Requiem for a Dream


The afternoon movie was something completely different. Requiem for a Dream was a film I remember Luke mentioning when it first came out. In my Usenet trawling, I ran across it weeks ago. I downloaded it, but hadn’t watched it until today. It is truly a disturbing film, and as the reviewer on the site I linked above noted, there are few films in the same class as this one. You read that all the time, but this time, I agree.

I had no clue until after I watched it that it was based on a Hubert Selby Jr. novel. I had been thinking about him a lot, going into the “Writing and Healing” class. Every week Dr. Anderson cautions us that dealing with this material is guaranteed to bum you right out. For the most part, it’s no problem for me because I’ve been living with melancholia for a long time, and I can deal. The only writing that has ever pushed me near the edge of coping is Selby. I’m not sure I can read this book now, because the film just left me shaking and nauseous. It might be different if I didn’t know people like this, but there is no turning back once you enter the film.

My mom called right afterward with the usual disturbing news from “home.” It actually made me feel better. Strange how that works.

Selby just rips at your guts. I remember when I read Last Exit to Brooklyn there were sections where I just had to put the book down and walk away for a while. You can’t do that with a movie. It’s been three hours since I watched it, and it just won’t let go. I’m going to have to get outside. If I read the book, it won’t be for a long while. Some things are just too much.

The official site is a bit much too. Just dragging and clicking around turns into an odd adventure.

I’ll never look at my refrigerator quite the same again.

1 thought on “Requiem for a Dream”

  1. It really is one of the more bummed-out movies I’ve seen. The second time is worse, as you know exactly what’s going to happen, and it’s like an oncoming train…The site, I thought, was great, though it really is best-viewed post-film; it doesn’t make too much sense, otherwise…
    My wife refuses even to talk about our having watched that movie.

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