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2004.08.02

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cynthia

i'm actually heartened to hear that the possible interpretation that it was all in the head of a schizophrenic is more viable now. i always thought that from watching the previous version, and many people disagreed with me and said i was over-interpreting.

Filmbrain

Great minds think alike, Cynthia.

The more I think about it, the more I believe it could be interpreted that way, though I'm not in the mood to incur the wrath of hardcore Donnie Darko devotees. I'm still getting hate mail about Casino Royale!

Jonathan Scott Chinn

I would definitely place myself in the "hardcore devotee" category, and I'm not scandalized by the suggestion that the film is really an interior examination of a teenage schizophrenic. I'm not sold, either, but it's a viable perspective. In fact, constructing the film as an earnest fantasy-horror tale is an interesting way to avoid the dramatic pitfalls and film cliches of the "crazy person" movie, while maintaining the psychological heft of the topic. For example, imagine how much less A Beautiful Mind might have sucked if Ron Howard had simply made a straightforward spy-intrigue-math movie, as opposed to relegating the shadowy figures pursuing Russell Crowe to a cheesy device--kind of like Pi, but with tonier production values. But then, a hack like Ron Howard would never do anything that interesting.

It's interesting, what you mention about the marketing of this film: I had forgotten the directors' cut was even open in NYC until I read about it here, on Monday afternoon. It's a shame to see that the same marketing blunders are being perpetrated now, as they were in October of 2001. Where are the TV ads, the bus banners, the magazine features, the Richard Kelley interviews in hip culture rags, all that stuff? It's really too bad. I'm looking forward to the new cut, and hope to catch it this weekend.

jim

Just saw Donnie Darko a couple of weeks back, mainly because of this excellent article at Jumpcut. I loved the film, but was annoyed by the director's commentary. Never did finish it (the latter, not the former). Speaking of fun spy parodies of the sixties: what did you think of The President's Analyst? I loved the Capraesque Hemo the Magnificent-like film the Phone company shows him towards the end that explains the future of telecommunications Bell Lab's style.

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