Photo by Nicolas Genin (CC)
Why it’s famous:
Topping the great majority of most disturbing movie lists, the psychological thriller that defined Darren Aronofsky’s career offers a biting, gut-wrenching commentary on addiction that has established itself as an unavoidable epic of modern cinematography.
Harry Goldfarb: Somebody like you can really make things all right for me.
Tappy Tibbons: We got a winner! I said, weeeeee got a WINNER! WE GOT A WINNER!
Sara Goldfarb: I’m gonna be on television!
Why you haven’t seen it:
Requiem for a Dream is one of those movies you have to recognize as a true masterpiece, but just reading the synopsis is enough to tip you off that it’s not exactly date night material. It’s that movie you have been meaning to watch, but you just never got around because, like most art and literature that is worth your time, you know it’s not going to be an easy ride.
Why it might be tough to get through:
You will want to shut it off more than once, not because it’s gory or boring, but because it’s rough, it’s unnerving, and it’s terrifyingly real. To get through this one, you will need a strong stomach and a good support group.
Why you should see it anyway:
This movie is not only intelligently scripted and brilliantly put together. It also features some of the most gut-wrenching performances I have ever seen. The most fascinating and horrifying aspect of the movie is that it presents you with characters that we can all identify with on some level. You will start to see things through their eyes, and their surreal intoxicated delusions will leave you sitting on your couch wondering what terrifying places your decisions could lead you.
- Most movies contain 600 to 700 cuts. Requiem for a Dream contains more than 2,000.
- To get into the character of Marion, who is a dress designer, Jennifer Connelly started making clothes for herself, and ended up making most of her own wardrobe.
- The scene where Harry and Marion talk on the phone was shot simultaneously on adjacent parts of the same set through a live phone hook-up, so they could get actual reactions.