Sunday, May 20, 2012

Darren Aronofsky’s Anti-Meth Ads and the re-release of Shirley Clarke's The Connection

Darren Aronofsky’s Anti-Meth Ads Are Horrifying (Video) | Death and Taxes

These anti-meth ads are tremendous, disturbing. I'm (still) thinking a lot about portraiture, and about how gazing directly into the camera (and thus into viewers' faces) can draw us (viewers) into an empathic relation with the subject / character. That makes for a neat strategy when the character then reveals him/herself to be utterly mad because of his/her meth addiction.

Curiously, these anti-drug ads echo Shirley Clarke's approach to filming The Connection (1962), wherein the characters look straight into the camera and deliver monologues straight to the viewers. The Connection was made about the life of heroin addicts, and the actors were all addicts playing characters much like themselves.

A restored copy is presently visiting cinemas, in anticipation of Ms. Clarke's much-deserved and too-long-awaited revival (a DVD boxed set is forthcoming!).


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