Requiem for a Dream or Trainspotting?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Which do you think represents addiction better, and which is the better movie? I'm not sure on the addiction part because I've never been addicted to anything. I like both movies equally.
     
  2. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Man, that is a tough call. I prefer Trainspotting as a film to Requiem, but that is because Trainspotting is in my top 10 all-time films list (pretty impressive for such a modern film) rather than because Requiem is not excellent itself.
    Burstyn's problems might give it the edge. I don't think the kids in Requiem show the addiction quite as much as Trainspotting does. After all, Trainspotting does get a bit more into the thought pattern with Renton's voice over so that we can learn to sympathise with his motivation. We don't just see the results of his addiction, we also are told why.
    But the results of Burstyn's addiction are much more powerful, what her life becomes is more shocking.
    Boy, this is a good question. I still haven't decided. [​IMG]
     
  3. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh come now, you're addicted to something....[​IMG]
    That is what R for a D is all about, it doesn't necessarily have to be drugs. The mother charactor had a number of addictions before she traded in for speed; and the others have more subtle addictions aside the drugs. My addictions include food, sex, and approval. What are you going to do?
    But back to your question. I think they both are valid in their own way. It's been a while since I've seen Trainspottng; but it's on my list of things to rewatch. I seem to recall TS having a more happy ending, more hope; but I might be misremembering. Some people can kick and or controll their addictins while others seemingly can't. In Requiem everyone fails; but in TS perhaps some succeed.
    At any rate, two excellent films.
     
  4. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    But only Renton truly makes it out as far as we can tell.

    If you haven't seen the outtakes on Trainspotting, even Mother Superior loses a leg. Spud gets the cash but after seeing him in the gutter a few scenes before, we can imagine it won't do him much good.

    And even though Renton does get "out" it doesn't come easy to him. His is motivated on a number of fronts which drive him in the right direction, including his horribly annoying "freinds", his parents strong help, and losing his best friend that he help destroy. Not to mention a near-death experience himself.

    And while I like to think he makes it after the ending, we really can't be positive about it.

    My favorite line/moment in the film is the "There's final hits and final hits. Which sort was this one to be?" That says it all regarding his own awareness of the pitfalls of addiction. You say you are walking away, but are you? A key moment for an addict on the road to recovery.

    Also, some addicts do get away. My dad destroyed most of his life with alcohol, but he finally beat it. Too late to avoid making things hard on himself, but he has managed to make a life for himself from the scraps and be happy. So that tells me that Renton's journey could be real too.

    Nothing against the downer ending of Requiem because that is truth too. Just that the ending doesn't HAVE to be down for it to ring true.

    I knew a girl who went through the SAME thing that Burstyn does in the film - diet pills eating her brain. She heard voices, saw things, etc. Had to go to the mental hospital from it, and some damage was permanent.

    But she is clean and happily married now too. Another person who escaped.

    Again, still a tough call for me between these films.
     
  5. RobR

    RobR Second Unit

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    Requiem for a Dream is the better film of the two, and represents addiction better. I felt like I was on drugs myself while watching Requiem for a Dream. Not so with Trainspotting.
     
  6. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I'd give the nod to Trainspotting.
    It wasn't as serious a film, but was certainly a different approach to the drug-film genre. Some very classic scenes in this one.
    That said, Requiem for a Dream is also an excellent film.
     
  7. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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    I second RobR's comment, During requium alot of bad memories flooded back...not so with trainspotting.

    BTW check out Jesus' Son...another good addiction movie

    and..

    Sid and Nancy

    Panic in Needle Park

    Leaving Las Vegas

    Basketball Diaries

    etc..
     
  8. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Trainspotting.

    Requiem is a cautionary tale, pure and simple. It's a powerful one to be sure, but still.

    Trainspotting could never have been made in Tinseltown because it actually has the honesty to say that yes, drugs give people pleasure. That's the whole point. I've never seen a movie that really depicts that before. Usually it's only shown as a thirst that must be quenched once the user has been peer pressured or uses through the desperation of their life situation.

    I quote:

     
  9. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Eh, one word. Trainspotting! Didn't like Requiem at all.
     
  10. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    I think Trainspotting is a much better film. I'd also favor it's depiction of this type of addiction.
     
  11. Chris Lynch

    Chris Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Loved Requiem, really really loved Trainspotting . Both excellent films, both with liberal amounts of style, I think I give TS the edge for the story. Felt like I needed a bath after watching both, especially RFAD. Oh, and they both broke my heart, such good people experiencing such bad things...
     
  12. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

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    Seth wrote:

     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Maybe that's the problem here.

    Mitty makes a great point that I also touched on slightly. Trainspotting had the honesty to depict drugs as GOOD. Or at least honestly enjoyable. Yet it also showed that they still destroy your life.

    It makes us sympathize with a drug addicts needs more I think, rather than portraying them as out of control maniacs (even though they still are in the film).

    Also, Begby's drinking is shown in a negative light as well.

    However, Requiem is more about PARALLELS in addiction. It makes us sympathize with addicts from a different angle. Rather than understanding the drugs like Trainspotting does, it equates the drug addiction to other acceptable drug addictions or addictions in general.

    Both are valid points.

    However Requiem is more of a scare tatic than Trainspotting, yet Trainspotting still clearly does not support drugs. And in that way Trainspotting might be the better film because it points to the way out once you are in. Requiem's message seems to be "don't go in at all or you are screwed." The reasoning might be good-hearted but it's not 100% accurate either.

    Again, 2 modern masterpieces. Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction are, by far, my 2 favorite films of the 90's. I am amazed by how smoothly Trainspotting eases from scene to scene, as if linked together by an otherwordly force.

    Requiem is a tad bit rougher, though damn impressive itself.
     
  14. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    Mitty wrote:

     
  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    True Allen, but her character is not the audience sympathetic character in that thread, her father is. The acting is realistic, but we are dealing more with what her father is going through rather than understanding her.
    We do see how it could happen but her character is never the protaganist in the narrative.
    Renton IS the protaganist in Trainspotting. That does make it outside normal American morals.
    The real risk Traffic took (within the traditional framework) is to show Zeta-Jones as a justified protaganist who sides with drug dealing and murder.
    However, to counter that and stay true to H'wood morality, Cheadle's character still gets the final "winning" moment over her.
    In Trainspotting, the bad guy wins, or a bad guy. His final reward comes from dealing heroine, taking heroine, and then stealing money. However, even in this film he is not a true anti-hero because his reward is also portrayed as coming thanks to his new found "goodness" at the end.
    In Requiem, drug dealers and users are punished. The one aspect of any of these films that is anti-Hollywood is that Burstyn suffers and she is a primary character. If she were secondary then her suffering would be punishment of her son's actions. But she is too important to simply serve as more punishment for her son's actions. Since her own actions are not "wicked" then her punishment is unjust by the standard Hollywood moral.
    However, the main thrust of Requiem is wicked drugs mean punishment whereas Trainpotting this is the secondary thrust, you do not have to be good first to be rewarded. Renton could take all that money and buy drugs 2 days later, despite his current commitment. It wouldn't be the first time he gave in.
    As I said, I don't think he does though. So his reward does come from his final commitment. He is given a reward because he will be worthy of it. And that is also the Hollywood moral.
    So none of them totally commit to going against that moral code.
    All of this makes it easier to appreciate Altman's The Player.[​IMG]
     
  16. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Good discussion so far. Thanks for the response. Keep it coming.
     
  17. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    Trainspotting, Trainspotting
     
  18. Rob_C

    Rob_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Requiem is a much better movie than Trainspotting. Trainspotting tried to glamorize the drugs. Trainspotting is a good movie but nowhere on par with Requiem.
     
  19. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Speaking of "Requiem to a Dream", can someone please answer this question? That one crazy salemans kept harping about the 3 things you can/can't do to be sucessful or something. I know #2 was "No red meat". I know #1 was clearly stated but I forgot what is was, please remind me. I never caught what #3 was though. I kinda thought it was deliberatly left out or not stated just to see if we were paying attention. Was #3 stated? If so, what was it?
     
  20. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

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    I think that in the film #3 is never stated explicetly; however, on the dvd there is the entire Tappy Tibbens (sp?) infomercial and I think that it's on there. Can check tonight but I suspect that someone with a better memory will beat me to it.
     

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