Thursday, February 17, 2011

Requiem for a Dream—Further Proof that I'm Completely “Losing It”

I deleted the first paragraph I wrote because it was how I thought this story started. But after backtracking along the chain of events that brought me to this subject, I realized that it wasn't how things began…

The “real” story:

A few days ago, and I don’t know why—I was probably avoiding doing something I was supposed to be doing at the time—I got caught in the Wikipedia vortex, clicking around on the blue hyperlinks just to see what useless facts I could feed my already-overstuffed brain. And Wikipedia did not disappoint! I ran across the following under some random subject and the header “In Film”:
“In the film Requiem for a Dream, Ellen Burstyn portrays Sara Goldfarb, an elderly widow who becomes addicted to weight-loss amphetamine pills. After suffering from amphetamine psychosis, she is hospitalized against her will, undergoes electro-convulsive therapy, and later on was confined at a mental asylum.” —Wikipedia Entry
“Now,” I asked myself, “what could be more interesting than psychosis, electro-convulsive therapy, and a mental asylum?” I had neither seen nor heard of this movie so it begged further investigation—although I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be doing something else at the time…
Requiem for a Dream / OST

The Wiki movie plot description was full of drug-induced psychosis—fun for the entire family! The film is centered around dreams, delusions, drug deals gone bad, mayhem, addiction, and a refrigerator that is a “menacing, living monster.”

From the plot description I decided that I'd probably rather read the book.

But every film needs a soundtrack, right? Oh yes, the Wikipedia entry has a “Soundtrack” header too—and that, my friends, is what started my own journey down the proverbial rabbit hole…
“The soundtrack has been widely praised and has subsequently been used in various forms in trailers for other films, including The Da Vinci Code, Sunshine, Lost, I Am Legend, Babylon A.D., and Zathura. A version of the recurring theme was reorchestrated for the film trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” —Wikipedia entry
 You see, I always wanted to know where that really cool “movie trailer” music came from because it usually isn’t on the official soundtrack, I assume because the soundtrack is sometimes not finished for the trailer release. So I did a general search…I'm usually pretty good at ferreting out this kind of information. I found that the track I was looking for on the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack was “Lux Aeterna” (Link goes to a sample track at Amazon because not everyone uses iTunes).

So I gave it a listen and it sounded so familiar. It was driving me crazy because I had heard it before…recently…and not in a movie trailer. The familiar track in my head was not the one from above. The track going through my head was much more orchestral and forceful. I spent probably a good hour-and-a-half trying to match the tune in my head to one in the iTunes database. I came close, but not exactly right on. Eventually I gave up. I'm sure if I heard it again I'd know…

And I did hear it again! Last night I was listening to Pandora Radio on my iPhone—becasue there is an app for that—and that very “Lux Aeterna” track was played complete with the display picture shown above. Excited, I held up the iPhone for BigAL to see and asked if we had that soundtrack archived somewhere. He looked at me like I had sprouted antennae or something and said, “Yes.” But I couldn't leave well enough alone. I handed him my ear buds and asked him to listen and tell me where I had heard that track before. After all, he would know.

(Well…he did know, and I'm not sure I even want to admit this, but here goes…)

“That's my ringtone.” He said flatly…

Silence.

Then the slapping sound of an epic facepalm…ouch…he's had that ringtone for years!

I've not felt quite the same since.

Since then I have learned that “Requiem for a Dream” is actually ”Lux Aeterna”, remastered as “Requiem for a Tower”, for the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and is often used in other trailers for movies and video games.

(Dear YouTube, it is not funny that as I search for the following music track/video that you display ads asking, “Are you at risk for Alzheimer's?”)

Give it a listen. This track can make anything sound epic…even a ringtone…or a facepalm.

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