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Darren Aronofsky's Films and the Fragility of Hope


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Pi: Is Mathematics "the Language of Nature"? 2. Requiem for a Dream: Addiction and Broken Dreams 3. The Fountain: Death and the Authenticity of Existence 4. The Wrestler: Melodrama and the Gift of Death 5. Black Swan: Limit Experience and Artistic Perfection 6. Noah: Responsibility, Love, and the Moment of Choice 7. Aronofsky's Themes and Auteur's Signature Appendix: Conversation with Aronofsky Notes Bibliography Index

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The first sustained analysis of the current oeuvre of film director Darren Aronofsky, examining the many intersections between his filmic work and his philosophical positions.

About the Author

Jadranka Skorin-Kapov is Professor of Operations Research at Stony Brook University, USA, with a diverse background in mathematics, philosophy, and art history and criticism.


[A] pioneering product of Aronofsky scholarship ... Skorin-Kapov's book enables readers to connect the films of an important contemporary director to philosophical ideas that shaped the discipline of film studies during the beginnings of the New Hollywood era. * Alphaville *
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov reads Aronofsky with philosophical and mathematical rigor and with the warmth of a post-postmodern belief in the power of art to frame and pursue impossible human problems. The analyses in this book reveal a capacious command of film history and philosophical touchstones. Skorin-Kapov's surprising juxtapositions sharpen our glimpse into the utopian potentiality buried in the human obsessions and desires with which Aronofsky's films are preoccupied. * Paul Eisenstein, Professor of English and Dean of Arts and Sciences, Otterbein University, USA *
In her book on Darren Aronofsky, Jadranka Skorin-Kapov guides us in an intriguing journey through the variety of human nature as it grows out of his movies, searching for a philosophical sense of life rooted both in the stories and in the physical and mental engagement they imply. While focusing on Aronofsky, Skorin-Kapov shows us how cinema illustrates the metamorphosis of aesthetic experience, from the physical essence of its literal meaning (aesthesis, which has primarily to do with sensation and perception), to the complexity of discernment and reflection. Page after page, film studies, philosophy, and even neuroscience and mathematics converse in a very producing way. This interdisciplinary perspective represents not only the methodology of the book, but also the life story of its author, trained in algorithmic research and then able to move to philosophy, after being stimulated by questions on human condition arisen from her experience of moviegoer. * Michele Guerra, Associate Professor of Film Theory, University of Parma, Italy *

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