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Time in a Suburb May 18, 2006

Posted by sensawunda in Movies.

I didn’t see Donnie Darko in the theater. I went straight to the Director’s Cut on DVD, and that’s what I recommend.

Donnie Darko – Director’s Cut

I’ll just mention that even the Director’s Cut isn’t for anyone who likes movies that tie up all their loose ends in a nice bow at the end. You still have questions at the end… but at least you have enough clues to formulate a theory. I read what was left out in the theatrical release and I thought, how would anyone even begin to figure it out without those elements?

Donnie Darko is brilliant. Not flawless, but still a tour-de-force. It’s a time loop story that goes where Groundhog Day (though a big favorite of mine) was too light-hearted to go.

When I finished watching it, I took my dog for a walk. My neighborhood seemed strangely altered in my eyes. For a little while, I saw reality from a different angle. There’s some sensawunda for ya.

Sensawundameter: WandWandWandWandWand



1. Annie Frisbie - May 18, 2006

I wrote about this a few years back when the movie came out:

Actually, I think you’d really like this site…

2. sensawunda - May 18, 2006

Annie, I love your article! That’s a great supplement to my hasty and sketchy blog entry.

3. Annie Frisbie - May 18, 2006

I liked your mention of Groundhog Day – I would love to hear more about what didn’t work for you about that movie.

4. sensawunda - May 18, 2006

Don’t get me wrong–when people ask me what’s my favorite holiday movie, I say Groundhog Day. I could watch it over and over.

It’s just that after I watched it on cable with an on-screen commentary (similar to Pop-Up Video) and found out how much more complicated the screenplay was, I kind of wished I could see THAT movie. “Dumbed-down” might not be the right term, but there was a lot of concern that people wouldn’t get it. (Did you know they estimated that Phil lived in his Groundhog Day time loop for approximately 10,000 years of subjective time?)

Groundhog Day is a comedy, and it works as a comedy. I just liked that Donnie Darko doesn’t shy away from the dark place Donnie has to pass through as he tries to figure out the situation he’s in, or from forcing the viewer to think.

5. Annie Frisbie - May 19, 2006

Oh yeah – I taught Groundhog Day a few times in my class, and there’s a great chapter on it in a book called Good Scripts, Bad Scripts, that brings up the writer’s intentions. They modeled it on Kubler-Ross’s 5 Stages of Dying. I really do love that movie.

Oh – and I got the books – thanks! Have to finish Howard’s End before I dive in…

6. Michelle Black - May 19, 2006

Aren’t you glad I suggested you see this movie? BTW, I ordered both versions by clicking on the movie title in this site. Hope you get credit for it!

7. sensawunda - May 19, 2006

Thanks ever so! Yes, I’m glad you suggested it! I wanna know what you think of the Director’s Cut once you see it.

8. annette - May 6, 2007

hey, as i was passing through i noticed your review on Donnie Darko.
i SO agree!!!

i myself went straight to the director’s cut and decided not to check out the other version. i was so impressed, didn’t want to be disappointed somehow.

btw, in your May 18, 06 comment – um, was that like a pun regarding how GHD is your favourite holiday movie? ’cause i thought that was pretty funny!

9. sensawunda - May 8, 2007

yes, it’s a joke… in that most people mean Christmas movie when they say “holiday movie”… but it’s entirely true that I’d rather watch Groundhog Day than any Christmas movie I’ve seen so far!

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