When you make a good film, it gets seen by millions of people. If you make an effective piece of drama, all those people get emotionally invested. When you make a film with a message, you are telling an entire generation of people what to think, and they will do whatever the fuck you want them to.
What I’m getting at is, sometimes we filmmakers have a social responsibility to make sure we are sending out the right message with our films. I can say with confidence that my movie, Requiem for a Dream, accomplished its social mission to make as many people kill themselves as possible.
So there’s this guy, his girlfriend, his buddy, and his mom. They’re all addicted to stuff because life sucks. For the younger set, it’s all about heroin. But for the mom it’s television, coffee, bad doctor speed, licking glue or paste, swallowing gum, and eating boogers. The idea here is that while the kids are all hooked on something that’s illegal, the mom’s vices are all okay’d by The Man, yet she’s the most fucked up of all. The kids look at her and almost quit being junkies simply because they can’t compete with how depressing she is.
The main guy is played by Jared Leto, who looks like the kind of twerp that gets laid by crying a lot. Mothers…this is what happens when let your baby breast feed into adulthood. His girlfriend is played by Jennifer Connelly, who’s real life addiction is appearing in movies mathematically calculated to flash-bomb the Oscars. The buddy is played by Damon Wayans, and the mom is played by that little girl from The Exorcist. They are all capable actors and very warm, caring people. Having said that, I barely survived their on-set “method” shenanigans. And because I never want to see any of them ever again, I can’t even watch my own fucking movie. That’s why the editing is so jacked up–I was button mashing with a blindfold on.
The guy and his girl are in love, but we never see them hug or kiss. The guy and his friend are old buddies, but we never see them pal around. The guy and his mom are related, but we never see them spend Christmas together. The reason for this is that I was on a mission to invent a world where there is no such thing as a bright side. So when the buddy says to the guy “I’ve got good news and bad news,” the guy looks at him confused. “I only understood half of what you just said.”
So here is the plot rundown for each character…
Guy: Does heroin. Can’t find more heroin. Goes to Florida looking for more heroin. Gets arrested. Arm is chewed off by starving rats. Don’t do drugs.
Girl: Does heroin. Can’t find more heroin. Cries. Fucks people. Throws up. Fucks inanimate objects. Screams underwater. Discovers she can get high by drinking heroin-saturated blood. Drinks own blood to death. Sighs in relief. Mortician rapes her dead body. Takes back sigh of relief. Whoops. Not actually dead. Buried alive. Scratches top of casket. Screams. Slowly suffocates. Eyeballs pop out. Don’t do drugs.
Buddy: Does heroin. Can’t find more heroin. Goes to Florida looking for more heroin. Gets arrested. Pukes. Eats puke. Does not get high as expected. Joke’s on him. Ate puke for nothing. Don’t do drugs.
Mom: Loves coffee. Loves TV. Has chance to be on The Price is Right. Can’t fit into dress. Goes to good doctor. No help. Goes to bad doctor. Speed city. Cleans house. Grits teeth. Says “I’m old” twenty times per second. Dress now too big. Dress falls off during excited run towards Bob Barker. Price is Right people drop her off at asylum. Endures antiquated form of electric shock therapy. Becomes addicted to electricity. Becomes magnetized. Magnetism destroys every television and coffee maker within 100 feet. In anger, climbs the Empire State Building. Shot by bullets. Falls to death. Brought back to life with mechanical heart. Mechanical heart fails during Y2K. Incinerates her slowly from inside out. Fingernails melt. Don’t get addicted to things.
Of course, in the movie it doesn’t happen one by one like that. I suppose that would have been sufficiently depressing for a normal film. But this is Requiem for a Dream! Why be sufficiently depressing when you can be VIOLENTLY depressing? So each really shitty happens to them all at the same time via hard-hitting montages of pain. I guess there are about eight of them, each one more dire than the one before. In fact, Requiem for a Dream is the movie that finally knocked Mrs. Doubtfire off the “most montages” mantle. Eat that man-bitch!
Comedy writers say they know they have a hit on their hands when their own script can make them laugh. Well, I knew I had a hit when I shot myself in the cheek. But just to be sure, I commissioned a score for my film that is the musical equivalent of being repeatedly stabbed with intensity. With that final bit of flair in place, I knew I had made the most life-smothering movie ever made.
Unfortunately, my mission kind of bit me in the ass come Oscar season. Lots of voters liked it, but the Academy has a policy against ballots cast posthumously. I guess not every dream gets a requiem. I’m not sure what a requiem is. Sounds French.