About four years ago, since most of the things that happened in my life came with the life-changing moment of starting University, I had a friend who loved movies. We don’t get along anymore, which isn’t a bad thing because I’m better off now, but I do secretly thank her for two things. First of all, I got introduced to my favorite band Incubus and I remember wanting to see Requiem of a Dream after we had our regular discussion about movies. So, despite the fact that these two things remind me of that unhealthy friendship, I still love how much it changed my life and brought me to the weirdly addictive Darren Aronofsky.
I don’t actually remember the first time I watched Requiem for a Dream but I do recall the second time I enjoyed the story evolving in front of my eyes. It was certainly something I enjoyed, especially due to its fearlessness to show the cruel reality of addiction, but my mom didn’t agree on the matter at all. I guess it really is a movie that isn’t for everybody, mostly to those who have weak nerves and can’t handle the visual pain Requiem for a Dream causes you to feel. Yet, there is something haunting and beautiful about it, and it all comes down to the word addiction.
For those of you who are not aware what Requiem for a Dream is all about, I’ll try to paint you a vague picture of its main topic. Like I said, it’s all about addiction but what makes it interesting is there isn’t a single way and one way only to view this phenomena like Aronofsky shows. There is the elderly woman who through circumstances desires to fit into a dress she wore in her youth – but taking wight-loss pills is a situation that doesn’t end well for her. Her son on the other hand, has an addiction towards heroin, which based on the realistic showcasing of its effects, seems much more disgusting and actually frightening. His girlfriend shares the same addiction and it all comes down to the love/sexual addictions that could be viewed as damaged due to the extensive use of heroin.
No, Requiem for a Dream is not an easy movie nor a light one, it is far from a shallow drug-addiction and when I started to read about it after the first and the second viewing, it made me wonder how scary it was that this movie is based on a novel by Hubert Selby, Jr written in 1978. If Aronofsky can bring addiction to 2000 from 1978 with such reality and danger, are we ever gonna escape the claws of this phenomena? I guess Aronofsky himself doesn’t believe in such a happy scenario himself and there’s actually an interesting proof of that.
Second time I was impressed to a level of weirdly disgusted place of awe by Darren was during his latest success, Black Swan. Interestingly enough, there is 10 years between these two movies and yet, I want to point out that these are my personal favorites of his work. And funnily enough, both of the movies show addiction because when it comes to Black Swan, the inner obsession to be the best version of yourself and to exceed everything you are towards perfection, is an addiction described with mental self-harm. Isn’t self-doubt an addiction of some sorts? I think it is but it doesn’t take semiotics to see the connection between these two movies. Like Requiem for a Dream had a housewife who wanted to be skinny, Black Swan had a ballerina who’s only goal was to dance the perfect solo
It is not that I don’t like Black Swan enough that I haven’t watched it again, it is because it is heavy and I still remember its core as if it was on my screen yesterday. Yet again Aronofsky managed to put visual images in my mind and hasn’t taken them back, the nails, the feathers – simply horrible for my weak mind but still, beautiful. For some reason, I think that Black Swan had a less dangerous message than Requiem for a Dream. It must be because I really don’t like drugs and a lot has to do with the image of the black arm that those who have watched Requiem for a Dream might remember. Really does scare me not to try that ever in my life!
But now you must wonder over the title of the post as if I was going to tell a story of how me and Darren keep in touch on a regular basis and send e-mails daily. Well, I don’t do that although I think he’s outlook on things would really give me a different kind of perspective. What I mean by “being connected” is that we actually share something which I tend to think is kind of cool: we both were born on the 12th of February 20 years apart. I like how even the distance in years is a full number because my ability to see signs makes me think about the fact that things have meanings beyond their actual point. I’m a bit weird but then again, I do share a birthday with Darren Aronofsky and based on Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan – he’s a bit weird too.