Darren Aronofsky returns this week with biblical epic Noah, a disaster movie to end all disaster movies starring Russell Crowe as the man who receives an apocalyptic message from God.
The term "visionary" is bandied around all-too-frequently, but in the case of Aronofsky he really does fit the bill. Frequently tackling men and women plunging into psychological turmoil, the filmmaker has cemented himself as one of the top American directors across just six features.
Whether he's exploring a mathematician with a power drill pointed at his head in Pi or life, death and rebirth through The Fountain, Aronofsky always delivers a unique movie-going experience. With Noah in cinemas this week, Digital Spy takes a look at six draw-dropping scenes from Aronofsky's back catalogue...
A screeching soundtrack and some dynamic visual imagery (thanks to Aronofsky's pioneering "Snorricam" technique) heighten the pressure and paranoia on number cruncher Max Cohen as he scrambles through the deserted New York subway.
Pi may have been filmed on a shoestring in black and white, but already you're getting to see how Aronofsky probes inside his protagonists' heads - even if it is with a literal prodding of a brain with a biro!
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Aronofsky's adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr's novel Requiem for a Dream hits the viewer like a punch to the gut. His characters, all addicts in one form or another, spiral out of control over the course of the film. By the end Ellen Burstyn's Sara Goldfarb (Oscar nominated for her startling turn) has completely slipped into fantasy and delusion, while her junkie son has had an arm amputated.
There are so many great scenes in this film - the party, the NSFW Jennifer Connolly sex scene, the split-screen - but we've opted for the finale, the end of a gruelling journey into the abyss. It also makes great use of Clint Mansell's incredible composition 'Lux Aeterna', a track that became ubiquitous on movie trailers and commercials throughout the '00s.
The Fountain (2006)
With only his third film, Aronofsky made a visually audacious and thematically ambitious feature that spanned across three timelines and looked at life, death and rebirth through a doctor (Hugh Jackman) and his terminally ill wife (Rachel Weisz). There's that aforementioned story, a Spanish conquistador narrative as imagined by Weisz's Izzi and a future-set tale that sees Hugh Jackman drifting through space in a bubble ship towards the golden nebula of Xibalba.
Naturally, this baffled the broader cinema-going public and arrived to a critical panning, but it's a true labour of love for Aronofsky - he tried and failed to make the film years earlier with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Whatever you think about The Fountain, there's no doubting that it's an incredibly beautiful film to look at, as demonstrated below...
The Wrestler (2008)
After the grand ambition of The Fountain, Aronofsky stripped back his visual style for the tale of a down-and-out sportsman who steps back into the ring. The clichés may come thick and fast here - a stripper with a heart of gold, an estranged daughter - but they're handled beautifully by the director and Mickey Rourke, who scandalously lost out to Sean Penn for the Best Actor Oscar in 2009.
The below scene shows Rourke at his finest, laying it all on the line to daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). It's simply executed by Aronofsky, but cuts straight to the heart by allowing the performers room to express themselves.
Black Swan (2010)
A horror-thriller set in the world of ballet, Black Swan saw Aronofsky and Natalie Portman explore the psychological fractures that occur when a ballet dancer finds herself being overtaken by a rival.
Portman was outstanding as Nina Sayers, rightly earning a Best Actress Oscar for her brilliant physical and emotional commitment. Below we get to see Nina opening up a performance of Swan Lake, drifting around Aronofsky's lens to hook in her paying audience.
With an epic story, an A-list leading man in Russell Crowe and a budget north of $100 million, Noah is Aronofsky's most costly film to-date and the culmination of almost two decades honing his sharp visual eye. The film packs in some incredible moments of spectacle - the creation of the universe, fallen angels dubbed 'Watchers' reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen creations and, as seen below, a flood to wipe out all humanity.
Which is your favourite Darren Aronofsky movie? Leave your thoughts below!