Painful Proximity: Darren Aronofsky’s Extreme Close-Ups

By  · Published on September 19th, 2017

Aronofsky’s films aren’t afraid to get in your face.

While director Darren Aronofsky’s movies love to examine our own obsessions, it does this by limiting its audience’s focus. By being so magnified that the subject of fixation is the only thing occupying the screen, his extreme close-up shots push a visual mania onto us.

We watch pills being popped and needles injecting with the same enhanced attention to detail as someone in the throes of addiction. We watch eyes, writing, and calculations with the over-exaggerated intensification of someone spending sleepless nights over the same.

Editor Jacob Swinney’s video would benefit from some of the shots in mother!, Aronofsky’s newest and possibly most confrontational film, but in its current form serves as a perfect guide for some common aesthetic choices the director tends to make.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).