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Well....I guess congratulations are in order to the future Mrs. Millepied and incoming Baby Millepied??

http://www.people.co...0453228,00.html

It's been kicked-up a notch to Yahoo News: http://movies.yahoo....horeographer-ap

Will the wedding be before or after the Oscars, I wonder? Congrats to the beautiful couple - and they truly are that.

I was wondering if the wedding will be before or after the baby is born.

No one's business but theirs. Congratulations and good luck to them.

Their publicists leaked the information to PEOPLE magazine, I understand. That's showbiz. Congrats to both.

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I saw the film this weekend. I thought it was absurd. If this is one of the best films of the year, then it must have been a really awful year for films. The worst part is that people who don't go to the ballet might get the incorrect impression that this film is actually representative of what they would see on stage. Mostly a lot of flapping arms and menacing facial expressions. Is Millipied returning to NYCB in the foreseeable future?

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This was 'news' in both of the big cable news networks, CNN and FOX, this morn. As I was getting ready for work, FOX was on (blaming my husband for that selection...ha-ha!) and the anchors were discussing this Portman-Millepied story, at which time the female anchor (Gretchen Carlson or her substitute) announced "...and interestingly, Millepied was purportedly dating someone else on the set, which I heard caused a lot of rancor in the ballet world..." Oops! One of the male anchors cut her off before she could name the jilted woman but the story is out. During a break-away, one of the FOX anchors said that this would be further discussed on the next hour but I had to go to work.

Which isn't to say that this won't be also discussed in other cable stations and shows, like Joy Behar, Geraldo, and such.

I still wish the happy family well. Congrats!

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Our 'friends' at the Huffington Post have picked this up, in their usual (ahum) 'colorful' language.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/28/benjamin-millepied-natali_1_n_802080.html

First came 'The Terminator.' Now it's 'The XXXX (rhymes with Terminator)'!

OK, let's put a positive spin on this: If this doesn't help sell tickets to NYCB rep perfromances (post-Nutcracker), I don't know what will...assuming that the Gent in question will be cast often. :)

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Our 'friends' at the Huffington Post have picked this up, in their usual (ahum) 'colorful' language.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/28/benjamin-millepied-natali_1_n_802080.html

I especially enjoyed the photo at the bottom of the page with the heading “Natalie Portman & Boyfriend Benjamin Keep Distance At 'Black Swan' Photocall (PHOTOS) “, complete with yellow arrows pointing to the couple in question, demonstrating how far apart from each other they are standing (there’s one person between them). Never mind troop movements in [name your preferred war zone], let’s have a map of Nat and Benj. Good to know the news media have their priorities in order. :dry:

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OK, let's put a positive spin on this: If this doesn't help sell tickets to NYCB rep perfromances (post-Nutcracker), I don't know what will...assuming that the Gent in question will be cast often. :)

NYCB is doing Swan Lake right during the lead-up to the Oscars. The Oscars are on February 27, and SL runs February 13-26. Clever programming by Martins.

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Millipied hardly ever dances with the company anymore. He missed the Fall 2010 and Nutcracker 2010 seasons entirely. He was cast in two ballets during the Spring 2010 season, and the NY Times correctly noted that he lacked stamina in one of those performances. Will we see him during the Winter 2011 season on stage? Who knows.

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Which is pure cheap shot.

I think we are going to see a number of tabloid and tabloid-like responses dragging this story out as long as they can sell papers and breed ad click-throughs. Unless there's new news from a reputable source, going forward please leave it at that, since any discussion of dancers' personal lives, especially that which doesn't affect what is on stage, is tertiary to BA's mission.

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Not baby-wedding gossip. Back to the topic of the film.

Natalie Portman's tally of 'Best Actress' trophies is now up to 14, with countless other awards in other categories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accolades_received_by_Black_Swan

Of course, 'the biggies' (GG, SAG & Oscars) are yet to come. However, guess who is the 'cover lady' for Entertainment Weekly's big Oscars Count-Down issue? Yup, it's Natalie:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/12/29/this-weeks-cover-the-oscar-race-is-on/

The above story poses the question "How do you get guys to go see a ballet movie?..."

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All this hand-wringing about whether Black Swan will influence peoples' opinions about ballet is I think a bit silly -- I saw it with a guy who doesn't know squat about ballet, but did want to see the "lezzing out" (his words) and the "horror stuff." He's a guy's guy type. And I said after the movie that it was obvious Portman wasn't really a dancer and stuff, and he said "Would you relax? It's not a dance movie, anyone can see that." There's practically no dancing in the film, and on the rare occasion that it is, it's obvious when the "dancing" is being done by doubles, and I don't think anyone will walk away from the movie thinking that they saw an accurate picture of the ballet world.

Real "dance" films -- in which extended sequences of dance are incorporated into the film, are the Astaire films, MGM musicals like Singin' in the Rain, The Red Shoes, Turning Point, The Company, those are dance films. Not to mention Fantasia, which is animated dance, but nevertheless bases large parts of the movie on synchronizing movement to music. Black Swan is a psychosexual thriller/horror movie.

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My nephews who are 17 and 22 have been avid Natalie Portman fans since her first Star Wars movie came out 10 or 11 years ago. Normally they would go to one of her movies immediately. I asked them if they had seen or were planning on seeing Black Swan. After a short discussion they agreed that the commercials were "creepy" and they had no interest in seeing Natalie Portman mistreated and suffering. These are kids who have no problem with torture in spy movies or violence in science fiction or war movies (usually the bigger the explosion, the better). I wasn't expecting their reaction to my question at all. There may be a cohort of young men who refuse to see Black Swan for similar reasons that have nothing to do with ballet.

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After a short discussion they agreed that the commercials were "creepy" and they had no interest in seeing Natalie Portman mistreated and suffering. These are kids who have no problem with torture in spy movies or violence in science fiction or war movies (usually the bigger the explosion, the better)...There may be a cohort of young men who refuse to see Black Swan for similar reasons that have nothing to do with ballet.

I haven't seen Black Swan yet, but she certainly suffered in Goya's Ghosts! And much more creepily, since those wounds were not psychological. Ghosts is not as well known as Star Wars, though. Which might precisely prove your point about there being a cohort of young men who simply don't want to see Portman in pain.

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Real "dance" films -- in which extended sequences of dance are incorporated into the film, are the Astaire films, MGM musicals like Singin' in the Rain, The Red Shoes, Turning Point, The Company, those are dance films. Not to mention Fantasia, which is animated dance, but nevertheless bases large parts of the movie on synchronizing movement to music. Black Swan is a psychosexual thriller/horror movie.

Off topic - sorry - but other real dance films are the flamenco films of Carlos Saura such as Blood Wedding, Carmen and A Love Bewitched. I would also add Strictly Ballroom - the paso doble at the climax of the film is IMHO one of the best filmed dance sequences I have seen and I always find it incredibly moving. The BBC cleverly borrowed the naming standard for Strictly Come Dancing (known as Dancing with the Stars in the rest of the world) - Come Dancing was the name of the original ballroom dancing show that aired in the UK for many years.

I hope that Black Swan (unlike Mao's Last Dancer) makes it to a cinema near me so I can see what all the fuss is about!

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Film critic Denis Lim weighs in on whether or not "Black Swan" is camp per the terms of Susan Sontag's famous defintion. (Lim's article contains a link to Sontag's 1964 essay.)

In Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays an uptight ballerina who, as she prepares to dance the dual lead roles in Swan Lake, must battle psychotic hallucinations and stigmatalike lesions, not to mention the spiteful fading soloist she has displaced, a doppelgänger rival with an ominous black-winged back tattoo, a domineering witch of a mother who obsessively paints self-portraits, and a snooty French choreographer whose idea of a homework assignment is to instruct her to "touch yourself. … Live a little." In case you haven't heard, it's a comedy. Or, at any rate, a movie that frequently invites laughter. Its pitch is theatrical, its style exaggerated, its general tenor absurd—in other words, as more than a few reviewers have noted, it could be said to exhibit the hallmarks of camp.

Ambiguous, contradictory, and existing partly in the eye of the beholder, camp is an especially slippery phenomenon: at once an aesthetic and an attitude, a language and a lens, a manner of behaving and a mode of appreciation. Its early connoisseurs understood it as an acquired taste, often a covert experience, even an oppositional stance in that it suggested a queer way of seeing. (Sontag dedicated her piece to Oscar Wilde.) Quintessential camp finds meaning in the margins, elevating the frivolous and rehabilitating the forgotten. And in its purest form, it is thought to be naive—which is to say, unintentional. So what does it say about our present-day conception of camp that Black Swan is almost the exact opposite of all these things? Far from subcultural, it's a high-profile movie that strains for respectability, a barefaced Oscar grab. Despite some diva catfights and lesbian sex, there's not a queer bone in its body: Its derisive view of female ambition, its crude linking of art and madness, and the leering frenzy of its girl-on-girl fantasies are as familiar and banal—as straight—as can be. Hardly naïve and in no way coded, it is willful, overt, strenuous. If Black Swan barely resembles camp as many of Sontag's "notes" would have it, is it then … anti-camp? Post-camp? Failed camp?

His conclusion?

The problem with Black Swan is not that it "sees everything in quotation marks." It sees camp itself in quotation marks. A discussion of camp that predates Sontag's by a decade can be found in Christopher Isherwood's 1954 novel The World in the Evening, in which one gay man introduces another to the pleasure garden of camp. He explains its nuances ("You're not making fun of it; you're making fun out of it") and distinguishes between Low Camp and High Camp. An example of the former would be a Marlene Dietrich impersonator. Expanding on the latter, he says, "Baroque art is largely camp about religion. The ballet is camp about love." Not so ballet in Aronofsky's film, and certainly not so the film itself. Turns out all those mirrors are an apt visual metaphor: Black Swan, at most, is camp about camp.

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Off topic - sorry - but other real dance films are the flamenco films of Carlos Saura such as Blood Wedding, Carmen and A Love Bewitched. I would also add Strictly Ballroom - the paso doble at the climax of the film is IMHO one of the best filmed dance sequences I have seen and I always find it incredibly moving.

I agree with the Saura films as "real" dance films. Astaire and partners' dancing and choreography have to make up for the fluff between dance numbers, which doesn't happen in Saura films.

My favorite scene and dancing in "Strictly Ballroom" is when Antonio Vargas (Fran's father Rico) shows Scott how to dance.

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Camp is a lame excuse for someone who is has failed or is incapable of creating something resembling a work of art.

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I've read many reviews of the movie (I didn't like the movie), but I started to think about the ballet. To my way of thinking the white swan is the passionate one. She falls in love with the prince and yes desires "pure love" but is the one who falls in love. The Black Swan is the calculating one who is out to seduce and trick the prince. We don't have any knowledge of her internal life, other than she is carrying out Rothbart's will.

For my money (which was wasted on this movie ticket) we would have had a much more interesting movie if the Portman character was a loving creature (not an ambitious, frigid, being) who turned into a manipulative cold hearted creature.

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I agree with the Saura films as "real" dance films. Astaire and partners' dancing and choreography have to make up for the fluff between dance numbers, which doesn't happen in Saura films.

Not necessarily. And the "fluff" often allows for a surprisingly wide range of dance expression, culminating in great dance movies.

Which might precisely prove your point about there being a cohort of young men who simply don't want to see Portman in pain.

Must be a pretty small cohort, because so far the movie is coining it at the box office by art house standards (and it's now in wide release) and it's attracting a fair share of younger men. Probably a combination of good word of mouth, at least from some, and a skillful marketing campaign.

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I for one will be interested to see how Black Swan compares to what is quite possibly the greatest dance film of all time, and one which I'm shocked and dismayed never makes those Top 100 films of all time lists, the incomaparable, sublime, genius work of art that is Flashdance.

What a feelin'.

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I for one will be interested to see how Black Swan compares to what is quite possibly the greatest dance film of all time, and one which I'm shocked and dismayed never makes those Top 100 films of all time lists, the incomaparable, sublime, genius work of art that is Flashdance.

What a feelin'.

Oh yes!!! the VERISMO of the blue-collar lass in the Pittsburgh factory especially. I admit the schlock all works, though, because Beals is really into it. And the ending never fails to thrill. Remember this is the same period as 'Gloria', but while not a dance movie, it is much more worthy of Top 100 films of all time than 'Flashdance', although I'm very touched that, since it's already 2011 in Angleterre, you have claimed it as 'the incomaparable [sic], sublime, genius work of art'. I guess I think 'The Red Shoes' is better, and I much prefer 'Saturday Night Fever' if talking within the pop-dance genre.

Lots of cinephiles who've never been to a ballet are raving about 'Black Swan' though. I'm not convinced, though, it sounds convincingly dreadful from the reviews i've read here.

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I much prefer 'Saturday Night Fever' if talking within the pop-dance genre.

I'm with you on "Saturday Night Fever". The opening sequence of Travolta trucking down the street to "Staying Alive" carrying paint cans never fails to give me chills.

Edited to add: I think it was during an interview with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air" that Travolta describes how the music was supposed to be one of the softer songs, but he insisted on "Staying Alive" because of the tempo and beat.

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Not pop-dance, but of contemporary dance films, All That Jazz is my favorite.

Helene, I'm with you about that wonderful opening scene in Saturday Night Fever!

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I know it gets a bad rap but I love "Dirty Dancing" too. Jennifer Grey isn't the greatest dancer, but Patrick Swayze is, and I thought the movie showed how liberating dance can be very well. I thought several of the dance sequences (including the one on the log) were very well-done, and every time I watch the movie it makes me happy.

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