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Requiem for a Dream reunion at TIFF

Watch the team behind Requiem for a Dream reunite for its 20th anniversary

Director Darren Aronosfky, star Ellen Burstyn, composer Clint Mansell, and more reflected on the cult film’s legacy in a panel discussion

Requiem for a Dream turned 20 this year, and to mark the occasion, the cast and crew of the cult film reunited for a panel discussion about its production and legacy yesterday (September 13)

Director Darren Aronofsky, star Ellen Burstyn, director of photography Matthew Libatique, composer Clint Mansell, and production designer James Chinlund all appeared in the Zoom panel, presented by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Requiem for a Dream, adapted from Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel of the same name, sees four people fall into a downward spiral of aguished self-destruction as they attempt to live out their dreams for a better life. 

“A lot of people think that making those films, and films that are intense in subject matter, end up being super intense and depressing sets. For me, it was a set of constant discovery and excitement, and fun,” Aronofsky reflected.

“Most work that you do, you can do pretty easily. But this was gorgeously hard,” said Ellen Burstyn, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on the film. “Difficult, and demanding, and it was just exhilarating.” She added that she considers the film her “best work.”

Matthew Libatique said that, as a person of colour working in the film industry, his work on Requiem for a Dream has seen “people of colour come up to me and say” that it made it possible for them to feel like they could make films.

Watch the full discussion below.