Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal

Last night I went out to the bar to grab a couple drinks.  As my friends and I downed pints of the cheap stuff, I witnessed an ad for Guinness’s Black Lager that brazenly appropriated its direction from Requiem For A Dream.  It wasn’t until I saw the iconic dilating pupil that the sequence clicked and I realized what I was seeing.  Maybe you’ve seen the ad, also.  If not, it is right here with the shoot-up sequence from Requiem for comparison.

Remarkably similar, right?  The question on the table is not so much whether the Guinness concept is borrowed, but whether it matters, and if there is anything inherently wrong with that.  I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet, but I’m curious what other people think.

It’s like Steve said:


3 responses

  1. I just saw the commercial and i immediately went to google and searched for ‘Guinness Black Lager Requiem for a Dream’ … glad im not the only one who caught this tribute to one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made 🙂

    February 17, 2012 at 02:13

    • Likewise, I’m glad that someone had the same impression I did. I appreciate how well done the spot is. Aside from the Terry Gilliam-esque commercials with the Guinness inventors yelling “brilliant” like John Lithgow and Jon Lovitz as SNL’s thespians, Guinness has a history of really tastefully executed ads. Solid art direction and photo direction on a regular basis.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:46

      • Sean

        I like how you both acknowledge this great film. It was beautifully shot and it really helped visualize the first person view of the problem of drug addiction. HOWEVER! I was immediately appalled by this. Basically, Guinness is making the claim ‘drink Guinness Black Lager, it gives you the same rush as shootin’ heroin.’ Not cool.

        September 28, 2012 at 06:18

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