The Rewind Movie Podcast
Donnie Darko (2001) - Episode 67
WAKE UP. We’re diving into the gelatinous wormholes of Richard Kelly’s auspicious, doom-laden, twisty, teen angsty sci-fi debut feature Donnie Darko, 20 years after its infamously inauspicious cinema release.
In a breakout, star-making performance, Jake Gyllenhaal is Donnie, a troubled teen in an upscale suburban neighbourhood with a penchant for sleepwalking. His latest bout brings him face-to-face with Frank, a disturbing bunny-suited harbinger of the end of the world, which is coming in just 28 days. Returning home to find he has narrowly escaped a falling jet engine, Donnie follows Frank’s guidance to carry increasingly destructive and mysterious tasks. Doing so, he catches the attention of new schoolmate Gretchen (Jena Malone), seeks advice from the only two relatable teachers at his high school (Noah Wyle and Drew Barrymore), and butts heads with his duplicitously moral community represented by evangelical teacher Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant) and local minor self-help celebrity Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze).
We discuss the era of talented young filmmakers that afforded a barely-25-year-old writer-director the opportunity to bring such an ambitious project to fruition, the zeitgeist of late 90s/early 00s’ dark side of suburbia tales, Kelly’s use of science fiction tropes, the film’s portrayal of troubled youth and, of course, that soundtrack. Join Gali, Devli, Patrick & Matt as they wake up drooling on a golf course covered in marker pen wondering what just happened.
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