October 2nd, 2013: Donnie Darko (2001)

Cast and Crew: Holmes Osborne, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, Beth Grant, Seth Rogen, Noah Wyle, Katherine Ross, Ashley Tisdale, Jerry Trainor

What It’s About: Teen Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is troubled by strange occurrences and visions of an alarming man-sized rabbit named Frank (James Duval) after he narrowly avoids being killed when a plane engine falls from the sky into his room. 

Why Watch it Today?:  On October 2nd, 1988 Frank tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds (it also happens to be Graham Greene’s birthday, which ties in). Donnie Darko was one of, if not the cult film of the early 2000s.  Donnie Darko feels like a Twilight Zone episode seen through an “Indy” filter and (sometimes pulled off, sometimes not) late 1980s nostalgia. The film features a Halloween party and other seasonal touches, if not a great autumnal feel thanks to its Southern California locations (of course we could say that about other films that weren’t even set in Southern California).  The cast is good, with young up-and-comers like brother/sister team Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jena Malone playing off of a mix of stars (Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze) and Indy/TV regulars. Writer/director Richard Kelly’s seems to be a one hit wonder as his follow-ups have perplexed and disappointed fans.    See it as blind as you can if it’s your first time, and for God’s sake don’t watch the terrible director’s cut.

7 comments on “October 2nd, 2013: Donnie Darko (2001)

  1. […] I'll stick with it anyway).   Maybe it's that I have had Joy Division in my mind since reading Professor Mortis' post about Donnie Darko this morning.  Let's have some for the hell of it:   […]

  2. theelderj says:

    Two additional things about this movie:

    1. You couldn’t live through the period without (1) either watching the movie stoned or (2) knowing someone who watched the movie stoned.

    2. It had a great soundtrack. Back when that mattered.

    I do think that despite its obvious pop culture magnetism and stoner-attraction, this is a creative, dynamic and fun movie. I haven’t rewatched it in years, but I would consider it.

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I must not know the right people-I don’t think I ran into that, though it makes so much sense!

      Does a great soundtrack no longer matter? Or do you just mean in terms of CD sales?

      I still enjoy it.

      • theelderj says:

        I think you know the right people.

        Soundtracks don’t matter as much because of CD sales. I think prosucers don’t try as hard.

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        I think they still matter very much to the film, unless by soundtracks you mean those awful albums that had songs that didn’t actually play in the movie but were “inspired” by it.

      • theelderj says:

        I don’t think soundtracks are unimportant they just aren’t what they were commercially in the 90s when they sometimes eclipsed the success of the film…

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        Oh, no contest there at all. Media companies must look back at the 90s like tobacco looks back at the 50s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s