July 12, 2016

Watch: What if Every Film Were Manically Edited Like 'Requiem for a Dream'?

A new video applies the fast-paced editing of 'Requiem for a Dream' to other iconic movies, such as 'Memento' and 'Psycho.'

A confluence of many elements make Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream an intense and disturbing experience: extreme close-ups, the disorienting use of the Snorricam, isolated and distorted sounds, and riveting performances. But it's Jay Rabinowitz's editing that both coheres and fractures the narrative, giving rise to the experience of desperate withdrawal cravings, drug-fueled ecstasy, delirium, and mania. Cutting from the dilated pupils of an eye to a line of cocaine being inhaled, Rabinowitz unsettles the audience by casting aside their expectations. In such a fast-paced world, anything could happen next; we experience the anxiety and frenzy of the characters. (To learn about Rabinowitz 's editing techniques on Requiem for a Dream, watch this video.)

A new video exercise from Fandor Keyframe applies this editing technique to a variety of classic films, from Memento to Psycho to Lost in Translation. (The Psycho segment is particularly terrifying.) Because each of the films featured has a disparate editing style—in Lost in Translation, long takes rule, while Memento is famous for its disjointed editing—the result is somewhat of an experimental narrative challenge. After being Requiem for a Dream-ified, the essence of the films prevail, but the details of the narrative are hung out to dry.

How would you apply this style to your next project?     

Your Comment


*Candice Drouet : https://vimeo.com/reallydim

merci ! x 1 000 000

July 12, 2016 at 12:55PM

Candice Drouet

The RFAD editing style works for a few of these films, but for most of them it doesn't work at all. This just shows how everything has to work together in film to create something significant.

July 12, 2016 at 1:04PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I couldn't agree more with you.

I think the RFAD sequence works best because it's based in chronological, cause and effect processes based mainly on the explicit with few abstract references. So with that in mind, Fear and Loathing works well. The Grand Budapest works well visually due to the framing but as a narrative, only the Psycho cut really comes close.

July 13, 2016 at 5:30AM

Alexander Archer-Todde
Post Production Manager

Watch more from editor Jay Rabinowitz on "Requiem for a Dream" here!



July 13, 2016 at 9:51AM


My problem with watching this is that I have no idea what is going on in most of the scenes. It works for RFAD because the visuals tell a complete short story which is usually the same thing every time: doing drugs, getting high. It was clear and precise with most of the scenes after dealing with the fallout. Here it's almost like a trailer company just went a bit edit crazy.

August 17, 2016 at 11:42PM

Tony Clifford