In the basement of Kennedy’s pub, last night’s DU Film soc event was a prime example of how to create a relaxed space in which a diverse group of people can come together for an evening of cinema appreciation. For the society’s first screening of the year, Richard Kelly’s iconic work ‘Donnie Darko’ was the film chosen by popular vote. Other front-runners were ‘Easy A’ and ‘Paul Blart Mall Cop.’ Despite a close tie with Richard Linklater’s cult classic ‘Dazed and Confused,’ it was the obscure and dark fan favourite that won the coveted spot.
While things were getting up and running technically speaking, there was a chance for everyone to mingle a little, and possibly grab a drink before settling down for the one hundred and thirteen minutes of classic cinema genius. A lighthearted drinking game was also thrown into the mix for those of the crowd who were feeling particularly jovial. Features which required a drink included everytime Frank, time travel, or Donnie Darko was mentioned, as well as everytime the movie skipped itself. This last one appeared a couple of times throughout the night.
From its opening scene to its close, Donnie Darko both perplexes and excites the mind as every single minute of this artistic piece of cinema is spent exploring the limits of our comprehension of the world which surrounds us day by day. The film follows the character, Donnie Darko, a young adolescent who is experiencing hallucinations of a six-foot-tall bunny named Frank who convinces Donnie that the world is ending.
This psychological thriller takes the internal consciousness and somehow externalises it on screen through symbolic imagery and cryptic writing, all while still appearing to carry a sense of the everyday events of the ordinary lives lived by those around Donnie himself. It presents a portrait of the complex lives in which we all live and how the world takes shape through our collective existence. The film is truly mind-boggling and leaves one with more questions than answers. It is a must see for any film buff.
Once the credits began to show and the film had finally ended, there was a sigh of both appreciation and relief. Everyone made their way out with the atmosphere remaining as breezy as it was early in the night. It’s safe to say that the Film society sent us home with both a classic in our back pocket and some well-needed food for thought.