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Requiem for a Dream

Related: 1978 - 2000 film - American literature - American cinema - drugs in literature - drugs in cinema

Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Darren Aronofsky [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Story of a mother (Ellen Burstyn) and her son. Mother is on uppers to lose weight, son is doing heroin. Starts friendly enough, evolves into a nightmare, excellent movie. Visually stunning. 10/10

Requiem for a Dream (1978) - Hubert Selby Jr.
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Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Darren Aronofsky

Requiem for a Dream (2000) (aka Delusion Over Addiction) is a critically praised film directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto. The disturbing film depicts different forms of addiction leading to imprisonment in a dream world, which is overtaken and devastated by reality. It is based on the 1978 book of the same title by Hubert Selby, Jr. The soundtrack (frequently described as "eerie" and "haunting") has been composed by Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet. The film was originally tagged with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA due to a montage in the film's finale. Aronofsky appealed the rating, claiming that cutting any portion of the film would dilute, if not outright destroy, its message. The appeal was denied, but Artisan decided to release the film unrated. Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2000 for her role. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_for_a_dream [2004]

Amazon review
Employing shock techniques and sound design in a relentless sensory assault, Requiem for a Dream is about nothing less than the systematic destruction of hope. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., and adapted by Selby and director Darren Aronofsky, this is undoubtedly one of the most effective films ever made about the experience of drug addiction (both euphoric and nightmarish), and few would deny that Aronofsky, in following his breakthrough film Pi, has pushed the medium to a disturbing extreme, thrusting conventional narrative into a panic zone of traumatized psyches and bodies pushed to the furthest boundaries of chemical tolerance. It's too easy to call this a cautionary tale; it's a guided tour through hell, with Aronofsky as our bold and ruthless host.

The film focuses on a quartet of doomed souls, but it's Ellen Burstyn--in a raw and bravely triumphant performance--who most desperately embodies the downward spiral of drug abuse. As lonely widow Sara Goldfarb, she invests all of her dreams in an absurd self-help TV game show, jolting her bloodstream with diet pills and coffee while her son Harry (Jared Leto) shoots heroin with his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and slumming girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly). They're careening toward madness at varying speeds, and Aronofsky tracks this gloomy process by endlessly repeating the imagery of their deadly routines. Tormented by her dietary regime, Sara even imagines a carnivorous refrigerator in one of the film's most memorable scenes. And yet... does any of this have a point? Is Aronofsky telling us anything that any sane person doesn't already know? Requiem for a Dream is a noteworthy film, but watching it twice would qualify as masochistic behavior. --Jeff Shannon

Requiem for a Dream (1978) - Hubert Selby Jr.

    Aronofsky made a lot of industry noise in 1998 with Pi, his critically praised low-budget indie hit and debut feature. For his second film, he collaborated with one of his literary gurus, Hubert Selby Jr., to adapt Selby's 1978 cult classic Last Exit to Brooklyn. Set on the scarred and bleak streets of Coney Island, Brooklyn, the story follows heroin addict and twentysomething Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), his smack-snack gorgeous girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly), and running buddy Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) as they conceive a way to score pure heroin. An illuminating interview with Aronofsky prefaces the script, which in the Faber & Faber vein, unlike the Newmarket "Shooting Script," has less detailed camera shots and reads more like a play. For more specialized cinematic collections. --Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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