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Bardzo dobry, specyficzny film dający wiele do myślenia, pozostający przez całe życie w pamięci
~ Kasia.Julka
uważany za najbardziej przygnębiający film w historii kina
~ wks
Requiem for a Dream
dir. Darren Aronofsky / USA 2000 / 102’
subtitles: Polish

Cast

Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Marcia Jean Kurtz

awards

Valladolid IFF 2000 – best film, Stockholm FF 2000 – best actress, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 2000 – best actress, Independent Spirit Awards 2001 – best cinematography, best female lead

Film description

Requiem for a Dream is one of the all-time great films about addiction. The screen adaptation of the 1970s novel by Hubert Selby Jr., who spent 20 years addicted to heroin and painkillers (he plays a cameo in the film as a prison guard), co-written by Selby and Darren Aronofsky, avoids attachment to any particular epoch, with the director claiming he was mainly interested in exploring the issue of what could be a drug.

The list of the film’s highlights is a long one, but two stand out. The first is the enthralling and triumphant return to top acting form by Ellen Burstyn, whose cinematic achievements seemed to peak in 1970s (in films by Scorsese and Friedkin), after which she focused mainly on television work.

The other is Aronofsky’s cinematic form of expression, with its extreme close-ups, aggressive editing, split screens, music by Clint Mansell and Kronos Quartet, and distorted images that attack the senses to purposefully hinder empathetic instincts. As the plot develops, the director subjects audiences to point-of-view-narration and finally entraps us in the main characters’ minds. The final scenes are a suffocating and mind-twisting attack on the senses. This is a film experienced physically rather than observed from a safe distance.

Is exhausting viewers physically and sensually a good directorial strategy? It seems well suited to a film about addiction – which does not make the experience any less painful.

Michał Chaciński

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