WEIRDLAND: Critics’ Picks Cult Video: ‘Donnie Darko’ / #2 in Most Confusing Films

Monday, September 13, 2010

Critics’ Picks Cult Video: ‘Donnie Darko’ / #2 in Most Confusing Films


"This week, A. O. Scott takes a look at Richard Kelly’s cult film “Donnie Darko” (2001), about a tormented young hero, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who may or may not be a schizophrenic time traveler with a giant, evil-faced rabbit friend named Frank.
Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko (2001)

Mr. Scott calls the film “a quirky family drama, a coming-of-age story, a satire of suburban complacency, a psychological thriller, a horror movie and a hugely ambitious political science-fiction fantasy.”

Do you think Donnie’s story is real or a dream? What are your favorite moments from the film?" Source: artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com

"After attending a recent screening of Inception I was not only rewarded with a great motion picture but what can only be described as an eavesdropper’s delight.
Christopher Nolan (director of "Inception") with Leonardo DiCaprio

Was it all a dream? Who was the old guy at the start? What was the train about? Why was Leo on a beach? How could that guy change his face? all echoed across the cinema in desperate search for an answer.
This level of bafflement and discussion is rarely seen nowadays as film makers feel the need to spoon feed us in the belief that we are mindless drones willing to consume anything that does not require any brain power. Cinema has a glorious legacy of perplexing audiences by serving up inaccessible pieces of entertainment that seem to both challenge and enthral us with their mystery".

Top 10 most confusing films:
10. Primer
This tale of backyard time travelling becomes so convoluted that even after several viewings you’ll find yourself wondering what just happened.
9. Don’t Look Now
Great film but can someone explain the ending? I’ve heard many theories but none that really make any sense.
8. Southland Tales
I might be alone here but I loved this apocalyptic movie from the director of Donnie Darko. I’ve seen it several times and still don’t fully understand what’s going on.
7. I Heart Huckabees
This philosophical comedy needs to come with a reading pack.
6. Vanilla Sky
Confusing or simply lazy plotting? You decide.
5. Synecdoche, New York
I didn’t get it…there I said it.
4. The Matrix Revolutions
I don’t know if I didn’t get what was happening or was so disappointed by the Messiah subtext of this final chapter that I chose to dismiss it as simply confusing. Either way a horrible way to finish a great series.
3. Mulholland Drive and any other David Lynch film
I love Lynch but I have long given up working out what his films are about and just sit back and enjoy the disturbingly hypnotic ride.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie in 'Watership Down' (Deleted Scene) from "Donnie Darko" (2001)

2. Donnie Darko
The director’s cut unnecessarily clarified many questions but my theory is that the film makes perfect sense if every time they mention time travel, they’re actually talking about a parallel universe. Thoughts?
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
The film does make more sense after several viewings and catching up on forty years of discussion but I have yet to meet someone who got it on their first viewing. The confusing film by which all are judged. Source: www.smh.com.au

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