Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Thought Nought: Hit Me, Baby, One More Time

The decade's almost over. Me talking about it? That's only just begun!

Moments and Thoughts on the Best of the Noughts...

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Marion: Anybody wanna waste some time?

Addiction has never been this addictive. Darren Aronofsky's exquisite descent into human misery and despair is like shooting up and snorting some truly potent sort of powder; you're emotionally desecrated but everything is so sensory and sensational that you're content to take just one more hit... then another... and another.

Requiem for a Dream is an unparalleled and unrelenting look at the perils of addiction: from heroin, to caffeine, to television, even love. It's the harsh but healing story of four lives unraveled in the wake of achieving one's deepest passions. Ellen Burstyn's monumental performance as Sara Goldfarb is the stuff of cinematic legend: a mother and widow succumbing to her loneliness, seeking emotional and social connections while burrowing deeper and deeper into a hellish disconnect. "Purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon..." and complete mental breakdown in the evening. Harrowing, painful and ultimately unforgettable.

I'm somebody now, Harry. Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you and your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight, to fit in the red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right.

What have I got Harry? Why should I even make the bed or wash the dishes? I do them... but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone, you're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old--

Harry: You got friends, Ma.

Sara: Ah, it's not the same. They don't need me. I like the way I feel. I like thinking about the red dress, and the television, and you and your father. Now when I get the sun, I smile!

Jennifer Connelly, also in one of her finest moments, similarly extracts every ounce of distraught decadence - allowing a fix to become the fixture that would replace the love of her life. Each of these characters use their addictions to temporarily disguise their true feelings, and the film, which is both devastating and wholly consuming, is just as raw as the emotions they're trying to subside.

Requiem for a Dream pulses and pounds like the best buzz you've ever had, pure visual and auditory bliss.... Before that moment of brutal clarity and consciousness of course - which taps into a truly dark place, yet somehow still draws us back - just one more time, I swear.

Sara: In the end it's all nice.

-- More I Thought Nought (Best of the Decade) entries here.

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