mansell playing behind a supernatural ballet thriller starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel that's directed by Darren Aronofsky. That sounds incredibly mesmerizing!

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Expected, but exciting of course. Can Mansell be the most "used" and reused contemporary film composer? I definitely heard him in the Avatar trailer for example.

Bo on Dec 26, 2009


Mansell is amazing. Looking forward hearing the OST.

Nathalie on Dec 26, 2009


He should have been nominated for an Oscar for The Fountain. and he should have won it

CT on Dec 26, 2009


MOON's score will never leave me, he deserves a nomination for that. Though not a win, because it was slightly repetitive.

shadow on Dec 26, 2009


Mansell is a quality composer, but I think even his best score can't save this film. I've read the revised script that's available on the internet and unless Aronofsky works his magic, i think it'll end up Fight Club meets Gothika. I'm hopeful since The Wrestler was a great film, but my initial reading has me worried.

Ben Huh on Dec 26, 2009


#5 - Aronofsky has never let me down and I don't expect that'll happen here either. I don't think the final shooting script is out either. I have a feeling you'll be surprised seeing it theaters, don't worry.

Alex Billington on Dec 26, 2009


I can't wait for this film and score!! Aronofsky and Mansell - they're as good as it gets.

c-r-u-x on Dec 27, 2009


Alex, Aronofsky certainly gives me hope. If anyone can inject life into what I consider a sort of "been there, done that" story it's him. The script I read was the revised version and I'm unaware if there are anymore available.

Ben Huh on Dec 28, 2009


Black swan is one of the greatest films made to date. There is no question in my mind or others I've talked to about this complete movie. The metaphor holds till the end and portman's transformation into the black swan is incredible. Aronovsky is a fing genius.

Aaron on Dec 25, 2010

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