Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 by Angie Han
Given that Requiem for a Dream is among the most horrifying portrayals of drug addiction to ever hit the big screen, it seems only natural that an organization aimed at reducing first-time meth use would turn to filmmaker Darren Aronofsky to direct their new series of public service announcements. In fact, the only surprising thing about that team-up is that it’s taken this long for the anti-drug people to enlist Aronofsky’s help — Requiem was released over a decade ago.
But it’s better late than never, because Aronofsky absolutely delivers here. If his four videos for the Meth Project are slightly less disturbing than Requiem, it’s probably just because at 30 seconds each, they’re only a fraction as long.
I should also warn you that while I don’t think these are technically NSFW — there’s no nudity or cursing — they’re pretty distressing, so use your best judgment if you’re watching these around other people. Videos are embedded after the jump.
Okay, so no one loses a limb or undergoes involuntary electroshock treatment, but I definitely caught myself watching these videos with the same expression of hopeless dismay that I have on my face whenever I watch a scene from Requiem. These PSAs make Jesse Pinkman’s addiction-related troubles on Breaking Bad look positively candy-coated in comparison, to say nothing of those memorable-but-ultimately-not-that-terrifying “This is your brain on drugs” commercials from the ’80s and ’90s.
Interestingly, Media Bistro (via Vulture) reports that these videos are in fact intended for television. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were toned down a bit beforehand — “Deep End” in particular gets pretty graphic, with visible blood and everything, and the premise of “Desperate” is bound to get some protective parents upset. Not to mention, it’s tough to imagine following these up with some cutesy commercial for toilet paper or pet food, let alone an entire episode of some mindless reality series.