Integrating the Shadow: The Light and The Darkness in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan

In the early twentieth-century, when Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung parted ways, the future of psychoanalysis was unclear. Sure, Jung had presented academic papers to his peers and had volumes of journals and research, but his interest in the esoteric, astrology, the “occult,” the invisible, was well beyond his peers’ understanding of such subjects and how these subjects may relate to the study of clinical psychology. Darren Aronofsky has always been one of my favorite directors since his early beginnings with Pi and Requiem for a Dream.  The Fountain remains one of my favorite films of all time for many reasons, but when Black Swan debuted at the theater, I didn’t rush out to see it.  It came and left the big screen, won an Oscar, and still I had made no attempt to view the film. I knew that it would require attention, I knew it would have a profound effect upon its viewers, including me. I knew it would be intense and...
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