Donnie Darko

Has this one been brought up before? Its theatrical release got lost in the shuffle post 9/11 (didn’ t help that the story involves a plane engine smashing into a building), but I saw it on DVD a month or so ago and it knocked me out. All of the print reviews I’ve read seem to have totally missed the boat.

Kind of clumsy in parts, but remarkable for a first film, and thematically really, really rich. I have no idea how they ever got the thing made, considering its subject matter. The less said about the plot the better, but I will say it included two scenes that actually made me enjoy listening to Tears For Fears for the first time ever.

Check this thread, it has sprinklings of DD and Memento. Two for the price of one :D

The cover of “Mad World” is pretty fantastic, huh?

I guess I’d agree with Jason pretty much entirely. It is evident that this is a first time director. Pretty ambitious and mostly successful with a few missteps. Not many ways to discuss it without spoilers, but let’s just say that the premise begs for slightly more logical scripting than they actually pull off; at least, I don’t think I ever made it all quite add up. Anyway, highly recommended if for no other reason than it seems to have been overlooked.

Oh, and you can leave for the bathroom during any Drew Barrymore scene. Who’s going to buy her as an English teacher?

Just watched it. Mmmmm now that’s a thinker. I am not sure what to say. I definitely liked it, but may still be in too much of a post-movie fog to comment. I checked the other thread and think I will give it another once over before looking at wumpus’ coded spoiler from the other thread.

Hmmmm…good flick.

Probably Justine Baddeley and Kim Davis, the casting duo who think she’s attractive enough for Charlie’s Angels. ;)

The deleted scenes would have made the film considerably better… this was really a film which needed more length (or the same length with a modified plot), which the director lamented throughout his commentary.

I would have preferred the film kill off its supernatural overtones, it leaves its conclusion to be “God did it”. I think an entirely human-based story could have kicked ass.

As it stands this film is mediocre.

I’d seen pieces of Donnie Darko on a few occasions, which finally interested me enough to sit down and watch it – completely agree with your summary, Jason. I wish I had seen it in the theatre – amazingly polished production values for a first picture, and that acting was excellent – Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie was incredible, I felt.

Uh, I don’t think its plot can be sensibly interpreted, however, heh. Looking forward to picking up the DVD to see the deleted scenes and hear the commentary.

I saw Donnie Darko and Mulholland Drive within a week of each other… and I have to say that I thought Donnie Darko was an awful movie. Maybe I was just too tired to pick up the genius of it, but to me it just seemed like a really dumb movie with a completely incoherent story.

Mulholland Drive, on the other hand, is one of my top 3 favorite movies of all time… and seemed to achieve the “thinker” thing way better than Donnie Darko.

Tom’s comments are interesting because I think both movies are ones that build up the expectation that the mystery can be solved and the plotline tied up, but neither really makes good on that promise. Keep in mind I thought both were excellent, given DD was a directing debut and Lynch is a practiced master.

Any movie that incorporates time travel implies to the audience, I think, that eventually all the unexplained events will be unraveled. Time travel is a built in logic puzzle. But DD uses it only as an aesthetic tool, I think, and it doesn’t end up having a consistent explanation. At least, this was my impression after one viewing.

Mulholland Drive is different in that it uses classic film tropes from the noir and mystery settings to build an expectation that you are watching that kind of film. But it never really turns out that way. Think of the hard-boiled police detectives who investigate the car crash at the beginning. You never see them again…

On one of our CD-burning machines… waiting for the burn to finish. Anyway, I thought Mulholland Drive really delivered on the denouement (high school English class finally shows a use!)

Everything ended up making sense, for the most part… there were a couple things that didn’t get tied up, but that’s to be expected, considering what the first half of the movie actually was (I’m not gonna spoil the movie for people here).

I’ll need to check out Donnie Darko again, I guess, since a lot of people seem to think it’s a phenomenal movie.

Yes! That’s part of what I loved about it – an old sci-fi trope used as a poetic device! I didn’t really care about everything being wrapped up all neat and tidy, because in the end the film left me with its own, satisfying kind of “truth.”

Also, one of the things that resonated with me is the fact that statistically, most males who suffer a psychotic break endure it in their late teens/early twenties, and Donnie’s predicament could just as easily be attributed to schizophrenia as science fiction. The stuff with the rabbit and the scene where he sees the “time tendrils” emphasized that aspect to me.

Stefan, I should warn you that I liked the film better before I heard the director’s commentary. It’s interesting in that things are more fully explicated, but in retrospect I prefer the ambiguity that left my own ideas and interpretations more wiggle room. Hearing him explain everything gave me the impression that the depth I perceived in the movie was the unconscious result of his more conscious efforts. Like he was channeling or something. Weird, I know, but that’s what it felt like to me.

Well said. Heh, again, you’ve summed up exactly how I felt about the movie, while I’ve just aped a few rudimentary comments.

That’s disappointing, but I guess not surprising, since artists are often terrible at discussing their own work. I don’t think that necessarily means that their work doesn’t have the depth viewers attribute to it – it just means they express themselves far better in their art than in normal, verbal communication.

Thanks for articulating that. I completely agree, and it’s not the kind of thing most “movie talk” acknowledges.

The reason people prefer their interpretation to the director’s is that since they get to make up the interpretation, it better suits their identity.

So then after constructing their own reality about the film and the viewer sees the director’s interpretation, he has a moral dilemma since the director (according to the viewer) has the right to decide the truth of the film to a point, but this truth sorrows the viewer who prefers HIS truth all along.

So then the viewer’s conclusion is to avoid the moral dilemma altogether, promoting the tried and true mantra: ignorance is bliss.

And thanks to you for clearing that up, Brian.