Requiem for a Dream
Hubert Selby is probably one of the six best novelists writing in the English language.' Financial Times
Requiem For A Dream , now a major film by cult director Darren Aronofsky, is a modern-day fable set in New York. Lonely widow Sara Goldfarb nurtures fantasies about appearing on prime-time television, while her son Harry, with girlfriend Marion and buddy Tyrone C Love, plans his break into big-time drug dealing. Their eyes fixed on an impossible future they move blindly onwards, contorting their lives into coils of self-deception as they struggle to keep their dreams alive.
'Selby's Requiem For A Dream clearly marks him as a major American author, of a stature with William S Burroughs and Joseph Heller.' Los Angeles Times
'An American masterpiece one of the great American novels' The Nation
Requiem For A Dream stars Jared Leto ( American Psycho, Fight Club ) as Harry Goldfarb and award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn ( The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore ) as Sara. Directed by Darren Aronofsky from a screen play by Aronofsky and Hubert Selby Jr. Distributed by Momentum Pictures. To read Ellen Burstyn on Requiem For A Dream, click here.
'Selby's place is in the front rank of American novelists ... to understand his work is to understand the anguish of America.' The New York Times Book Review
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The night spirits told my wife I was dying
Hubert Selby Jnr explains how a near-death experience became the inspiration for his junkie parable Requiem for a Dream:
Perhaps six months before starting Requiem I was very sick with pneumonia. I didnt sleep for about five days or nights, but I think I periodically went into a short coma. One night my wife was awakened by two Spirits who had pushed the bedroom door open… They indicated to her, in her mind, that I was dying, and told her if she didnt wake me up I would die, and she should get me to a hospital immediately. I was hard to wake up and was having severe problems breathing, I refused to go to a hospital… Eventually I agreed to go to the hospital and I looked so bad the people in Triage took one look at me and got me to an examination room and a doctor…This is some of the background I brought to the book. I also brought a few memories of days gone by. While living on the lower east side I remember walking along Avenue C and seeing guys standing on the street corner…in the middle of winter…with nothing on but a thin windbreaker, their eyes pinned, sweating… One of the huge problems I was facing was writing while living in LA. I had written two books while living out here, but this was the first one that would take me back to the streets of New York City… I was accustomed to being in the midst of a great artistic community in New York… Los Angeles doesnt have any semblance of a community, outside of the ghettos, no less a community of artists…I learned that the lack of outer stimuli and inspiration forced me to look within myself for those things and…I discovered I do have it within me.So The Room, and The Demon that followed helped me to discover that I had what I needed, and, I believe, I always will in every area of life. However, I still didn't know about the music of the speech in New York… I write, in part, by ear. I hear as well as feel and see, what I am writing. I have always been enamoured with the music of the speech in New York. …
Ellen Burstyn in an interview in the Guardian G2 November 10, 2000 talking about Requiem for a Dream
How important was the book of Requiem for a Dream when you were making the film?
It deepened my appreciation of the script. Hubert Selby Jr's way of writing the page is a solid block. It is not divided up into paragraphs and there is no 'he-said-she-said', he just flows from one person speaking to the next without identifying them. But the voices are so clear that you know exactly who is speaking.Also, when you read the book, you realise how Darren's [Aronofsky, the director] cinematic style is the perfect realisation of the book. I got more of an understanding of Sara from the book, but most of what's in the book is in the film, too.
|COVER DESIGN: ELEANOR ROSE|