(dir. Richard Kelly) (2001)
A lush, Gothic, teen exploitation film of superior calibre. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a typical, upper middle class, cringing dork with anger issues and a friend called Frank, who appears to be a cross between a pooka and Satan Bunny. Frank informs Donnie that the world only has till the eve of Halloween to live.
“there will be so much to look forward to.”
Jam-packed with ideas, some of which should lie on the cutting floor: we have surreal visual homages to the paintings of William Blake and John Martin, a soundtrack oddly reminiscent of Badlands, a rock video sequence with (of all things) Tears For Fears songs, Drew Barrymore as an irresponsible teacher of literature, a terrific Jack Palance-style turn by Patrick Swayze as a dubious motivational speaker on the subject of ‘controlling fear’, Katherine Ross as a mushy Jungian psychologist, a ‘Grandma Death’ who keeps crazily checking her letterbox, a crippled plane, and a slice of hokum concerning the dynamics and philosophy of time travel.
All in all, good atmospheric fun and worth a few viewings, although TVC is wracked with doubt over its “commitment to Sparkle Motion!”