September 25, 2003

FOLLOW FRANK:

A rabbit following: The surreal and swirling film 'Donnie Darko' is finding its destiny as a cult favorite (Tom Russo, 9/24/2003, Boston Globe)

It's oddly fitting that so much of filmmaker Richard Kelly's 2001 debut, "Donnie Darko," is wrapped up in the mind-bending intricacies of predestination. Perhaps the movie itself was destined to fizzle at the box office -- not for lack of merit, but rather because this is almost invariably the path to cult-favorite status. "Darko," with its intelligent, tough-to-peg interweaving of achingly realistic teen drama, black humor, David Lynch-worthy mystery, and time bending, is quickly achieving just that level of under-the-radar appreciation. The movie, which screens at the Brattle Theatre this weekend, chronicles a tumultuous month in the life of suburban adolescent Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), a borderline schizophrenic trying to make sense of the swirling, surreal world around him: his visions of a 6-foot-tall, Son of Sam-like bunny named Frank, the sheared-off jet engine that (really) comes crashing down into his bedroom early in the film, and that always treacherous high school caste system. It's a heady mix -- and one that earned the $4.5 million indie barely half a million dollars in its initial release. Not even an appearance by Drew Barrymore, whose production company served as an angel to the project behind the scenes, was enough to make a difference. Likewise for an inspired supporting turn by Patrick Swayze as a smarmy motivational speaker.

But now, not only is "Darko" enjoying a healthy extended life on DVD, video, and cable television, it's also become an art-house staple.


We're on the bandwagon for Donnie Darko/.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2003 10:53 PM
Comments

I'm waiting for the sequel, "Frank vs. Harvey."

Posted by: Peter Caress at September 26, 2003 9:30 AM
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