born in: New York, USA
BiographyRaised in a Conservative Jewish household in Brighton Beach, Darren Aronofsky attended Hebrew school and celebrated his bar mitzvah. He went on to study math at Harvard before attending the American Film Institute graduate program. For his thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, he cast Sean Gullette, whom he had met at Harvard. Aronofsky utilized Gullette's talents again by casting him in the lead of Pi (1998), his first full-length feature.
With a budget of $60,000, Aronofsky's thriller about a mathematician's race to decipher the secrets of the universe through the number pi traveled at a breathless pace in black and white. Inspired by a rare comic book, Aronofsky used a stock called reversal film, which offers no grey or midtones in order to create a "hyper real" world for his audience.
Since no full-length feature had been shot on reversal film due to costs and difficulty in handling and processing, only one company in the U.S. would develop it. The task eventually swallowed 60 percent of the production's budget, but it paid off with the film's unique look. It was quickly snapped up by Artisan and opened in the U.S. during the same weekend as Lethal Weapon 4. Aronofsky's film managed to hold its own, pulling in $3.1 million. In addition, Aronofsky won the Best Director¹s Award at Sundance, Best First Screenplay at the Independent Film Awards, published his film diary and the film even spawned a comic book.
His next film, Requiem For a Dream (2000) adapted from Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel, starred Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly. Containing over 2000 cuts (as compared to the usual 600-700 for most films), the film features a dual storyline that focuses on a mother obsessed with losing weight for a TV appearance, her son, his girlfriend and his best friend, who are all addicted to heroin.
It took six years for his next movie to be released. The Fountain (2006), starring Hugh Jackman as a man who lives several lives over the course of 1,000 years, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Aronofsky directed "The Wrestler", starring Mickey Rourke as professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson. The film tells the story of Robinson's decline, and eventual reentry into the pro wrestling scene. Filming began late January 2008 and wrapped two months later. The Wrestler won the prestigious Golden Lion prize at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, as well as two Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama for Rourke and Best Original Song for the song The Wrestler written and performed by Bruce Springsteen.
Filmography1990 Supermarket Sweep
1991 Fortune Cookie
1998 "PI" (Winner of 1999 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay)
2000 Requiem for a Dream
2006 The Fountain
2008 The Wrestler (Winner of 2008 Golden Lion award, Winner of two Golden Globe Awards, Winner of three Independent Spirit Award)
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