Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia
perpetual

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Donnie Darko liveblogging

One of my top two favorite movies of all time is Donnie Darko. I gave away my copy back in Oregon because an extended edition had come out and I knew I was going to get it sooner or later. I finally did, and I'm now watching it for the first time.



This isn't going to make a lot of sense and I don't really expect anyone to read it.

Ohhh, this soundtrack. It's mostly just super fun songs from the eighties (it's set in the eighties and btw they totally nailed it), but they're all really well chosen, and they're good songs and they're often kind of poignant.

Donnie's little sister supposedly got a spin-off movie of her own, Samantha Darko, limited release. I haven't seen it. The actress reminds me of my ex's little sister. Donnie's mother is the president in Battlestar Galactica. Both parents are amazing characters.

It's kind of rare that I'm home alone at night and I only recently got my TV set up to play DVDs with a loveseat in front of it, so this is a treat. Sound seems a little off, though. Loud music quiet dialogue.

This is the first thing I ever saw Jake Gyllenhal in...and maybe I'm biased but I'm pretty sure it's the best role his career will ever have. Donnie is so likable, so obnoxious and so full of pain.

Okay, this is new. I've seen this movie like half a hundred times so all the extended scenes should really stand out, and the first one I've noticed is a long zoom in on Donnie's eyeball when Frank tells him to wake up. He also takes a little longer to get through the house, I think. I heard that the additions make the movie a little artsier and more surreal, and that it's hard to know which one you should tell your friends to watch first.

Elizabeth's boyfriend is Frank. A lot of people don't catch that the first time.

I need a Donnie Darko icon.

Nice to see how the teenage kid can just push a cop away and walk into a taped-off area. Could just be a plot convenience but I like to think it's part of the story.

Hehe. That one was probably just added for the comedy, but I think it was worth it. "Is there any way we can make money off this?"

I love his parents so much. "Someone was watching out for him." Already seems like we'll be getting a little more of the very vague religious implications from the original version.

Man, there's so many characters in this montage. I never would have been able to recognize them the first time, but now it's such a clear highlight on the importance of each individual life, and how absorbed they are in their own struggles.

Never really liked Drew Barrymore too much. I can handle her in this role because it's not silly or sexy. And because it's my favorite movie so I'm more forgiving.

Odd that I've never looked up this short story they're talking about in English class. Graham Greene, I'll have to remember that.

This I just don't buy, though, the teacher telling the new girl to sit next to the boy she thinks is cutest. I also don't really buy the girl playing along with it without protesting, but maybe that's supposed to be something unique about her character.

Argh, I hate driving scenes. The driver always seems to look at the passenger more than the road. Slow down, Donnie's dad! Slow down! (I am making a joke because this time it's part of the scene and Donnie's dad almost hits someone.)

It's inaudible even if you crank up the volume, but from the intonation and movement of her lips, you can tell that Roberta Sparrow really is saying what Donnie later says she does.

Ack, the Additudinal Beliefs video! It looks so real! Die, eighties self-help documentaries! Die! Maybe this is why I love this movie so much. The bad guys are so entirely the kind of people I have trouble with in real life.

Another eyeball close-up, and it looks like Frank's talking a little more in this version, too. Shivery. The first I heard of this movie was a preview before an indie movie in a campus theater, and my first sight of Frank haunted me for days. Honestly I think it actually kept me awake at night.

"He has emotional problems." "Oh, I have those too! What kind of emotional problems does your dad have?"

Donnie wants to write a book and draw the pictures. I want to hug Donnie Darko.

It's interesting that Donnie and Gretchen's first conversation involves both of their names. She chose hers, and we never learn what her real one is. His sounds like he's a superhero.

I watched this once with a friend who kind of didn't seem to get it. When Gretchen says, "You're weird" and Donnie apologizes, Gretchen looks frustrated and says, "No, that was a compliment." My friend said, "Sure didn't sound like one!" To me it was one of the sweetest teenage romance moments I've ever seen.

Attention psychiatrist: don't hypnotize horny teenage boys and then let them talk about girls.

Next time I watch this I have to compile every iconic perfect quote that makes it what it is. "They made me do it" is in there.

It's weird how you can listen to the stupidest conversations enough times and you start to find meaning in them. Donnie really seems like he knows too much about Smurfs - or cares too much - to have much of a brain, but if you view it another way, he really knows how to cut through the crap. Smurfs don't have reproductive organs. Of course they don't.

I wonder if Kitty's daughter is supposed to be lesbian? It always seemed a little off, the way she looked at Gretchen, but maybe this is supposed to be part of Kitty's issues, since she'd obviously be the last one to accept that in her children.

Hey, here's Donnie openly telling his English class about Frank. Interesting the way he doesn't seem to keep secrets - it's like he wants everyone to know this stuff about him, but nobody's listening. (Except for Gretchen. Love her.)

I harbor some fairly deep anger toward the school system, probably another reason this movie speaks to me.

I just noticed for the first time the differences between Donnie's bedroom before and after the jet engine. He used to have his own art on the walls; after the redecoration, it's just a couple posters of models. He must have lost a lot of art and other prized possessions. I never realized how hard that must have been.

It's actually spelled out for us that the fourth dimension has been corrupted and a tangent universe has been created. The tangent universe is highly unstable and can't sustain itself for more than a few weeks.

Ah, here it is. "She said that every living creature on earth dies alone." This scene cuts me up inside. Donnie and his therapist start out so calm, and he's talking about crazy time travel stuff, but just the discussion of his beliefs and the possibility of nihilism starts to scare him so much that he loses his composure and can only admit that he doesn't want to be alone.

When Donnie follows his "spear" into his parents' closet, before he finds the gun he looks straight ahead and smiles. It seems likely that Frank was in the closet.

Oh, what's this? Chapter 2? There are chapters! And this one is about Water and Metal!

Gah, Gretchen and Donnie understand each other so well. She can tell that he wants to kiss her, he sounds like he wasn't listening when she was talking about how beautiful the world can be, but he was! He totally was!

Okay, I really need to do something about this sound. I missed some lines in the extended scenes and it sounds like they were funny ones.

Donnie's parents are amazing. I love them. Rose is so scared for Donnie.

This is my favorite scene! When Donnie stands up to Jim Cunningham it's like the showdown between the hero and the Big Bad. Ooh, and it's extended. Less of a montage and more....actually, way more creepy, wow, Jim Cunningham is so easy to hate even before his secret comes out. And the music builds up so perfectly. "I'm not a prisoner" - I'm not sure if that's new or I just always missed it before. Best part, though, "And I'm scared, I'm really, really scared, but..."

Hey! Gretchen goes with Donnie to talk to Roberta Sparrow! That's cool. Good for them, even though she won't answer the door. And Frank gives him the idea to send her a letter; that makes sense.

"If God controls time then all time is pre-decided...Not if you travel within God's channel."

"I'm not going to be able to continue this conversation." "Why?" "I could lose my job." It's interesting that Donnie's reaction is so closed to interpretation. Is he pissed off, or understanding?

Drew Barrymore, don't you dare smack talk Watership Down. Okay, just make rabbit-themed jokes at Donnie, I guess that works.

The thing is, it really can't be coincidence for Donnie to find Cunningham's wallet on the sidewalk.

Hehe, some of the illustrations in the time travel book are from an artist's anatomy book that I have. I love that.

Donnie's an awesome artist but he really doesn't know how to make a non-creepy baby.

I've always found it interesting that Donnie doesn't just say that nobody remembers infancy; he goes out of his way to say that those who say they do are lying. Sounds kind of angry about it, even, like he's upset that people won't tell the truth about something so simple.

I knew I recognized that actor from somewhere. Freaks and Geeks, represent.

So, I've seen Evil Dead. You shouldn't, but do be sure to get the sequels, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. I'll explain later.

It's the eyeball again, now with flames. Appropriate.

I love the way he looks at Gretchen before he leaves the theater. He's genuinely in love with her; I think she's the only thing that could make him hesitate before obeying Frank.

Hey, they also removed a couple lines. Cherita was supposed to leave the stage to someone booing her.

We don't let our little girls dance like this anymore, right? This was an eighties thing? Oh, who am I trying to kid. At least back then they had the excuse of not really associating it with sexual objectification.

Are we on Chapter 10 already? Are they giving us chapter titles every time?

Donnie's dad says he used to be crazy. Huh. Gotta love it though that he knows that bullshitters will call Donnie crazy because they're afraid of how smart he is. Good scene.

"I am sorry that you have failed." This is why I will never, ever say this, or anything like it to anyone.

Cool! A clip from the Watership Down movie! Appropriate one, too. "The field is covered in blood!" Ooh, okay, Donnie is talking smack about the book, but I do like this. And Gretchen is standing up for it, too. Probably because he looked right at her when he was talking about having sex as many times as possible before you die. And then, the words "deus ex machina" come up.

This would have been such a perfect time for Rose to call Kitty out for supporting a pedophile. It hurts to see her caving into her own guilt.

Oh, another one of my favorite moments. "How does it feel to have a wacko for a son?" She doesn't even deny it. She just says it feels wonderful. Oh my goodness, deleted scene where he gives her a hug. And he gives Samantha a hug! So worth seeing.

Hey, I'm not going to doublecheck it right now but this "Cellar Door" thing she talks about, but I'm pretty sure the famous linguist is Tolkien. See, all my favorite stuff is in this movie.

Except they extended the scene with Donnie and Drew Barrymore and then cut out my favorite line from the shorter version.

Cherita! I love Cherita. I love that Donnie totally gets Cherita. He wears her earmuffs home because he gets her. So many suffering people in high school, and Donnie is one of them but he sees the others.

Taken out of context, you could almost imagine that Donnie's therapist is suddenly afraid that Donnie is right and time travel is real. I don't think she really does, but she's good at her role too. I love how she calms him down here. I love the way he cuddles a stuffed animal, too. And then there's more hugging.

Whoa! Donnie's medication is placebos! Pills made out of water! Water is significant! And yes, I could have sworn I remembered seeing this scene elsewhere; maybe it was hidden on my old DVD of the original somewhere. The difference between an atheist and an agnostic, thank you, doctor.

It kind of bugs me that everyone who goes to a costume party in a movie always has a great costume. Some of these are pretty crappy, though.

"Ensurance Trap", that's a phrase I haven't heard before. Actually I'm still not entirely sure of which characters are the Manipulated Dead.

After the first time you have sex, when you go downstairs your steps are synchronized.

Huh, one of the crazy images flashing through Donnie's head is his arcade driving game. And it's significant. Everything really does matter, I guess. The cellar door certainly does.

I wonder if the knife is important as a metal object? I've been looking for a metal object and not coming up with anything aside from the car at the end.

I hate how useless Donnie's friends are.

The clown and Frank riding together is the scariest pair ever found in a car.

"Go home and tell your parents everything's gonna be okay." That's the big hurt right there.

D'OH. The gun is the metal object. OBVIOUSLY.

Donnie fights with everyone in his family, but he does kiss his sleeping sister goodbye. He knows he's going to his death.

I don't get what happens at the end. Every single time. I've shown it to so many people, and I always ask if they understood what happens at the end, and they say yes, and then I ask a couple questions and it turns out nobody really gets the whole thing. If anyone has any new insights, I'll take them, but I also kind of like it like this, a mystery.

What is undeniably clear is that Donnie figured out the secret of time travel, and moreover, he figured out how he was supposed to use it. He knows that he has to sacrifice himself to save his girlfriend, and the world, and he's happy about it.

The montage at the end is perfect. The song is perfect. I've listened to it so many times that I hardly even hear it anymore when it plays on Pandora, but this makes me hear it again. Even though none of the characters are really doing anything, the few seconds that each one gets seem to display their entire lives and everything they are. Did you see Frank's hand going to his eye?

Gretchen and Rose never meet, that we see, and now Gretchen doesn't know Donnie either, but somehow they recognize each other and it's beautiful.

Okay, there's a second disc. I just want to see if there's any closer look at the time travel book. Roommate's home now so I'm turning down the volume and probably won't hear anything I can't read.

....Doesn't look like there's much of value here. I'm sure the text of it is online somewhere, and maybe I'll eventually read enough to be able to say with confidence that I understand the ending.

Not tonight, though.
Tags: a movie i saw
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