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Facts

Known Movies:
15 since 1998
Gender:
male
Birthday:
1969-02-12 (50 years)
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York, NY
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Aronofsky was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His parents were both public school teachers. He graduated Edward R. Murrow High School early and backpacked around the Middle East and Europe for six months.

In 1987 he entered Harvard University and studied anthropology, live action film and animation. His senior thesis film Supermarket Sweep starred his fellow student and friend Sean Gullette. He graduated in 1991 with honors.

Next, he attended the AFI Conservatory and graduated with an M.F.A. degree in 1992.

In 1996 he began creating the concept for his first feature film π. It premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and Aronofsky won the Directing Award. He also won an Independent Spirit Award and the Open Palm. It was released in the summer of 1998.

His next film was Requiem for a Dream. It was based on the Hubert Selby Jr. novel of the same name. It premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was greeted by a 13 minute standing ovation. It was released in the United States in October, 2000. Ellen Burstyn the star of the film was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Sara Goldfarb.

Aronofsky next commenced writing an original screenplay entitled The Fountain. In 2002, days away from the start of filming, the lead actor pulled out and the film collapsed. Sets were demolished and Aronofsky left for home.

But Aronofsky re-wrote it with the mindset of an independent film. It was shot in Montreal in 2005 with new stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. The film premiered at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. It was released in the United States on November 22, 2006

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Features

π

Main article: Pi (film)

In 1996 Aronofsky began creating the concept for his first feature film “π”, a psychological sci-fi thriller. After the π script received great reactions from friends, he began production. The film re-teamed Aronofsky with Sean Gullette, who played the lead. During production, Aronofsky and crew realized they didn’t have enough money to complete the film. Associate Producer Scott Franklin came up with the idea to raise completion funds by asking every person they knew for $100. Later in production certain individuals put in more cash, which let Aronofsky complete the film. After π was completed (with a budget somewhere around $60,000), it premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and Aronofsky won the Directing Award. The film was picked up by distributor Artisan Entertainment and released in selected cities. The film later won an Independent Spirit Award and the Open Palm. $100 investors were said to be subsequently re-paid with $150. However, certain crew members complained that they were never paid at all. Crew members confronted Aronofsky about this, and he claimed he was suing his distributor. Use of the SnorriCam is one of Darren Aronofsky’s trademarks, as featured in π.

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Requiem for a Dream

Main article: Requiem for a Dream

One of Aronofsky’s favorite books is Hubert Selby Jr.’s Last Exit to Brooklyn. While editing π, producer Eric Watson convinced Aronofsky to read another Selby book, Requiem For A Dream, which Aronofsky had actually started reading years before but never finished. He was moved by the novel and wanted to film an adaptation, quickly beginning work on the script with Selby. Aronofsky pulled no punches in delivering a relentless and disturbing movie of hopes and dreams shattered and lives laid waste by drug addiction. The film was a clinical depiction of the depths to which some people will sink to in the hope of attaining their dreams. The film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was greeted by a 13 minute standing ovation. It was released in the United States in October, 2000. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Sara Goldfarb.

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The Fountain

Main article: The Fountain (film)

Aronofsky next commenced writing an original screenplay entitled The Fountain due to star Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. In 2002, days away from the start of filming, Pitt pulled out due to “creative differences,” and the film collapsed. Sets were demolished and Aronofsky left for home. Aronofsky persisted, and fought to put it back together. In 2005, The Fountain was resurrected with new stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. It was released in the United States on November 22, 2006.

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