Drug Use in Cult Films: Requiem for a Dream Essay

Drug Use in Cult Films: Requiem for a Dream Essay

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Reviewing cult movies, one will notice that many films will involve scenes using drugs such as marijuana or hallucinogens. Drugs performed in films with scenes of actors or actresses smoking pot tend to draw in a wide spread of audience; those who find marijuana to be the “sin” and fun to watch, and those of the smoking-hippie era themselves. Many cult drug films are solely based around marijuana or LSD because these are two drugs that cause someone to feel relaxed, or help stimulate the way the brain thinks. Many drugs that are viewed in films cause the audience to feel different from mainstream, therefore they play an important role towards the reception of the film. (Mathijs and Sexton, 164) With further discussion on the film and the way it was portrayed and viewed by the initial audience, I believe that Requiem for a Dream can be considered a cult film that prominently features drug use.
On the other hand, marijuana and LSD are not the only drugs that are used in films to help enhance the way the film is perceived. Requiem for a Dream revolves it’s entire plot around the ups and downs of being a heroin addict, and leaves little room for pleasant scenes. This film is a classic drug movie that swings from ups to downs in the matter of minutes. Whether it be the simple high, or the ending desperate withdrawal addiction, this film plays with our sensitive sides of the ideas of hard drug use. (Morris, 2000) Drugs such as heroin tend to reach a level that is not normally suitable for watching movies. It is not that the audience is incapable of watching the film, but their conscious state is not suited for film watching. (Mathijs and Sexton, 169) Many would agree that this film is hard to watch due to its extreme graphics of heroi...


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...with drug use, Requiem for a Dream should be as well due to its vivid scenes and its unusual circumstance of being released as an unrated film. The scenes in this film that are portrayed as ironically enjoyable to watch is what I feel makes this film a cult classic.


Works Cited

"Requiem for a Dream." Rotten Tomatoes. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Mathijs, Ernest, and Jamie Sexton. Cult Cinema: An Introduction. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Print.

Pippovic. "Requiem for a Dream." Requiem for a Dream (Comparison: R-Rated - Unrated) - Movie-Censorship.com. Movie-censorship.com, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Morris, Mark. "How Heroin Can Still Give Hollywood a Hit." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 05 Nov. 2000. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Romit. "Edgy Cult Movies." : Requiem for a Dream Review. Edgy Cult Movies, 28 Feb. 2008. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

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