From: Black Swan
Who said it?: Nina Sayers
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror film, Black Swan. The movie focuses on Nina Sayers who gets the prima ballerina role as the Odette/The White Swan due to her grace. However, she fails to get the other half of the role of Odile/The Black Swan as she does not have the unbridled fury and power in her dancing and the role goes to the relative newcomer, Lily. Despite getting the role of a lifetime as the White Swan, Nina Sayers becomes obsessed with the Black Swan role and is paranoid that Lily is sabotaging her chances.
The quote comes from the very end of the film. Nina (played by Natalie Portman) has claimed both the White and Black Swan roles and performs both roles flawlessly, despite having stabbed herself during a hallucination in the middle of the show. At the climax, she falls off the edge of the stage to simulate Odette committing suicide and everyone rushes to congratulate her for a brilliant performance. The director notices the blood gushing from Nina’s side and tries to ask what happened. This is when Nina, finally achieving her goal, delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Is the cost of perfection worth losing everything, including yourself? An unhealthy obsession with anything is ultimately just that: unhealthy. Sometimes it’s always a good idea to take a step back to see if something is worth all the trouble.
From: Star Wars, specifically Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Who said it?: Obi-Wan Kenobi
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Star Wars series. More specifically, it comes from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the final chapter of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
The quote comes near the climax of the film. Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen) is confronted by Padme Amidala (played by Natalie Portman). He sees Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan MacGregor) and thinks that Padme has betrayed him and starts Force choking her. As Anakin rants that, by conquering the galaxy, he has brought peace to it. Anakin then tells Obi-Wan that, if his former mentor isn’t for his side, then he must kill him. This is when Obi-Wan delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: We live in the world where most people actually do believe in absolutes and partisan views. A lot of people do think that the world is black and white. Their thoughts are the only good things now and any other point of view that differs from what they’re thinking is wrong and must then be evil. But we don’t live in a world of black and white. The Sith basically believe that anything else other than how they view the universe must be snuffed out as there is no room for negotiation.
While we’re on this, Obi-Wan’s statement may seem hypocritical but it really isn’t based on the circumstances. Obi-Wan is only fights back once he realizes that Anakin isn’t willing to negotiate or talk things through. He has no choice in the matter. On the other hand, Anakin does have a choice to discuss his point of view with Obi-Wan or to simply agree to disagree. But he cannot as he must destroy any opposition.
From: V for Vendetta
Genre: Movies, Comics
Who said it?: V
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from V for Vendetta. This was originally a comic series written by Alan Moore and made into a feature length film of the same name. Both the comic and the movie are about V’s vengeance against a tyrannical government and Evey, a young woman who eventually joins V in his revolution.
The quote comes early in the film. V (played by Hugo Weaving) had just rescued Evey (played by Natalie Portman) from agents of the government. He brings her to his home/hideout and they discuss the bombing of a Parliment building that V claims he did. Evey asks if he’s scared because he’s now a wanted man and every one who he’s incited will also be hunted down. This is when V delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: The people can also affect change by other means, such as voting these people out or, in the worst case, depose a corrupt leadership. Even the most tyrannical governments can be toppled if enough of its citizenry fights back and these governments must be afraid if they really want to stay in power.