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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Dahlquist

What I'm watching: Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

One of my fondest memories growing up was going to the video rental store. My family's store of choice was Hastings, located on Cole and Overland in Boise, ID (now closed, like most video rental stores in this country).

It was the spring of 2022 when Donnie Darko came to home video. I was in the 7th grade. I remember seeing a decent-sized collection of plastic Donnie Darko DVD covers on the shelves. And one single DVD copy left.

I was hypnotized by the cover art. The rabbit. The mystery. So I grabbed it.

The rest is history, as they say.

It's a film that has stuck with me for nearly 20 years. The tone. The horror. The filmscore. The performances. The peculiar one liners. And the allegorical nature that never fully reveals itself.

I've grown to love allegory films. And I think it's because every time I watch them, I can apply different sense of meaning to it depending on where I'm at in my life at a given time.

They are films that not only grow on you, but grow with you.

Currently, I am studying a good bit of Carl G. Jung. So the elements of synchronicity, individuation, and active imagination are hitting a bit more strongly than I've ever experienced upon watching this film.

Particularly that of the liquid spear/soul tunnel that protrudes from Donnie's gut area throughout the film.

And the connection between Jung's ideations on acausal synchronization, astrology, and quantum physics + spacetime continuum.

It makes me think a bit more about who Grandma Death/Roberta Sparrow really was.

Or "if" she was.

Lastly, it would be a miss to not mention the filmscore. The soundscapes that Michael Andrews put together for this film, combined with the excellent 80s songs from the likes of INXS, Tears for Fears, The Church, and Joy Division concoct such a haunting dream state throughout the entire experience.

This is a work of art I will continue to marinate on for years to come.


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