Sunday, March 6, 2011

Requiem for a Dream.

Requiem for a Dream, 2000, directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Written by Hubert Selby, Jr. (novel and screenplay).
starring: Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn, Marlon Wayons.

"The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger." (IMDB).

This film is hands down, the (best-done) most disturbing film in creation. Best done in that the writing, acting, and music are absolutely smashing, and most disturbing because, well, it's downright awful. Really, really awful, and I hesitate to even write honestly about this film because I know a lot of my followers actually use this blog to get ideas for what to watch----so maybe just skip this one, okay? The things that happen in this film are *impossible* to get out of your head, and they are really, really dark.  My own husband refused to watch the ending, just got up and bolted from the room, and this is a guy that thinks the film Happiness should be allowed . . .

First things first: Ellen Burstyn lost the Oscar for this film to Julia Roberts (in Erin Brockovich). The woman was utterly amazing in this film as Sara Goldfarb, UNBELIEVABLE, while Julia Roberts was at best acceptable. Burstyn pulled off a credible (Brighton Beach?) accent, probably worked her ass off during numerous time-lapse scenes, and played frantic/strung-out/crazy better than anyone I've seen. And she was the influence for the name of this blog, so you know, society owes her quite a lot (!).

Secondly: the music here makes the film. Clint Mansell composed the original music for the film, most famously the piece "Lux Aeterna" (eternal light), which has been used in probably millions of other media since. I was looking for a youtube link to a piano performance to put on here but the only videos available were really pedal-heavy (and wrist-y), among screaming kids running around in the background, or on a simulated keyboard, not an actual one, and none of them were keeping with the extremely high quality I like to exemplify on this blog. Bummer, I know.

And third? Most reviews focused on the drugs, which yes, get a lot of screen time, but this experience (for me) was more about loneliness and disappointment than addiction. Clearly, they all get addicted, but the scenes in the film that carried the most weight seemed to be the scenes where each character was relating to another one (Marilyn and Harry/Harry and Sara/Tyrone and his mother, etc.) You might blow them all off as junkies, but Darren Aronofsky has taken a lot of time and effort to point out that they are human beings, and not even the worst ones you'll ever meet. There is no optimism in what happens to any of them, and the score to this film is gut-wrenchingly sad for a reason. There is. No. Hope.


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