July 25, 2004

Donnie Darko for Dummies
Salon spills and spoils everything on the newly released Director cut of cult-hit Donnie Darko. [requires watching annoying ad] "So if you haven't seen "Darko" and don't want the film spoiled, don't read any further. (The publishers of Salon have asked me to note that instead of reading you might consider blindly flipping through the next six pages and clicking on all the ads.)"
  • Who doesn't like Salon ads? Me. Save this URL and avoid.
  • I'm glad it's getting a re-release, because 9/11 kind of overshadowed it, and it had almost no publicity when it came out. It really is worth seeing in theatre, as the sound on the DVD is pretty bad. However, a lot of this extra stuff - the extra scenes are on the DVD, and the 'explanations' can be figured out from the website. Really, i think this salon article is only good if you've seen the movie and looked at the website, and still have no freakin' clue and want to know more. This article kind of takes the joy out of that discovery.
  • This is one of those films that I finished thinking, "I don't really know what happened, but that was really good." I'm also glad it's doing well - and this article is great, thanks.
  • *derail* I also seem to remember reading in an issue of 2600 that all you had to do to avoid the salon ads was to edit the expiration date on their cookie.
  • Yeah - as a big-time Darko lover, this explanation's okay - as noted, it's almost entirely cribbed from The Philosophy of Time Travel, on the website/DVD - but it's a bit too mechanistic, which removes much of the enjoyment. The only two things you really need to know are: ***SPOILAGE**** a) As opposed to most Alternate Universe/Time Travel plots - in which a paradox occurs, and the hero/es must travel through a complex series of interwoven causal chains in order to prevent the paradox happening - in DD a paradox occurs, and the hero must travel through a complex series of interwoven causal chains in order to ensure that the paradox does happen, and, b) Donnie actually is a superhero (for those 28 days, at least). At least, that's my take on it. Beyond that, simply enjoy the late 80s stylings, the metaphysics of the mundane, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Jake Gyllenhaal's deep soulful eyes, and of course Sparkle Motion. Great stuff.
  • Hey Charita.... want a cigarette?
  • Chut up!
  • OK, I've read the first three pages of the Cliff's Notes, and I just have to ask - is there an actual *story* tucked away in all this nonsense, or is this just another opportunity to look at pretty people on TV? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but people have made such hay about this movie, I had hoped for something a little less... loopy. /curmudgeon
  • Yes, there is - although certain elements of it are more allusive or evocative, as opposed to direct plot devices. But I stand by what I said about this "explanation" - the vast majority of it is entirely unnecessary, adds nothing to the film, indeed detracts significantly from it. Especially if you haven't seen it yet, in which case you'll start looking for "The Artifact" and so on. Don't bother. The point of DD is that while there is a sci-fi plot (with possible fantasy elements) going on, it's not the major focus of the film. The sci-fi just potters along in the background, allowing the film to concentrate on character development, thematic exploration, comedy and Patrick Swayze. My recommendation: ignore this, and just stare at the pretty people on TV enjoy the movie.
  • I'll second that. I think it's a fantastic movie, definitely worth a look, though if you read all of that Salon article first, you might want to wait for most of it to evaporate from your memory before you watch the movie.
  • yes yes, if you've never seen it, don't read the article, don't fret about interpretation. it's a beautiful movie that I believe may best be experienced emotionally rather than rationally, if you follow...I think striving to understanding each little thing may be missing the point. /loves DD
  • For me, the iconic image of the evil bunny, along with the freakin' TURBINE crashing down... and the alienated chracters, wandering like zombies. And... oh well, I love that film too.
  • 'Darko' Director Investigated Over Being 'Teh Hawt'.
  • I'm skipping the article about the movie and imagining my own movie about the movie - centering on this pivotal scene.
  • hmmm he is cute...
  • I was disappointed that the Director's cut wasn't shown near my locale.