In stairs, and is wearing a black swan costume.

In Black Swan’s final scene, through the
specific editorial choices of transitions, close-up shots, and the breaking of
the 180-degree rule, the audience is able to better emphasize with the
protagonist as she endures the final part of the transformation into the
persona of the Black Swan. The editing in this scene serves the story by
communicating that Nina has reached the pinnacle of her character
transformation in the film. I think that the filmmaker chose to approach the
scene in this way because the editing devices used in the scene intensify the
emotions that the audience experiences seeing the protagonist in such an
extreme physical and psychological transformation.

The effect of the editing choices used in
this scene is that they elicit a deep reaction in the audience. As a result, we
feel surprised that the main character, Nina, finally discovers and embraces
the character of the Black Swan. In the very beginning of the clip, the camera
follows Nina down the stairs past her co-starring dancers. They are headed up
the stairs and are wearing white swan costumes; Nina is headed down the stairs,
and is wearing a black swan costume. This choice of editing using footage from
this camera angle helps visually convey that Nina has truly transformed fully
into being the Black Swan. Before opening the door to her personal dressing
room, she checks around the corner to see if anyone is watching her, then the
camera cuts to a shot of Nina entering the dressing room. In this part of the
clip, the camera is actually inside the dressing room itself, but this edit is
skillfully done seeing as the movement makes the cut almost unnoticeable. This edit,
which is an action edit, also serves to separate the outside world from Nina’s
personal world, the latter in which the audience intimately experiences when
Nina is in her room. It is just the audience and Nina that witness her
attempting to cover up her previous crime.

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Just after Nina sits down to transform
out of the Black Swan, at 0:45, the screen fades to white as the new image of
Nina in her white swan costume is shown. This signals the transition from being
the Black Swan back to being the White Swan again. It also foreshadows her
eventual death at the end of the clip, which is signified in a similar manner,
when the lights blur and the screen fades to white. Additionally, when the
picture goes from showing Nina in her black swan costume to her white swan
costume, the area on the left-had side of the picture in which shows the broken
mirror, fades to Nina’s head being in the exact same position. In a way, this
foreshadows the realization that Nina will soon have that she has in fact
stabbed herself, and not her rival alternate for the role of Swan Queen. Then,
when Nina opens the door only to see Lily’s face, the use of over-the-shoulder
shots in which we only see Nina’s shoulder and the back of head but we see all
of Lily’s upper body, allow us to have a more Subjective Point of View, making
us intensely feel how it would be for Nina to have the person whom she thought
she had just killed, staring back at her completely unharmed and alive.

The subsequent shots of Nina are big
close-up shots, also known as “choker” shots. The chocker shots in this part of
the scene capture Nina’s facial expression, which conveys her current feelings
of pain and fear at 1:50, when she realizes that she has a wound in her very
own abdomen. The big close-up shots of Nina with this expression create an
effect of pure shock and breathless-ness—we cannot believe that it is not
Nina’s alternate Lily that Nina has stabbed, but in fact Nina herself. The
full-fledged transformation that she experiences comes as a surprise to the
audience due to the fact that she struggles to find this persona within herself
throughout the duration of the film. In this part of the scene, the editor captures
Nina’s gaping wound through the use of extreme close-up shots. As a result,
these close-up shots function as including the audience in the intimate
experience of Nina’s intense physical pain coming from her abdomen.

In the following part of the clip, where
Nina is back on stage dancing as the White Swan, the camera constantly but
purposely breaks the 180 degree rule. In this part of the clip, breaking this
rule results in a feeling of intense confusion and disorientation, as we see
Nina twirling around with her beloved prince, being on the left side in one
shot then on the right side in the next, before she is twirled around by the
evil character, on the right side in one shot then the left side in the next,
and vice versa. This editing device cleverly and artistically conveys Nina’s
sense of confusion as she has now fully formed into both the White Swan and the
Black Swan, coupled with the stark realization that she has actually stabbed
herself and not her rival co-star. This allows the audience to have a
subjectively similar experience to Nina’s, as a result of the shots in this
part of the clip being close-up ones.

At the end of the scene, the camera shows
the stage from Nina’s subjective point of view. As the camera looks up at all
of the ceiling lights that face down and light up the stage, the lights begin
to blur, just before the camera looks down on Nina, who stares up at the
ceiling blissfully. The screen then fades into white. The editing choice here
allows the audience to infer that Nina slips into death. It is also clever that
Nina is staring at the lights above her as she dies, because it shows her
“seeing the light,” (both literally and figuratively), which is a phenomenon
often said to accompany the process of dying. The editor’s decision to place
these specific shots next to each other has the effect of allowing the audience
to see the experience of death through her subjective point of view.  Overall, in Black Swan’s final scene, through
the specific editorial choices of transitions, close-up shots, and the breaking
of the 180-degree rule, the audience is able to better empathize with Nina as
she finally achieves the full transformation of being both the Black and White
Swan, yet sadly a full transformation she has both on stage and in her own
personal life.