Hey folks, Harry here... There comes days where I become a FILM ADVOCATE... that person that is just going to beat you senseless till you SUBMIT. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is great filmmaking. As this film platforms out... I hold YOU responsible for NOT missing the film as it plays your community. I see a lot of fanboys and girls piss and shit about how NC-17 isn't a viable medium... How come Hollywood doesn't grow a pair and produce those films... Where's our serious Adult cinema? Well... This time it is up to you. Pissed about the censoring of BATMAN BEYOND? Well this film... this GREAT FILM is completely uncensored by its studio... It is being released... AS IS... And it's being released with everything stacked against it... limitations on advertisements (print, radio and television) The only place it exists is here on the internet wholeheartedly. Can't see it yet? Well go check out RequiemForADream.Com!!! You will find a very disconcerting, disturbing and entrancing experience... I think it takes what they were trying with the FIGHT CLUB and PLEASANTVILLE sites in years past... a site that changes and isn't the same and is fluidly hypnotic... Check it out.... Meanwhile... We've got info about Aronofsky's next two projects below... and the last two reviews on this page are EXTREMELY DEAD ON AND PERSONAL AND GOOD READING!!! Go now... Seek out this film. It is in your best interest as a cinephile, movie geek, human being. GO!
Never wrote you before but today at school (San Francisco State University) they had a screening of Requiem for a Dream. Amazing, truly fucking amazing film. I plan on seeing it quite a few times. The real fucking cool part is that Darren Aronofsky was at the screening and fielded questions after the film. I guess he was there because Eric Watson his producer is an alumni of San Fran State. Mr. Aronofsky said he would fucking kill anyone who wrote to you, but sorry Darren your movie is way to kick ass not to write to Harry. Harry, he did praise you for your review of Requiem. Plus this film needs more attention and the fucking MPAA can suck my......Anyways Harry, some questions were fielded about Batman 5. Darren did say that he was approached to do the film and he is planning to work with Frank Miller on the script. When asked if he was going to write a "McDonalds" sell out suck ass version, he stated that he wasn't going to do anything he didn't agree with. Please please Warner Bros., GIVE HIM CREATIVE CONTROL....NO MORE SCHUMACHER BULLSHIT!!!! Now, Harry....Please tell everyone that they must see this film!!! The last film I saw that made me feel as if i creamed in my shorts was PULP FICTION. Yes, its that good. Everyone must see this film....FUCK what People magazine and USA Today said....They don't know shit about the creative film process. Oh yeah, he also said that he is working on a post-Matrix sci fi picture that will be very different than PI or Requiem. Thats about all we got as far as his future projects. Harry...Start the Oscar Buzz now......Requiem for Best Pic, Aronofsky for Best Director, Ellen Burstyn for Best Actress, jeez the whole fucking picture!!!!!!
Thats it, please lets make this film a hit....
Here's Le Samurai...
Hey Harry, call me le samurai,
Just got back from the Mill Valley Film Festival screening of Requiem for a Dream, and since I completely agree with your assessment, I shall not include a review of it. However, Aronofsky did give a brief Q&A afterwords, mainly answering generic questions, but here are some tidbits he let loose:
-Batman Year One is still in veeeery early development stages, as in he hasn't even talked to Frank Miller yet.
-He has been working on a sci-fi script for about 11 months now, and he describes it as like Pi but with a much, much grander scale. He has a working title but won't release it. He seemed unsure about whether he would do this or Batman first.
Not much, prolly none new, but hey......that's what I found out.
Next is the uncredited film student comments... check it out...
I just got back from a special screening of Darren A. the Pi guy's new film. They where showing and advanced screening of Requiem for a dream with a brief Q and A with the director and the film students in the area. Which I myself am. A special San Francisco State presentation. I wanted to let you know what he said when asked about Batman 5. He told the audience his involvement with the film was after saying that he hadn't realized that there had been four of them made... That he and Frank Miller had talked about writing a script together. However that nothing really had been done. He instead has been working on a SI-FI movie ala Matrix. Well other that assureing the crowd that he wasn't going to make a McDonalds batman that was really all the information he gave. And by the way my review of the movie Requim of a dream is that it blows.
Hmph... Riiiiight... REQUIEM FOR A DREAM does blow.... your mind that is... Here's Evelyn... and she can't sleep... she had to write... group therapy if you will... She's just seen the film and is emotionally wrecked.
It’s getting late and I have to work in morning, but I can’t sleep… I can’t even lie down. To tell the truth, having the control to type these words is a bit of a challenge. But I have to purge my brain. I thought writing this to you would help my mind rest a little easier. I just got back from a screening of Darren Aronofsky’s film Requiem for a Dream and I just can’t shake it. I don’t think I’ll be able to shake it for a while. I’m still a little shaky from the whole experience.
I was very excited to see this film. I watched Ebert & Roeper rave… I read your review. To tell the sad truth, a viewing of Pi has eluded me, but I plan to remedy that very soon. I can start by saying, that though I’ve only seen this one film, Aronofsky is an intelligent, emotional, intense and aware filmmaker. He’s made an important film and I loved it, but I don’t know if I can see it ever again… but ask me again in a few weeks to see if I’ve recovered.
For those of you who haven’t yet seen Requiem this may sound silly and melodramatic, but it’s not. This probably won’t make any sense is you haven’t seen it, but it’s not a review, just some thoughts. I’m not a melodramatic person and this is my honest reaction to the film. It is… adjectives escape me. There was a Q & A with Aronofsky after the film and though I had many questions racing through my head I couldn’t voice them.
By what I have written, you might think the film is merely intense and disturbing, but let me tell you why it is somewhere beyond that. This isn’t about street urchins, it’s about middle class people like you and me. At least they started out like you and me. Somewhere in the experimental days of high school and college, we took slightly different paths.
I was never afflicted by addiction but I know many people who are, and I see them going to the places where these people have gone. I’ve been at these places as only a casual observer or experimenter, but I think we’ve all seen it. I’ve seen it when I walk into a party and everyone’s waiting for that drug connect to come through, so they can get their weed or shrooms or whatever and escape their world for a while. I’ve escaped from the world a few times, and it feels good. But what is it that makes some okay with a visit and some want to stay in that realm? I guess that would be what addiction is. But is that all it is. I’ve watched many friends get lost down there and I questioned ‘why’? Why was it so easy for them to lose themselves down there? Why couldn’t I stop them? Did I think I would be ‘uncool’ if I thought there was something wrong?
I don’t know. But all of these things came into my mind as a watched the third act of Requiem. I’ll admit it, I cried through the entire climax. My heart raced, my hands gripped each other, my throat closed, my body shook and tears wet my coat. I saw the people I’ve known and all the other people out there living this so-called life and it saddened me beyond comprehension. As I watched Harry screaming in pain I wanted to take him to the hospital and hold his hand and comfort him. As I watched Sara confused and alone I wanted to be there for her, to hold her. But Marian, I could barely watch. As a woman, I think it would be hard to watch her demean herself that way and not project yourself into her situation. But I also saw my sister in her. I thought “what if she did that?”… “what if she had done that?”
I don’t know… it’s too much too think about the thousands out there, just like them right now. I don’t mean to pity them, but something in my just starts to cry for them. I think of myself as them at the same time and am discusted with myself, even if it was never that extreme for me.
After the Q & A, I stood outside and breathed and didn’t talk. I was a wreck. Then I went back in and got a poster for Darren to sign. I gave it to him and said “Thank You”. Then I babbled about still being shaky and unable to talk. He told me I’d feel better in the morning. I said “I hope so”. I shook his hand and said “Thank You” again. So, this little rant is my third Thank You to a brilliant man and an amazing film.
I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I just needed to get it out.
And here is a deeply personal review from Agent Dale Cooper about how the film changed a life philosophy for the man...
Special Agent Dale Cooper here. I don't normally send you reviews of movies currently in theaters, but seeing as how this one has only reached a few in the nation I felt compelled to write this review. Posting it is up to you and I guess since you already wrote a review you might not bother. Either way, I need this outlet to discuss my feelings about my life and this movie.
This is going to be one of those Harry-type reviews where I get personal before getting to the movie. This is important to me and feel free to just scroll past if you don't have the time or patience.
I am twenty years old and in college. I have a brother who just graduated high school and turned eighteen. He works full time at a pizza shop and has no ambition other than finding next big party. I am the exact opposite and have often wondered how two such vastly different human beings could have come from the same womb.
My brother started his drug use around the age of thirteen. It was all innocent enough, with a joint or bowl of pot here and there. After a while, that became everyday and was mixed in with a little drinking. Since then, he has snorted aspirin, tripped many times on acid and shrooms, done ecstasy, and snorted cocaine. The last, when I found out, disturbed me deeply. I guess it goes back to when we were kids. There were four or five of us swimming in a pool. My brother was in the shallow end because he couldn't swim yet. The mother watching us went in to take a phone call. My brother ventured into the deep end and started bobbing up and down for air. This struck the rest of us as funny, watching him flop around in the water. We were young and didn't know better. Somebody threw one of those donut-type life saving devices into the water and it sailed right over his head. This struck us as even more funny and we all started laughing. Luckily, a few minutes later, the mother rushed out, dove in, and saved him. I often think about what might have been, and about me laughing. It haunts me to this day...
I bring all this up because I feel like I owe my brother. For the longest time, I thought this meant looking out for him. I hid his drug use from my parents. I let him confide in me without the fear of being told on. I was so wrong and now wonder if it's all too late. I didn't want to be the rat and the dickhead who tells on someone, and my political philosophies have always gotten in the way. I advocate the legalization of drugs. Hey, it's your business if you want to fuck up your life. But things get more complicated when it's personal.
After watching this movie, I feel like I understand where my brother stands and that is a step in the right direction. Maybe I can figure out a way to help him before it's too late. But the epiphany came early. Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans have just shot some dope. Aronofsky speeds up the film whenever a character is high, and this was the first time in the film we see the technique. I watched these two druggies clowning around and scrathing records like they were characters on Benny Hill. It was funny and made me realize what drugs are all about. These people live in the moment, the rush. They live moment to moment. They have dreams, but they are far off. Something is more important. It's that rush. That thrill. My brother is exactly like this. He lives in the moment, not for the future. I feel like I have an in now, and maybe I can get through to him. I'm not sure he would like this movie, as films aren't his thing the way they are mine. Showing him this isn't the way to get through. But real, honest conversation (something I've failed at for the past five years), with real understanding, might be a way to break through and convince him that there is more to life than the moment.
ACTUAL FILM RELATED REVIEW STARTS HERE:
As for the film itself, it has taken me several days to write this review because I have been thinking about it intently, savoring scenes and visuals that still haunt me. I'm getting goose bumps remembering certain things as I write this. I was blown away, and I am convinced if you give the film a chance, you will be too.
The plot is simple. We follow four addicts on their descent into addiction and their eventual downfall as a result. Ellen Burstyn plays Sarah Goldfarb, a widow who becomes addicted to speed after going to a quack doctor for some diet pills. All she wants is to fit into her late husband's favorite red dress, and it's devestating to watch her try and come to grips with her loneliness through drugs. This is a performance that deserves to be awarded and I hope it will.
Jared Leto plays her son. His story, for me anyway, was the weakest of the four. I absoltuely loved his dream, though. It is simple and visually arresting. He wants to be with his girlfriend on a sunny day at the beach. Together and happy. Watch the way we first see this dream. The dissolve from night to day in a single apartment window. It was beautiful. However, watching him strive for that dream was not as entertaining or dramatically arresting as the other three stories (which is not a bad thing, because Aronofsky focuses just the right amount of time on each story and always keeps things interesting on screen).
Marlon Wayans was a revelation here. He plays Jared Leto's friend and fellow dope fiend. The Wayans Brothers and Scary Movie are in no way the best showcase for what this man has to offer as an actor. He gets the least amount of screen time, but does great things with his material. Just watch him play with a mirror and remember sitting in his mother's lap. It was subtle, effective, and definitely not something I would expect from any member of the Wayans family.
Jennifer Connelly is Jared Leto's girlfriend. She is a rich girl who gets caught up in the addiction of her boyfriend and winds up paying the price. The things she is driven to do as a result of her addiction are repulsive but, unfortunately, all too believable. Her acting here is amazing as well. A truly gifted actress who has finally managed to find the right material to show her ability off.
As for Aronofsky, man does he deliver! I thought Pi was extremely intersting, both narratively and visually. He does not disappoint on both levels here. There are some moments where your eyes are glued to the screen, entranced yet repulsed, incapable of looking elsewhere for fear of missing something even though you truly think you might want to miss it. Trust me when I say, like many others before me, Batman is in good hands. Sit through the sequence where Sarah Goldfarb's madness turns the informercial she is always watching on TV into her reality. Creepy, effective, and downright awesome to look at.
Everything is spot on here. The acting, editing, soundtrack, cinematography. It's all there, in one beautiful package. The music fits the tone of the film perfectly. I can't remember who did it, but they matched music and visual perfectly. As for the editing, I can't remember a more effectively edited film. The montage at the end, showcasing the various levels to which these characters have sunk, is so increasingly dreadful in tone that by the time the final four shots are revealed, you feel like you've sat through the ten scariest films of all time. I don't remember ever feeling that tense in a movie.
This is a bleak, dark film. There is nothing happy here. It's stark, real, and powerful. I've read mixed reviews, and the people that hate it seem to have a bone to pick with the bleakness. That's the frigging point, assholes!! This is not happy time. Real drug addicts are not happy unless they are in that moment. Otherwise, life is a living hell. After watching this film, how can anyone tell me the drug policy in this country isn't a joke. These people need help, not prison. I don't know exactly how yet, but I am a step closer to helping someone who desperately needs it.
It probably won't get out of the major cities, but if you can, seek this film out. It's in New York. That's where I saw it. If you live in Connecticut or Jersey, take a day trip. It's worth it. I really, really can't stress enough the utter greatness that is this movie.
Thanks for the time and the venue to get all this stuff out...
P.S. Coffee is NOT a drug!!