Newest Reviews:

New Movies -  

The Tunnel


The Tall Man

Mama Africa





Brownian Movement

Last Ride

[Rec]³: Genesis

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Indie Game: The Movie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Old Movies -

Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena

Drums Along the Mohawk

The Chase

The Heiress

Show People

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry



Miracle Mile

The Great Flamarion

Dark Habits

Archives -

Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012

All reviews alphabetically

All reviews by star rating

All reviews by release year


Screening Log



E-mail me




Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky) 2000

Unfortunately, I think Requiem for a Dream film fails to successfully meld style with substance. I recently watched Godard’s Band of Outsiders in a theatrical re-release, and when I finished that refreshing experience, I realized what it was that irked me so much about Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem. Godard’s film is specifically about an addiction to media causing a disassociation with reality. Requiem for a Dream is about drugs fueling that addiction to a vision of the “better life” that the media uses to tantalize us. Both films are stylistically bold, but since Godard’s is foremost about an addiction specifically to media (i.e. the characters believe real life should live up to the standard of films), and he’s able to imbue his characters with a youthful gusto, his stylistic choices seem integrated into his narrative.

Aronofsky’s excess of style seems intrusive by comparison. He never really is able to make us examine these characters as real people (e.g. he has Ellen Burstyn DEVOUR the scenery). They remain stereotypes (i.e. specters that don’t really exist EXCEPT in the media), and therefore feel that they contribute to the problem of false media expectations more than they help expose it. They are very fictional characters complaining that their lives aren’t fictional enough.

The drug sequences seem to be just more of the media telling us how life is. We’re supposed to get the impression that, due to Aronofsky’s technical brilliance, we’ve seen how it is to be addicted to drugs after this film, but that dishonesty bothers me here… We’ve simply watched a murky, dreadful movie.


September, 2001

Jeremy Heilman