Before he got into filming his leads’ backs of heads for uncomfortably long takes, and confusing creationists with his kind-of-post-apocalyptic, staunchly environmentalist, and CGI rock monster-filled take on Noah’s Arc, Darren Aronofsky delivered an emotional gut punch to the indie status quo with 2000’s drug addiction saga “Requiem for a Dream.”
In order to most effectively construct his dark and delirious vision of a group of junkies slowly but surely losing all grip on reality through prolonged drug use, Aranofsky relied on a series of quick extreme close-up shots in order to accentuate the characters’ isolation and paranoia. The most famous of these is of course the “2001”-inspired extreme close-up shot of an eye dilating, which was ripped-off and parodied to death during the early 2000s. As usual, the best parody comes from “The Simpsons.”
In order to perhaps accentuate the importance of these close-up shots for the overall narrative, Vimeo user Jorge Luengo Ruiz put together a video that splices all of the close-up shots into one convenient clip. Ruiz’s tribute lasts nearly five minutes, five percent of the film’s running time, which goes to show how much Aronofsky relied on these shots to find the right tone for his vision. The video is accompanied by sections from Clint Mansell’s hypnotic score for the film and should provide a decent outlet for film buffs to study the possible emotional effects of extreme close-ups in cinema. You can watch the clip below.