Goose Egg Marathon Film #32Requiem for a Dream"Purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening...There's my three meals, Mr. Smartypants."
(2000, Darren Aronofsky)
In the past dozen years, no one director has more put a stamp on his visual and directoral brand with his first three films than Darren Aronofsky, His debut film, Pi
, established his frantic editing style, with jump cuts, a myriad of lenses, and dreamlike imagery, perfectly accented by Clint Mansell's industrial score. In 2006, The Fountain
showed a somewhat quieter, more mature, but grander themed approach - but upped the ante with incredible visual wizardry.
Requiem for a Dream fits between those two as a natural bridge between the two - more cohesive and palatable than Pi
, but perhaps not quiet as focused an elegant as the Fountain
When you include The Wrestler we have four films that are character studies with narrowed defined themes - narrow, but brought to it's extreme conclusion. I love the artist following that crack in the ice all the way to end. And like his other films, Aronofsy manages to do this in a relatively short 102 minutes. It is very efficient storytelling. He manages an extremely immersive filmwatching experience.
Requiem for a Dream follows the story of Harry (Jared Leto) and his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) - small time drug dealers (and big-time addicts!) who's lives begin to unravel as supply tightens around them. Meanwhile, in a separate story, Jared's mom - excited about the prospect of being on television is intent on losing enough weight to fit in a red dress she plans to wear on the show. In both cases their obsessions have unintended consequences. Like all Aronofsky films, the plot is not the main focus here. It would be too reductive to call this a cautionary tale about drugs. For me the main draws of the film are Aronofsky's visual style and a one-for-the-ages performance by Ellen Burstyn. (seemed ordinary in the early going but just wowwed me by the end). Wayans was a pretty big surprise. I was surprised when I saw his name in the opening credits. "Yeah, like I'm eating eggs and grapefruit at Tavern on the Green"
Over the years the film earned a reputation as being "a great one-timer" - so heavy and sobering that despite people's affection for the film they might never choose to do a repeat reviewing. I've heard it called an "endurance test". For me I was much less challenged by it that I anticipated, even as things really began to devolve in the last act. Having seen Pi
on several occasions I was anticipating a visceral experience!
So overall - great to have seen this. I didn't like it enough to get it above my Mendoza line, but I can assure you I'm as excited as ever to see what tricks DA has up his sleeves next.
Aronofsky is working on a whole other plane. Stylistically "cool". A thematic endurance test
2-The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
3-Children of Men
5-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6-The Science of Sleep
7-In the Bedroom
10-Fantastic Mr Fox
11-The Lives of Others
---------Likely Top 50 of Decade cut off---------------------
13-Y Tu Mama Tambien
15-Team America World Police
16-The Man Who Wasn't There17-Requiem for a Dream
19-City of God
20-The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
23-A Prairie Home Companion
24-The Hurt Locker
25-I'm Not There
26-Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
27-Capturing the Friedmans
28-Los Angeles Plays Itself
30-Rivers and Tides