Donnie Darko.
March 31, 2002 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Donnie Darko. Aside from being a great movie with a great flash site, it's also appropriate for Easter (since the movie does have that freaky bunny in it 'n all).
posted by kingmissile (18 comments total)
i've seen this thrice over the past few months, and this is among the best films i've seen in a while (erm, at least since tenenbaums). it's really great to see an indie-identified writer/director in a sea of visually boring melodramatists who is a real visual talent and who doesn't spoon-feed his audience the story.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2002

I just saw this movie for the first time a few weeks ago and it's one of my absolute favorites. I'm usually not such a fan of flash sites for movies, but this one operates almost as an extension of the film itself.

Actually, I recommend visiting the site after you see the movie. It might give a little away.
posted by jennyb at 7:54 AM on March 31, 2002

how can you *not* be a fan of flash sites for movies with such great work being done by the likes of hi-res (1, 2, 3) and the chopping block (1) ? :P
posted by sawks at 9:08 AM on March 31, 2002

how can you *not* be a fan of flash sites for movies

Long load times, multiple pop-ups, incomprehensible interfaces, more eye-candy than content...

Sorry, but you did ask... (or was it a troll? damn! I've been had again).
posted by Turtle at 9:23 AM on March 31, 2002

Oh by the way before you jerked my Flash knee I wanted to say that Donnie Darko is a great flick. I'd love a web site that gives me more info about the movie. If I want to see the movie I'll go see it, what I want from the film's web site is something else: easily retrievable information about the director, the writers, the actors, the music and so on... Like what IMDB offers, but more. Fancy pictures are nice but not a priority. Most movie sites are high on form and very low on (accessible) content. Bummer.
posted by Turtle at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2002

well, its better to see eye candy sites where they are appropriate yeah?

i agree that more imdb-like content would be great, but i think the best place for that is probably *at* the imdb (or a fan driven site), since the movie sites aren't always around for long, and are controlled by marketing departments...
posted by sawks at 10:03 AM on March 31, 2002

you could add "sexy beast" to your list of great movies with really creepy (evil easter?) bunnies, too.
posted by mmanning at 10:10 AM on March 31, 2002

Sexy Beast is like, number 122 in our Netflix que.
posted by jennyb at 10:43 AM on March 31, 2002

Donnie Darko was a great film, just saw it like a week or so ago. Yeah, very appropriate for Easter since the movie was a a pretty unabashed riff on Last Temptation of Christ (note the movie marquee on the double feature during one of the last nights).

As for the website, not bad although at a certain point the navigation hits dead ends, and it's a little too awkward in terms of the passwords for the different levels. My general beef with Flash for sites like these is that it's unclear when you've found all the content- my main reason for visiting these sites is after I've seen the movie, and want to flesh it out with more information. A creative site design is nice, but don't make it too hard to just scour all the little hints you've dropped there- I've already seen the film, I'm not looking to be teased with a "cool" site. It seemed pretty similar to the Memento website, with news clippings fading in and out, excerpts of medical records of asylum stays showing up, all hinting at a larger tale. The simplistic Philosophy of Time Travel was a nice touch- it basically spelled out exactly what was going on in the story for the most part, but unfortunately it did render the film more surrealist sci-fi and less theological exploration.

Oh, and I have to admit, I did not like Sexy Beast. I'm just a little too tired of all these marble-mouthed English Tarantino films- yes, we get the fucking point after several goddamn decades of filmmaking: "Gangsters are cool, with the money and the chicks and the comic-book killing! Yay!". Reasonably well acted, but lousy plot and meaningless.
posted by hincandenza at 11:50 AM on March 31, 2002

Donnie Darko is such a great film. It annoys me to no end that it made nothing, but hopefully the DVD release will give this movie the popularity it deserves.

The DVD has the entire web site, so that helps make the whole java thing a little less frustrating.

I can't believe that this one slipped by every major critic's award. Someone told me that it made less than $100,000 at the box office.
posted by eraserhed at 12:17 PM on March 31, 2002

Indeed- having seen the DVD, the deleted scenes was a treat- while I agree with the deletions, it gives you an insight into what the director was originally thinking (such as the "pills are placebos" deleted scene- it answered some questions, but also muddied the waters of the film and you can see why it was deleted- too much info.).

It made about $500,000, acc. to IMDB, on a budget of $4.5M. It did get some critical praise, but I think the flaw was that a) it didn't exactly have a wide release- 58 screens on opening weekend- and b) the marketing seemed geared more towards "typical teenage horror film" than "meditative surrealist sci-fi". This wasn't going to be a huge film anyway, but it's hard to believe it couldn't make its money back at least.
posted by hincandenza at 12:37 PM on March 31, 2002

the one thing that perplexed/annoyed me somewhat on the first viewing was the painstaking recreation of 1988, down to the political discussions around the dinner table. the obvious parallel here, especially in a teen movie, would be to point out the somewhat repressive reaganite state (no, not as bad as the soviet union at that point, but you know what i mean) and the perceived meaninglessness of pre-nirvana youth culture. this has resulted in quite a few critics slamming the period setting because it was when kelly happened to attend school. while i admire richard kelly's need to not give away everything, i do wish that he'd given the story an explicit reason as to why it was set in 1988, instead of just assuming we'd "get it".
posted by pxe2000 at 12:50 PM on March 31, 2002

I just purchased Donnie Darko (along with the equally-impressive Session 9) this week... Darko is a truly amazing movie and I am very pleased that I got it (considering even the local indie theatre didn't acknowledge its existence).

As for the necessity of the setting, my take on it is that the period is somewhat iconic for most of us. We remember it not as it was, perhaps, but rather as we want to remember it, coloured by bits of VH-1 and John Hughes flicks. When the weird stuff starts happening, the contrast between Donnie's nightmare and our own preconceptions of the 80s add some surrealist tension.

But that's just me, and I'm no film critic.
posted by sigma7 at 1:07 PM on March 31, 2002

donnie darko was indeed a wonderful film. other indies/foreign films from last year that were ignored but are worth checking out are the princess and the warrior, hedwig and the angry inch, the piano teacher (though i think it's just coming out in the states now), and joyride (if you take it for what it is).

i *hated* session 9, sigma7. it's been a while since i was that angry at a film. i thought it was a mess.

but i'm also no film critic. :)
posted by dobbs at 1:27 PM on March 31, 2002

Wow. I just saw this movie and can't stop raving about how good it was.

I believe the director made some half joking comment about the movie being about the repercussions of the 1988 elections, but I can't claim to have actually understood what the film was about. Definitely Easter worthy, considering it also has a lot of Catholic and cruxifiction references.

I'm also at a loss for how this one was missed. This film was better by far than any of the junk nominated for academy awards. Also, Drew Barrymore deserves kudos for executive producing this great film that otherwise wouldn't have seen the light of day.
posted by xammerboy at 7:21 PM on March 31, 2002

Yep, Donnie Darko was very cool. I really like when I see a movie with a few other people, and when we walk out of the theatre we all agree that we thought it was fantastic, even if we're not sure we completely got it.

BTW, I think the 'Philosophy of Time Travel' text on the website is a red herring.
posted by GriffX at 7:59 PM on March 31, 2002

After this thread. Because of this thread I went and rented it. I've never been so agog in my life. What a cocktail of emotions. I am right now, speechless.
posted by crasspastor at 1:19 AM on April 1, 2002

Heh. Just fifteen minutes ago I was telling some people they ought to rent it.
I'm glad I got the chance to see it in the theatre while it was still out.
Very good movie, very Pynchon-like, I thought.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:33 AM on April 1, 2002

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