I don’t normally review DVDs but this one was recommended to me by another occultist. “Alex!” he said to me. “This has got deep Qabalistic significance – it’s all about the Pillars of Mercy and Severity!” Intrigued, I decided to investigate.
There is obvious dualistic symbolism throughout the film – for example, Natalie Portman spends most of the film wearing white clothings, while Mila Kunis wears dark. However with the greatest respect to the Frater who suggested it to me, Black Swan is a perfect example of how not to integrate light and dark, yin and yang into ones personality. The way of the initiate is that of Balance, i.e. the Middle Pillar. One makes use of both mercy and severity as the need arises but without ever becoming in thrall to either. This is not the method by which Portman’s character is able to portray both the Swan Queen and the Black Swan (Hidden spoiler alert). She is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (“split personality”).
However, instead of Qabalistic symbolism the film is more of an example of a “magical realistic” type of filming. As such, the film needs to be analysed at a metafictional level in order to really understand what is going on: although the director over-eggs the pudding by becoming more and more obvious with the visual clues as the film progresses towards its climax. One of the clever touches though was featured earlier on. Whilst Portman is practicing her ballet, she is filmed in a rehearsal room with a large mirror. However, the camera is not seen in the mirror! The obvious reason for this is that it is an example of trick photography. However – could it not have a deeper meaning – a visual metaphor for the idea that the mirror does not reflect reality?