It all starts with a movie called “Requiem for a Dream”. A favorite actor of mine, Jared Leto (also the lead singer/guitarist of 30 Seconds To Mars) stars in it, so naturally, I decided one afternoon to watch it with some friends. And boy, what a movie!
The central theme is addiction: to drugs, to ideals, to dreams, any and every addiction you can think of. It revolves around a guy, his mother and two of his friends, who already are in too deep, and the inevitable downward spiral they all go through, until all hope is lost.
While I don’t know much about filming techniques, I can recognize something special and unique when I see it. And I saw that in “Requiem for a Dream”. Curious, I pay Wikipedia a visit, discover that the director is Darren Aronofsky, and read the following:
Aronofsky uses montages of extremely short shots throughout the film. While an average 100-minute film has 600 to 700 cuts, Requiem features more than 2,000. Split-screen is used extensively, along with extremely tight closeups.
In order to portray the shift from the objective, community-based narrative to the subjective, isolated state of the characters’ perspectives, Aronofsky alternates between extreme closeups and extreme distance from the action and intercuts reality with a character’s fantasy. Aronofsky aims to subjectivise emotion, and the effect of his stylistic choices is personalisation rather than alienation.