It’s difficult to imagine Darren Aronofsky, who’s brought us to terrifying emotional depths with Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, as a consumer of something so unclassy as reality TV. But while chatting with the New York Times’ Art Beat about the upcoming Margaret Mead Film Festival, he revealed — completely of his own accord — his belief that reality TV is a medium to be respected in the same realm as documentary.
He explained that in films like Black Swan and The Wrestler, he’s sought to put movie stars like Natalie Portman and Mickey Rourke in more down-to-earth situations. But the real magic, he says, is when people stop being polite… and start getting real.
Reality television is an extension of documentary as well, and that’s taken over TV. From Cops to Storage Wars, it’s basically that. It’s hard to make narrative that rings really truthful. And now dramatic, independent films are really disappearing and dying, and most narrative films are these real high-end fantasy superhero films that don’t exist. There’s something amazing about seeing real people in real, dramatic situations. And that can be I Used to Be Fat, [laughs] which is a great, great, great show.
I’m sure MTV will be thrilled to have your endorsement.I’m a big fan of it. They have all these shows on MTV now, you can’t keep your eyes off them. It just all comes out of that.
Is it really a surprise that he later touched upon the Kardashians?
I saw the George Harrison film [directed by Martin Scorsese] which was fantastic, but I’m not interested in the found-footage, talking-head type of documentary. My taste was always with the vérité. The Kardashian form of documentary.Is that what it’s called officially?
It’s amazing, huh, the fallout from that wedding? I have no idea who these people are, but that’s interesting that there’s backlash now — that they’re somehow anti-American, because they’re anti-family. Even Fox can beat them up.
Here’s our plan: Strap Darren to a chair and force-feed him last season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We’ll break him.