What new classics have we declared off-limits?
Requiem For a Dream (2000)
Why someone would want to remake it: The Hubert Selby, Jr. novel is compelling and could easily inspire a totally different approach to translating its content to film. I'm sure there are literature teachers who would love to be able to show Darren Aronofsky's film to high school students, but there's no way. It's so unflinchingly horrifying, so viscerally upsetting, that it's hard to justify showing it to the exact age group that would most benefit from its exploration of the ways addiction hides its face as it worms into our lives. A remake could be done far more tastefully and could have a perpetual life on home video as a result.
Why they shouldn't:If "Requiem For A Dream" isn't aggressively ugly, horrible to look at, so dark it feels like a panic attack at times, then it fails. You can't go halfway with this story, not at this point in cinema. This isn't "Reefer Madness." This isn't empty propaganda. This is a raw, angry piece about the cost of getting hooked, and it shook me the first time I read it. The film must do the same, and Aronofsky knew that. Softpedaling at all would be a complete betrayal.