WEIRDLAND: A rabbit near him

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A rabbit near him



"In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take Time's Arrow for a ride.

October 2nd, 1988: just another ordinary day in Donnie Darko's teen-aged existence. He's taken his medication, watched Dukakis and Bush debate, and had dinner with the family. Then an outrageous accident occurs, which just misses claiming Donnie's life. As Donnie begins to explore what it means to still be alive, and in short order to be in love, he uncovers secrets of the universe that give him a tempting power to alter time and destiny. [...]

The question became: what is Donnie Darko? Is it a look back at the underbelly of the Ferris Bueller and Back to the Future era? Or is it a wild journey into multiple realities and multiple outcomes? Is it the story of an increasingly cynical, hypocritical society on a crash-course with apocalypse? Or is it a fairytale about a teen hero who changes the world around him? Is this the cosmic death knell of the Reagan Era, or a portrait of a troubled community redeemed by the hand of God?

The surprising answer is that Donnie Darko is all of these -a deep inquiry into the recent past and the possibilities for the future all wrapped up in the story of a teenager unlike any you've met before. Writer/director Richard Kelly purposefully wanted Donnie Darko to be vast enough to mean different things to different people. But he offers this guidance for the mind-blowing ride ahead:

"Maybe it's the story of Holden Caulfield, resurrected in 1988 by the spirit of Phillip K. Dick, who was always spinning yarns about schizophrenia and drug abuse breaking the barriers of space and time. Or it's a black comedy foreshadowing the impact of the 1988 presidential election, which is really the best way to explain it. But first and foremost, I wanted the film to be a piece of social satire that needs to be experienced and digested several times."

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James Duvall, who plays the mysterious apparition Frank. "Frank is really Donnie Darko's guide," explains Duvall, "the one who helps him find his fate and his destiny. He might be an alter ego, or another person, or a hallucination, but that's really up to people to decide for themselves."

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