The visionary director and film maverick talks about the role of music in his films and the synergy between the two arts.
On a basic level, Darren Aronofsky is a director, producer and screenwriter, but those titles do little to capture the widespread acclaim that has been doled upon his body of work. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he attended college at Harvard, where he majored in social anthropology and also studied filmmaking. After graduating in 1991, he went on to secure an MFA in directing from the AFI Conservatory. In 1998, Aronofsky released his first feature film, Pi, which he had created with a budget of $60,000 that consisted entirely of small donations from friends and family. Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Pi led to a Best Director award for Aronofsky, and the film’s subsequent triumph, both critically and financially, set him on a path to success. In the years that followed, he directed a number of celebrated films, including Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan and Noah. With each release, the stakes — and often the budgets — have increased, yet Aronofsky has continued to take chances and to be hailed for his distinctive style and aesthetic. Part of this consistency can be traced to his long-standing working relationships with talented figures like cinematographer Matthew Libatique, editor Andrew Weisblum and composer Clint Mansell, but few would question that it’s Aronofsky’s singular vision that ties the work together.