Requiem for a Dream

I worked for almost all the day grading papers and preparing for classes.  I felt great relief at the end and headed to Gordo Taqueria to buy a beef burrito.  Back at home, I sat down to watch Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream.”  It was the kind of downward spiral story that would come from Hubert Selby, Jr.  I couldn’t help thinking about Jennifer Jason Leigh as I watched Jennifer Connelly.  She still had a youthful look about her in this movie.  I felt kind of sad watching Ellen Burstyn, thinking about what she was twenty-five years earlier in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”  I thought she gave a powerful performance, though.  Her scenes in the hospital were deeply frightening.  I flashbacked to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which was kind of funny, because I used to confuse her with Louise Fletcher.  I was surprised to see Louise Lasser in the cast.  She had really changed, too, since the seventies.  The Hubert Selby connection made me think about “Last Exit to Brooklyn.”  The images of the pill popping brought to my mind “All That Jazz.”  What happened to Harry’s arm scared me off injections of any kind.  I thought back to one of the record store cashiers who told me that she had a problem with heroin.  I had heard that this movie was not so great.  I can’t say that I liked this movie too much because it seemed like a real mess until its last half hour.  Even then, it was hard to accept all four characters experiencing traumas.  In the Selby view, no one escapes, I guess.  Aronofsky gives us a lot of visual effects, and I liked the scene with Ellen Burstyn moving about in fast motion.  I can’t remember what “Pi” was like, but I think I liked this one a bit more.  It’s tough to watch these people addicted to drugs and facing the horrors, and it brings back painful memories.  It’s pretty meaningful, though.  Some of the people who died on September 9 include Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1901), John McGiver (1975), Patrick O’Neal (1994), Bill Monroe (1996), Burgess Meredith (1997), Catfish Hunter (1999), and Larry Hovis (2003).  Today is a birthday for Hugh Grant (56).

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