Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a couple more looks at the Seattle Film Festival's premiere of Richard Kelly's DONNIE DARKO: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT. First up is AICN's own bad boy, Vern. Now, Vern has brought it to my attention that not only was Jena Malone in attendance, but so was Drew Barrymore... Being as Vern was in the same general space as two of my dream women, I think it's safe to say that he deserves nothing less than a slow and painful death at my hands. Some of you negative retards below can disagree with me about the radiance of Ms. Barrymore and that's fine. Less people I have to fight against in my ongoing struggle to woo this vixen! Anyway, here's Vern-o!!!
Hey bud this is Vern. I don't want to be a squealer or nothin but fuckin Moriarty man, that dude put me on his spam list and keeps dumping my reviews. I wrote a review of Cruel Intentions 3 to name one example of a review that the world obviously needs to see but he threw it in the trash with the p.enis enlargements and the v~icodin. I mean I understand the guy is busy, but come on. I can't imagine he's staying up all night polishing the dialogue on that thing. I'll give you a hint bud: Scorpion says "Get over here." Don't be writing any monologues for him or anything. And then you'll have a few extra minutes for dusting your flatscreen and putting up my reviews. So anyway that's not the point, the point is this. I'm not going to as many SIFF movies this year, but I did manage to see Donnie Darko's Director Cut. The world premiere. NOT the press screening which was already reviewed by "Gooter." I don't do press screenings. I saw it with the people. That's just the kind of guy I am.
I suppose you are wondering what the differences are from this version and the original version that we all know and memorize and have tattooed on our balls, apparently, judging by this audience (more on that later). Well you got me bud, I'm not really sure except that there are some pages from the time travel book printed on the screen alot. I really don't know this movie good enough to notice any other difference, but I guess that just shows whatever the dude added flows pretty naturally. My impression is that there was more emphasis on the atmospheric business - the long dialogue-less takes, the hypnotic drones on the soundtrack, the David Lynch shit. But maybe it just was more effective on me this time around. The sound was real good (I never saw it in the theater before) and the whole thing just kinda felt creepier than I remembered it being.
I gotta say I like this movie. I like these types of directors that know exactly how they want to tell a story and they just do it, regardless of what anybody else thinks. This is an unusual combination of teen movie, sci-fi, CARNIVAL OF SOULS type horror and freaky "dude you're blowin my mind" teen trip out destiny shit. And he doesn't really follow any established formulas. He makes it take place in '88, and there's some nostalgia in there but he doesn't really use it for camp like you expect. Like they wear school uniforms so there is not many jokes about '80s clothing. I think it is a good choice and I think the Michael Dukakis motif really works - he is just like the guy who died on mom and dad's prom night, or like Donnie Darko. Some guy you heard about and then he was gone and you forgot about him. At the same time it parallels the "tangental-universe" time travel business because they discuss what Maggie's life would be like if Dukakis won the election as opposed to if fucking god damn Bush won. I guess it's like that one bowling movie "big lebowski," that at first it seems to be set in a particular time period for no reason and then the more you think about it the more it seems like it couldn't take place at any other time. Same thing with Barry Lyndon or Viva Rock Vegas.
I got a couple questions.
1. Did the original version imply that Frank the bunny was Maggie Gyllenhaal's boyfriend, or was that new?
2. If they switched Toby Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal for a couple scenes, I don't think I would notice
3. Really #2 was more of a statement than a question
4. Did you know Seagal has a new one coming out where he is a covert agent turned survivalist whose foster daughter gets mixed up in a human trafficking ring
Now let me say I saw DONNIE DARKO a couple years back and I wrote a positive review of it and what not. And I knew it was gonna catch on on video, but not like this. I had no clue. I mean you shoulda seen some of these fuckin people Harry. There was at least two guys in there wearing bunny costumes. There was people that drove from California and probaly further. In the q & A (question and answer) session afterwards every question started out with a couple minutes of emotional rambling about how much they love the movie and how much of a genius Richard Kelly (young writer/director) is. There was one guy in a skeleton costume who announced that he watched the movie at least 4 times a week and also that it changes his life every time he sees it. That means his life changes at least 4 times a week. Pretty soon he is gonna start evolving or devolving like in Altered States. That would be fucked up man.
Have you ever seen TREKKIES, it was like that. Or AMERICAN PIMP, but they say "bitch" less.
I was kind of thrown off by these nutballs but thinking about it afterwards I started to realize that it makes perfect sense. Every generation has their REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE or their BREAKFAST CLUB or their HEATHERS or their, I don't know, AGENT CODY BANKS 2 or something. Well maybe that last one doesn't fit I don't know what kids watch today besides DONNIE DARKO. But anyway these are people who were in high school when the movie came out in 2001 and it was their movie, the one that spoke to them as high school outsider or perceived outsider types. Maybe they had some problems, they were in therapy or on ritalin or something so Donnie reminded them of themselves. Or more likely they were not in therapy or on ritalin but in their dramatic teenage point of view they think they feel like Donnie. In a way. When you're that age you think nobody understands you so when somebody like James Dean or a guy in a skeleton suit seems to speak to you then fuck man, go with it. And then they start watching it over and over and searching for deeper meaning and discussing it in chat rooms and then they paint storyboards onto their ass with henna, lock themselves in their room and play Vice City for ten days straight while they ponder whether they want to live or die. That's what these kids do and if it's too loud you're too old. And extreme is spelled X-treme now also.
Nah just jerkin your chain but if that's your generation's movie then you could do a lot worse. I mean it's a pretty good one. Even the great HEATHERS has some cheesy directing and is somewhat based on various movie formulas. This one is more of an art movie, it has alot more ambiguity and mystery and unexplained touches. And by making the movie take place in the horrible decade of the '80s, the movie somehow becomes timeless. Yes, there is awful white people music in it but it already sounded that way when the movie came out. It wasn't due to aging.
I would say this will be a good one to see when it comes out in theaters, although to be frankly honest I think the obsession of some of these people will make it harder for the uninitiated to catch on. It is harder to enjoy something when you know people are THAT into it, that they would wear a fuckin bunny suit and travel across the country to see it early. On the positive side, I didn't hear anyone recite dialogue along with the movie or yell out "this part is new," and for that I thank them all.
Confidential to Quint: Both Drew Barrymore (from the wonderful McG pictures) and Jenna Malone were there, along with Mary McDonnell who is great as Donnie's ma. Drew kept "throwing up metal" I think they call it when they introduced the picture. I have seen her "dissed" on this particular web sight but in person she seemed like such a lovable goofball that you could see why she is so successful. She did not stick around for the Q&A though so a gal next to me was not able to ask what exactly it was about E.T.'s feet that she didn't like.
anyway thanks boys more later
Now for a quickie from Zac... Who actually has photographic evidence of meeting Jena Malone... Add another one to my death list!!!
Tears streaming, senses trampled; all I could think when the credits rolled…
“I could die happy tonight”
I walked into the DONNIE DARKO: DIRECTORS CUT world premiere with clashing attitudes of both fear, and immeasurable exhilaration. Fear, cuz I’m not too keen on “Directors Cuts” - especially ones to films I felt were wonderful in the first place. And of course, exhilaration cuz… here I am at the world premiere of DONNIE DARKO (admittedly, already one of my three favorite films ever made) with Jena Malone, Mary McDonald, and Richard Kelly in attendance – needless to say, I was glowing the whole night.
As for my fear of directors cuts, well - Thank God (or Frank); cuz the DONNIE DARKO: DIRECTORS CUT is a curious exception. It belongs on a list with the BLADE RUNNER and THE ABYSS re-visitations; where the “Directors-Vision” eclipsed the “Studio-Safe-Vision” three fold.
Thanks to a quickening word-of-mouth-induced cult audience and brisk, continuous DVD sales – Kelly was put in a position of not only being able to re-insert deleted scenes, but also to re-shape any facet of the show he wanted, from the special effects, to the sound, to the editing; to finish the film he started.
Somehow – he’s improved on what didn’t necessarily need improvement, to such an extent that it’s almost scary. Nearly all the DVD deleted scenes are present, as are some surprises – mainly the “philosophy of time travel” book transitions. There is also a big surprise I wont spoil here, but it eludes to something astronomically cool and once you figure it out… you begin to see how far off the original cut was from Kelly’s vision.
One thing about the original cut of DONNIE DARKO is that it’s one of the few films that can evoke an emotional reaction out of me. Well the DIRECTORS CUT is even more powerful – I sobbed through the last ten minutes and all through the end credits. The way he’s re-cut a key section of the ending, before the Mad World sequence, is absolutely phenomenal and almost assaulting beautiful.
After the movie Richard Kelly, Jena Malone and Mary McDonald gave a brief Q and A with the audience. The most memorable part being when Kelly was asked what his favorite misconceptions of DONNIE DARKO are and he said, one that Frank the Bunny is evil, no he’s not and couldn’t be further from it… and he also mentioned how some people actually believed (from a joke they made on the DVD commentary) Jake’s private parts needed to be digitally erased due to MPAA pressures.
And then I was off the GALA party – which took me over an hour to find due to some serious miscommunication between the SIFF box office and a lot of their customers, including me. Long story short, I got what I really came for:
I could die happy, indeed. ^___^
And here's Jerkbeast with a look more aimed at the differences between Theatrical Cut and Director's Cut and a little more on the Q&A with Richard Kelly. Of course, he also got to be in the same room as Ms. Malone and the future Mrs. Crusty Seaman, so he must also face my jealous wrath!!!
Well, I went to the much heralded Donnie Darko screening here at the Seattle International Film Festival last night. In attendance were Richard Kelly. Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and Mary McDonnell. I'll say right off the bat that the director's cut does not give me much more of an idea on what the fuck this movie is about. It does, however, help me formulate the unanswered questions better. As stated in the previous review, the movie now features pages from "The Philosophy Of Time Travel" book superimposed over the film at points and highlights passages that explain clearly what is going on, but not necessarily why. If you have gone through the Donnie D website, you would have already read all this stuff anyway. But for someone like me who sort of lost interest in that confusing site, it was very nice to understand a bit more of what's going on. Another change to the original cut was the switiching around of music. INXS now opens the film instead of Echo and the Bunnymen. Kelly explained in the Q & A that he choreographed the opening scene to that INXS song but for some reason couldn't or didn't use it in the theatrical cut.
Light was shed on some of the more puzzling aspects of the film, just not by the film itself. The most interesting revelation was when Kelly was asked about the "eyeball" shots that were new in the director's cut. These are shots of an eyeball super close up, usually with computer grid matices and little video boxes all over. Kind of like looking thorugh Robocop's eyes at an eyeball, or something. But anyway, Kelly hinted strongly that these were probably not supposed to be shots of Donnie's eye, but of an eye from the distant future looking back upon events. This leads to the theory that the film was told from the point of view of a seasoned time traveller in the far away future, making sure that shit doesn't go awry cus some punk ass kid figured out the secret. Or something. Who knows! It definitely made the movie more "sci-fi" than it was before, which I enjoyed. He was a little cryptic about it all, which is good. That just adds to the "what the fuck?" aspect of this whole movie.