Fifteen years before Stranger Things
combined science-fiction, Spielberg-ian touches and 80s nostalgia to
much acclaim, Richard Kelly set the template – and the high-water mark –
with his debut feature, DONNIE DARKO. Initially beset with distribution
problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as arguably the
first cult classic of the new millennium.
Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a disturbed adolescent from a
semi-functional, upper-middle class family, gifted with a sharp
intellect and vivid imagination – but he’s also a bit weird. Donnie’s
off his medication and when his boredom is obliterated by a falling
airline engine, he becomes increasingly delusional and convinced the
world will end in 28 days. Aided by an imaginary friend, he embarks on
an increasingly crazed series of actions, which horrify his teachers,
scare his parents and amaze his friends.
Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize – Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival. Nominated for Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and Best Male Lead (Jake Gyllenhaal) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
“Kelly is a supple and courageous storyteller, boldly
free-associating as he mixes parody and satire with earnest psychodrama
and coming up with plot points no one could anticipate.” – Lisa
Alspector, Chicago Reader
“It remains an aesthetically filmed blend of off-beat comedy,
mind-boggling sci-fi, and subjective storytelling that serves as a
singular and timeless piece of cinema.” – Kyle Aaronson, PopMatters