Darren Aronofsky
Film director
Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer. He attended Harvard University to study film theory and the American Film Institute to study both live-action and animation filmmaking. He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist.
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In The Year's Best Movie, Jackie Kennedy Writes Her Own History
Huffington Post - 3 months
Once a theme is implanted into the nebulous zeitgeist of history, it is hard to accept revision. We favor tidy packages and finite answers, no matter how illusory the truth may be. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy is the perfect case study. Often reduced to a housewife whose signature contribution to American culture were the clothes she wore, Kennedy may be the 20th century’s most enigmatic luminary, despite being among its most dissected. In 1995, cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum published an entire book about Jackie Kennedy’s unknowability, as seen through the prism of our collective infatuation. “The ability to rearrange Jackie has made it easy to fictionalize her,” he wrote. The new film “Jackie” threatens to upend the mythology surrounding this former first lady. Opening in limited release this weekend, Pablo Larraín’s unconventional psychodrama portrays the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination as a tightrope walk. Played by Natalie Portman in a career-defi ...
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Huffington Post article
Jennifer Lawrence Is Reportedly Dating 47-Year-Old Director Darren Aronofsky
Huffington Post - 4 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Jennifer Lawrence might have a new man in her life!  The 26-year-old actress is reportedly dating 47-year-old “Black Swan” director and producer Darren Aronofsky. The two recently worked together on a still-untitled project. “They’ve been hanging out and are casually dating,” a source told People magazine. Though we’re not quite sure what “casually dating” entails (movies? dinner? holding hands?), the two were spotted grabbing a bite to eat in NYC in August.  ...
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Huffington Post article
The Berlinale Diaries 2016: <i>Fuocoammare</i>, <i>Hedi</i> and the Winners, Scoring One for Humanity
Huffington Post - 12 months
A still from Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare, featuring Samuele Pucillo Every year, at every festival, there is a film that shuts it down for me. I could happily pack up and go home after viewing it, because I feel I've seen the best. Last year at Berlinale, it was early on during the second day with Jafar Panahi's Taxi, and this year the revelation came a couple of days into the festival, when I watched Fuocoammare by Gianfranco Rosi. Is it a coincidence that both films went on to win the Golden Bear? Probably not. I think Berlinale is the "A list" festival most in touch with human rights, and even some of the "side" winners, meaning the actors and cinematographers that walked away with Silver Bears for their work this year, have been picked with a socially conscious awareness in mind. For someone like me who covets cinema with a conscience, the festival is a perfect fit. It also doesn't hurt that unorthodox thinking and great Hollywood powers like Darren Aronofsky and Meryl Str ...
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Huffington Post article
Here's Your First Look At Natalie Portman As Jackie Kennedy
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Based on the first photo of Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, we are in for something good. Portman will portray the former first lady in "Jackie," a biopic that chronicles the four days after President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination. Currently shooting in Paris and slated for a 2017 release, "Jackie" is directed by Pablo Larraín ("No") and produced by Darren Aronofsky, reuniting Portman with the "Black Swan" maestro. Peter Sarsgaard is playing Robert Kennedy and Greta Gerwig is on board as one of Kennedy's aides. Portman follows in a long line of actresses who have played Mrs. Kennedy, including Katie Holmes, Jacqueline Bisset, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Sarah Michelle Gellar. See the first photo of Portman in the role below.  Compare it to this photo of Kennedy herself:   Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distribute ...
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Here's Your First Look At Natalie Portman As Jackie Kennedy
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Based on the first photo of Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, we are in for something good. Portman will portray the former first lady in "Jackie," a biopic that chronicles the four days after President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination. Currently shooting in Paris and slated for a 2017 release, "Jackie" is directed by Pablo Larraín ("No") and produced by Darren Aronofsky, reuniting Portman with the "Black Swan" maestro. Peter Sarsgaard is playing Robert Kennedy and Greta Gerwig is on board as one of Kennedy's aides. Portman follows in a long line of actresses who have played Mrs. Kennedy, including Katie Holmes, Jacqueline Bisset, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Sarah Michelle Gellar. See the first photo of Portman in the role below.  Compare it to this photo of Kennedy herself:   Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distribute ...
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Q: Tarantino-Inspired Works by Shaine Schroeder
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Ask me to describe film director and writer Quentin Tarantino in a single word and I'll pass. It's an impossible task. His films crashed their way into our cinematic psyche like a bloody bowling ball through pins of cookie-cutter movie formulas. The material he puts forth overflows with grit, beauty, humor, tragedy and countless other layers. Strike! I would also pass if you asked me the same of visual artist Shaine Schroeder, who is currently gearing to unveil a Tarantino-inspired collection, appropriately and simply titled Q. Whether deliberately or coincidentally, the timing couldn't be better, as Mr. Tarantino has been a bit of a hot news item recently due to his outspoken views against police brutality. His words have not landed him in the midst of only controversy but boycott threats as well. As unshakeable as a character of his own creation, Q continues to ally himself with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Life imitates art. John Gascot: What prompted you to create a Tarantin ...
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Huffington Post article
Anthony Bourdain, Darren Aronofsky: Views of Madagascar
CNN - almost 2 years
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CNN article
The train pours the cocktail for you
CNN - almost 2 years
Train travel done right: Darren Aronofsky makes Anthony Bourdain a cocktail on a shaky train in Madagascar. "Parts Unknown" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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CNN article
Natalie Portman And Johnny Depp’s Daughter Will Be Costars, Natalie Cast As Jackie Kennedy
The Inquisitor - almost 2 years
Natalie Portman has some very exciting movie projects in the pipeline. The Black Swan star was recently cast alongside an up-and-coming actress who she bears a striking resemblance to, Johnny Depp’s 15-year-old daughter Lily-Rose. As you can see, Lily-Rose Depp looks a lot like The Professional-era Natalie Portman. How’s this for canny casting? Natalie Portman &amp; Lily-Rose Depp to play sisters in French film http://t.co/zIKpQa6JPk pic.twitter.com/twxuQvS4RH — Telegraph Fashion (@TeleFashion) May 14, 2015 Fittingly, the actresses are going to play sisters in Planetarium, a drama set in the 1930s. Their characters are spiritualists who claim that they have the ability to talk to ghosts, and it sounds like most of the movie will take place in Paris. “They cross paths with a visionary French producer while performing in Paris,” Variety writes. Because Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman are playing characters described as performers, it’s possible that they’ll make their ...
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The Inquisitor article
Natalie Portman Doesn't Display Oscar Statue Because It Is A 'False Idol'
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Guests in Natalie Portman's Paris home should not expect to see her Oscar statue perched atop the mantle. “I don’t know where it is,” Portman told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about where she keeps the Best Actress Oscar she won in 2010 for her role in "Black Swan." “I think it’s in the safe or something. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in a while. I mean, ['Black Swan' director] Darren [Aronofsky] actually said to me something when we were in that whole thing that resonated so deeply. I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is literally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That’s why it’s not displayed on the wall. It’s a false idol.” The actress is Jewish and ABC News reported that her husband, French ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, was reportedly in the process of converting to Judaism last year. In the latest issue of THR magazine, Portman dis ...
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Huffington Post article
Harvard Students and Alumni Launch Weeklong Sit-in for Fossil Fuel Divestment
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Hundreds of students, alumni, faculty and community members joined forces in Harvard Yard on Sunday night to launch "Harvard Heat Week," a weeklong sit-in for fossil fuel divestment. As of 11:00 p.m., dozens of students and supporters were still blockading the doors of Massachusetts Hall, where Harvard President Drew Faust will show up for work on Monday. The action began earlier in the evening at the First Parish Church of Cambridge, across the street from the university. Hundreds of people filed into the historic building, under a banner hung on the steeple that read, "We divested from fossil fuels! Your turn, Harvard." "We're on a roll," said 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who took the stage to thunderous applause after an opening song from Reverend Fred Small, who'd opened his house of worship for the event. McKibben ticked off a series of recent wins for the divestment movement: Syracuse University, the Guardian Media Group, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. And he poin ...
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Huffington Post article
The 83rd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter
Hollywood News - almost 2 years
After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks: Best Picture – The Social Network The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. My personal pick Blue Valentine wasn’t nominated, of course, so my number two pic ...
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Hollywood News article
Fossil Fuel Divestment: Reasons for Disruptive Forms of Protest Against the Harvard Corporation
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Photo: Harvard students for fossil fuel divestment carry out a sit-in at the office of President Drew Faust in February, 2015. Last month at Harvard, students performed their first sit-in of the offices of Harvard's president, Drew Faust, to increase the pressure for institutional divestment from fossil fuels. The Harvard administration denounced the protest, saying it was "disappointed" that students would employ disruptive tactics and that such protests "cross the line from persuasion to disrespectful coercive interference with the activities of others." Despite the Harvard administration's objections, more protests, including a week of civil disobedience, are already being planned for April by a group of prominent alumni including Bill McKibben, Natalie Portman, Darren Aronofsky, and former US Senator Tim Wirth. What has led to this escalation? There are at least three major factors leading to the escalating protests, two of which are under the control of the Harvard Cor ...
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Huffington Post article
BERLINALE 2015 EVENT: Quantum Entanglement and the James Franco Epic
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
The James Franco Phenomenon Projected in Multiples for Serendipitous Effects: With a new triple play that made him ubiquitous at the 65. Berlinale, Franco proclaimed his Berlin experience as EPIC. (Photo by LPS) The quantum wave cresting for the past two years in Berlin collapsed in the EVENT that was the 65th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin. Jafar Panahi won the Golden Bear for his cinematic exercise utlizing filmmaking as a tool for quantum entanglement. (Photo of the absent Panahi's Golden Bear by LPS) The choices of festival director Dieter Kosslick were bold, adventurous and outright (r)evolutionary for daring to take film into exciting new directions. Serendipity and multiplicity* rebirthed the Berlinale after last year's weight of the Clooney "Monuments Men" star baggage diverting attention from the real objective of the Kosslick curation: identifying and encouraging cinematic breakthroughs. This year they came in multiples from around the globe. Yet, ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Darren Aronofsky
  • 2015
    Age 46
    In 2015, he collaborated with the artist JR on "The Standing March," a public art installation in Paris encouraging diplomats at COP21 to take action against climate change.
    More Details Hide Details He is a board member of The Sierra Club Foundation and The School of Field Studies.
    In 2015 he traveled to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with Brune, Kerri Russell, and the leaders of several veterans groups.
    More Details Hide Details He has received the Humanitarian Award from both the Humane Society of the United States and PETA.
  • 2014
    Age 45
    Aronofsky is known for his environmental activism. In 2014 he traveled to the Alberta Tar Sands with the Sierra Club's Michael Brune and Leonardo DiCaprio.
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    In November 2014, Aronofsky was announced as the President of the Jury for the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, for February 2015.
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    He said of his spiritual beliefs in 2014, "I think I definitely believe.
    More Details Hide Details My biggest expression of what I believe is in The Fountain".
  • 2012
    Age 43
    In 2012, he began dating Canadian film and television producer Brandi-Ann Milbradt. They were engaged but separated in 2015.
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    By July 2012, Aronofsky's crews were building an ark set in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.
    More Details Hide Details Aronofsky announced the start of filming on Noah on Twitter in the same month, tweeting shots of the filming in Iceland. The film featured Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, and Jennifer Connelly, with the latter having also starred in Requiem for a Dream. During its opening weekend, Noah held the largest non-sequel opening within Russia and Brazil, and the fourth-largest opening of all time. Aronofsky did not use live animals for the film, saying in a PETA video that "There's really no reason to do it anymore because the technology has arrived." The HSUS gave him their inaugural Humane Filmmaker Award in honor of his use of computer-generated animals. Aronofsky was set to direct an HBO series pilot called Hobgoblin. Announced on June 16, 2011, the series would have depicted a group of magicians and con artists who use their powers of deception to defeat Hitler during World War II. He was set to work on this project with Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman. In June, 2013, it was announced that HBO had dropped the show and Aronofsky had pulled out, as well. It was also announced that Aronofsky will produce an upcoming horror film, XOXO, written by Black Swan writer Mark Heyman. George Nolfi of the The Adjustment Bureau is set to direct the project, which will be overseen by Aronofsky.
  • 2011
    Age 42
    The film adapted a serialized graphic novel written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel, published in French in October 2011 by the Belgian publisher Le Lombard.
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    In 2011, Aronofsky tried to launch production on Noah, a retelling of the Bible story of Noah's Ark, projected for a $115 million budget.
    More Details Hide Details By the following year, the film had secured funding and distribution from New Regency and Paramount Pictures, with Russell Crowe hired for the title role.
    In April 2011, Aronofsky was announced as the President of the Jury for the 68th Venice International Film Festival.
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    In December 2011, Aronofsky directed the music video for Lou Reed and Metallica's "The View" from their album Lulu.
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    Aronofsky was attached to The Wolverine, which was scheduled to begin production in March 2011, but he left the project due to scheduling issues.
    More Details Hide Details The film was set to be sixth entry of the X-Men film series, featuring a story revolving around Wolverine's adventures in Japan.
  • 2009
    Age 40
    Some Iranian newspapers avoided mentioning the character, presumably to avoid offending Iran's clerical rulers. On March 2009, Javad Shamaqdari, cultural adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, demanded an apology from a delegation of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actors and producers visiting Iran for what he characterized as negative and unfair portrayals of the Islamic republic in The Wrestler and other Hollywood films.
    More Details Hide Details The question of who had designed 40 ballet costumes for Portman and the dancers in Black Swan was one publicized controversy related to the film. The media gave substantial coverage to the dance double controversy: how much credit for the dancing in the film was being given to Portman and how much to her "dance double", Sarah Lane, an American Ballet Theatre soloist. Lane claimed to have danced more than she was credited. The director and Fox Searchlight disputed Lane's claim. Their released statements said, "We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film." Aronofsky said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
    She introduced Aronofsky to Mila Kunis, who joined the cast in 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Black Swan had its world premiere as the opening film at the 67th Venice Film Festival on October 2010. It received a standing ovation whose length Variety said made it "one of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory". Black Swan has received high praise from film critics, and received a record 12 Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations, four Independent Spirit Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, three SAG nominations, and many more accolades. Aronofsky received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director. The film broke limited-release box-office records and grossed an unexpectedly high $329,398,046. On January 25, 2011, the film was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing and in March, Portman won as Best Actress. The film was awarded the PRISM Award from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration for its depiction of mental health issues. Aronofsky served as an executive producer on The Fighter, which was also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
  • 2007
    Age 38
    Later during 2007, Aronofsky said he was planning to film a movie about Noah's Ark.
    More Details Hide Details Aronofsky had the idea for The Wrestler for over a decade. He hired Robert D. Siegal to turn his idea into a script. The actor Nicolas Cage entered negotiations in October 2007 to star as Randy, the film's protagonist. The following month Cage left the project, and Mickey Rourke replaced him in the lead role. Aronofsky said that Cage pulled out of the movie because the director wanted Rourke to star; Aronofsky said, stating that Cage was "a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but, you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race." Cage responded, "I wasn't quote 'dropped' from the movie. I resigned from the movie because I didn't think I had enough time to achieve the look of the wrestler who was on steroids, which I would never do." The roughly 40-day shoot began in January 2008.
    In 2007, Aronofsky hired writer Scott Silver to develop The Fighter with him.
    More Details Hide Details He had approached actor Christian Bale for the film, but Aronofsky dropped out because of its similarities to The Wrestler and to work on MGM's RoboCop remake. In July 2010, Aronofsky had left the project due to uncertainty over the financially distressed studio's future. When asked about the film, he said, "I think I'm still attached. I don't know. I haven't heard from anyone in a while."
  • 2001
    Age 32
    Aronofsky began dating English actress Rachel Weisz in the summer of 2001, and in 2005 they were engaged.
    More Details Hide Details Their son, Henry Chance Aronofsky, was born on May 31, 2006, in New York City. The couple resided in the East Village in Manhattan. In November 2010, Weisz and Aronofsky announced that they had been apart for months, but remain close friends and are committed to raising their son together in New York.
    In June 2001, actress Cate Blanchett entered talks to join the film, which Aronofsky, wanting the title to remain secret, had given the working title of The Last Man. Production was postponed to wait for a pregnant Blanchett to give birth to her child in December 2001.
    More Details Hide Details Production was ultimately set for late October 2002 in Queensland and Sydney. By now officially titled The Fountain, the film had a budget of $70 million, co-financed by Warner Bros. and New Regency, which had filled the gap after Village Roadshow withdrew. Pitt left the project seven weeks before the first day of shooting, halting production. In February 2004, Warner Bros. resurrected it on a $35 million budget with Hugh Jackman in the lead role. In August, actress Rachel Weisz filled the vacancy left by Blanchett. The Fountain was released on November 22, 2006, a day before the American Thanksgiving holiday; ultimately it grossed $15,978,422 in theaters worldwide. Audiences and critics were divided in their responses to it.
    In April 2001, Aronofsky entered negotiations with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow to direct a then-untitled science fiction film, with Brad Pitt in the lead role.
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    In March 2001, he helped write the screenplay to the horror film Below, which he also produced.
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  • 2000
    Age 31
    Several aspects of Aronofsky's films have been controversial, most notably Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Requiem for a Dream was originally set for release in 2000, but it met with controversy in the United States, being rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to a graphic sex scene.
    More Details Hide Details Aronofsky appealed the rating, claiming that cutting any portion of the film would dilute its message. The appeal was denied and Artisan decided to release the film unrated. The Wrestler has been condemned as an "anti-Iranian" film in many Iran newspapers and websites, in response to a scene in which Mickey Rourke violently breaks a pole bearing an Iranian flag in half across his knee. Borna News, a state-run Iranian newspaper, also criticized the heel (bad-guy) wrestler character "The Ayatollah." Portrayed as a villain, he wears Arabic items of clothing (keffiyeh and bisht), which the newspaper believed was intended to lead audiences to associate Iranians with Arabs. In the wrestling ring, he wears a skimpy leotard in the pattern of an Iranian flag with the alef character, representing the first letter of the word Ayatollah.
    In mid-2000, Warner Bros. hired Aronofsky to write and direct Batman: Year One, which was to be the fifth film in the Batman franchise.
    More Details Hide Details Aronofsky, who collaborated with Frank Miller on an unproduced script for Ronin, brought Miller to co-write Year One with him, intending to reboot the series. "It's somewhat based on the comic book," Aronofsky later said. "Toss out everything you can imagine about Batman! Everything! We're starting completely anew." Regular Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique was set as cinematographer, and Aronofsky had also approached Christian Bale for the role of Batman. Bale later would be cast in the role for Batman Begins. After that project failed to develop, Aronofsky declined the opportunity to direct an entry in the Batman franchise.
    In May 2000, Aronofsky was briefly attached to make an adaptation of David Wiesner's 1999 children's book Sector 7 for Nickelodeon Movies, the project remains unmade.
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  • 1998
    Age 29
    Producing the film with an initial budget of $60,000, Aronofsky premiered Pi at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where he won the Best Director award.
    More Details Hide Details The film itself was nominated for a special Jury Award. Artisan Entertainment bought distribution rights for $1 million. The film was released to the public later that year to critical acclaim and it grossed a total of $3,221,152 at the box-office. Aronofsky followed his debut with Requiem for a Dream, a film based on Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel of the same name. He was paid $50,000, and worked for three years with nearly the same production team as his previous film. Following the financial breakout of Pi, he was capable of hiring established stars, including Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto, and received a budget of $3,500,000 to produce the film. Production of the film occurred over the period of one year, with the film being released in October 2000. The film went on to gross $7,390,108 worldwide. Aronofsky received acclaim for his stylish direction, and was nominated for another Independent Spirit Award, this time for Best Director. The film itself was nominated for five awards in total, winning two, for Best Actress and Cinematography. Clint Mansell's soundtrack for the film was also well-regarded, and since their first collaboration in 1996, Mansell has composed the music to every Aronofsky film. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for numerous awards, including for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and ultimately won the Independent Spirit Award. Aronofsky was awarded the PRISM Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the film's depiction of drug abuse.
    His films have generated controversy and are known for their often violent, bleak subject matter. "The themes in the six Aronofsky's films from 1998 to 2014 include the search for perfection, the search for happiness, longing for love, intoxication with publicity, the pain of alienation, and the burden of responsibility."
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  • 1997
    Age 28
    Aronofsky's debut feature, Pi (also known as π), was shot in November 1997.
    More Details Hide Details The film was financed entirely from $100 donations from friends and family. In return, he promised to pay each back $150 if the film made money, and they would at least get screen credit if the film lost money. While visiting Israel as a youth he spent a couple days in an Orthodox yeshiva, an experience that later informed the movie.
    Aronofsky's feature debut, the surrealist psychological thriller Pi, was shot in November 1997.
    More Details Hide Details The low-budget, $60,000 production, starring Sean Gullette, was sold to Artisan Entertainment for $1 million, and grossed over $3 million; Aronofsky won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay. Aronofsky's followup, the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream, was based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr. The film garnered strong reviews and received an Academy Award nomination for Ellen Burstyn's performance. After turning down an opportunity to direct an entry in the Batman film series and writing the World War II horror film Below, Aronofsky began production on his third film, the romantic fantasy sci-fi drama The Fountain. The film received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box-office, but has since garnered a cult following. His fourth film, the sports drama The Wrestler, was released to critical acclaim and both of the film's stars, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, received Academy Award nominations. In 2010 Aronofsky was an executive producer on The Fighter and his fifth feature film, the psychological horror film Black Swan, received further critical acclaim and many accolades, being nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director and winning Best Actress for Natalie Portman's performance in the film. Aronofsky received nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and a Directors Guild of America Award nomination. His sixth film, the biblically inspired epic Noah, was released in theaters on March 28, 2014.
  • 1992
    Age 23
    In 1992, Aronofsky received his MFA degree in directing from the AFI Conservatory, where his classmates included Todd Field, Doug Ellin, Scott Silver and Mark Waters.
    More Details Hide Details He won the institute's Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.
  • 1991
    Age 22
    Aronofsky's senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, was a finalist in the 1991 Student Academy Awards.
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  • 1985
    Age 16
    During his youth, he trained as a field biologist with The School for Field Studies in Kenya in 1985 and Alaska in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details He attended school in Kenya to pursue an interest in learning about ungulates. He later said, "The School for Field Studies changed the way I perceived the world". Aronofsky's interest in the outdoors led him to backpack his way through Europe and the Middle East. In 1987 he entered Harvard University, where he majored in social anthropology and studied filmmaking; he graduated in 1991. He became seriously interested in film while attending Harvard after befriending Dan Schrecker, an aspiring animator. He met Sean Gullette at Harvard, who would go on to star in Aronofsky's first film, Pi. His other cinematic influences included Akira Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, Terry Gilliam, Shinya Tsukamoto, Hubert Selby, Jr. Spike Lee, and Jim Jarmusch.
  • 1969
    Age 0
    Aronofsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1969, the son of public school teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky.
    More Details Hide Details He grew up in the borough's Manhattan Beach neighborhood, where "I was raised culturally Jewish, but there was very little spiritual attendance in temple. It was a cultural thing—celebrating the holidays, knowing where you came from, knowing your history, having respect for what your people have been through." He graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School. He has one sister, Patti, who attended a professional ballet school through high school. His parents would often take him to Broadway theater performances, which sparked his keen interest in show business.
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