...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Squirrel-Infested Bloody Massacre, Part Deux

So apparently it is my job and duty as your humble My Defective Life blogger to do the bidding of the masses. Or so I've been told.

And apparently yesterday's Donnie Darko was a ball-busting hit with the masses--don't ask me why.

And apparently the masses won't leave me the fuck alone *sob* until I do what they tell me to do, which today consists of republishing yesterday's heated debate on Come Play With Us, Danny so that further discussion of the movie can ensue and so that readers who didn't jump in to give their two-cents about the movie yesterday can do so. (And to include more squirrels in the republishing as well.)

And I quote:

"Discussing this stupid topic is what the Internet is all about.
Do our bidding."

Squirrel #1

Personally I think republishing yesterday's discussion is like beating a dead, silly, slightly flatulent and gelatinous horse, and doubt that it will yield any more useful discussion on the topic of Donnie Darko, *THE BEST MOVIE EVER TO GRACE THE SCREENS OF HUMANKIND*.

But as I am apparently your humble servant and narrator, yesterday's discussion will follow this enlightening and charming and ever-so-fuckable introduction so that folks can delve back into the dark outskirts of time travel and the emotionally scarred.

And you bastards who bugged me to repost this here better fucking say something useful in my comments section, damn you. =)

Squirrel #2

Yesterday's discussion of Donnie Darko:

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Genevieve said...

I've avoided the director's cut because I thought the original explained too much.

8:05 AM

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Lauren said...

In what way did the ORIGINAL explain too much?

8:28 AM

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Patrick said...

You're talking to a girl whose favorite director is Lynch. Compared to something like 'Lost Highway', Donnie Darko is almost a pop narrative.

Personally, I have to agree. Again, maybe I've seen too many weird art flicks, but I didn't think DD needed the additional time for explaination. It's been my fear that the director's cut is kind of like the end of 'Vanilla Sky': a really good movie where they felt the need to cheapen it by explaining it all to you at the end, just in case you didn't get it.

8:50 AM

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Genevieve said...

Without spoiling it for anyone who hasn't seen it, the ending is so much like the whole "it was just a dream" thing - the cliche most exemplified by the end of Wizard of Oz. Instead of embracing the magical realism and suspension of disbelief, the ending of the circle with the second time the plane engine falls on the house gives the whole explanation of "oh - this didn't really happen".

I haven't seen it in a long time, but it seems there was a little more at the end that gave stuff away too.

8:58 AM

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Lauren said...

Gah! Maybe that's why you thought it was too "simple." I think you may have missed the point of the movie.

The ending was not an "it was just a dream" ending at all. The movie was about time-travel and a tear in the time-space continuum. *SPOILER HERE SO DON'T CONTINUE TO READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE:
The ending is not him waking up from a dream. The loop back to the engine scene is b/c at the beginning where the engine drops in is where the "tear" in the time-space continuum takes place and the characters drift off into a tangent universe. In the end (as we see the sky clouding over and Donnie awakening in his bed with laughter and the engine recrashing through the roof), the tangent universe has folded in on itself and imploded, and there is a return to the non-tangent universe. It was very carefully crafted, and a far-cry from those lazy "it was only a dream" movies.

Check out that link to the Roberta Sparrow book--it will make sense after you look through that, G. And you might appreciate the movie a bit more knowing that it wasn't one of those cop-out "it was only a dream" type flicks.

9:40 AM

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Genevieve said...

I wanted it to be open-ended tho. As I said - I haven't seen it in a while - and so it was really an over-simplified version of what I thought above. I did in fact get the whole space time continuum thing - but - to me - saying that that was an altenate reality and this is what really happened in the real time. As in - the engine falls on the house but Donny is ok and all the strange shit with the light trails and frank happens circling back in the end and the plane engine falls on the house and kills him.

Well - to me - it would have been more interesting if they had worked the one storyline into the real world - in my mind saying 'that was an alternate reality and this is the one we all live in day to day' is a variation of the dream sequence. What I had hoped all throughout the movie is that it truly was magical realism wherein Frank and everything existed in this plane of existence. So - while to you the movie suceeds in its whole metaphysical exploration, to me I see it as one solution to the plotline but not the one I had hoped for. It still allows the viewer to be able to separate things and say - ok - that was a glimpse into the other world instead of pondering - wow - that's in this world - but how?

So - yes - I did 'get' the movie, it just wasn't what I wanted it to be.

9:48 AM

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Lauren said...

Hmm. I don't so much see the ending as a "solution to the plotline" (which is what those annoying "it was only a dream" endings seem to be)--to me it was the point of the movie, not some copout "how can I easily wrap this all up" kinda thing.

I mean, the idea of having it be a tangent universe (rather than magical realism where all this was existing in the same plane of the universe) intriguingly opens up a lot of questions: 1) is the one "real" universe a composition of all "tangent" universes? 2) do tangent universes exist on different reality planes? 3) are tangent universes equivalent to "possibility" and how does this speak to a movie in which a child is trying to make sense of himself and his place in the universe and pin all these things down? Magical realism seems to me like it would have had less to say and would have opened up less interesting and complicated tangents in looking at the movie.

I mean, assuming that the movie had been conducted in the way you apparently wanted it to be (the whole magical realism thing), what would the "point" of the movie ultimately have been to you (and us as viewers) do you think?

And I guess this opens up a different and interesting question:
Does movie analysis consist of analyzing a film in terms of what you (the viewer) would do if you were to make the movie yourself? Or should it be analyzed in terms of how all its parts fit organically into the whole of the purpose of the movie that is now in existence?

Thoughts, anyone?

10:05 AM

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harvey said...

Your different question is basically asking what criteria ANY sort of criticism [film, book, music] should follow. Ultimately, that worth is totally subjective. I think two assumptions are inherent to any sort of criticism: a) What you think they are doing and b) how well you think they did it. For two criticisms to be compared effectively, they probably need to have at least one of those in common.

10:17 AM

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Eric said...

when you start going into things along the lines of "i wish the movie was like this," you sort of start leaving the realm of criticism in terms of analysis of the story and style and start edging in on the realm of criticism in terms of finding fault.

it's sort of like looking at a painting and saying, "boy, i wish the painter had painted that man's pants red instead of blue." what you are doing there is asking for the art to CHANGE so that you like it more. and, at the same time, what you are doing is changing the art altogether, hoping to make something of it that it is not. you are asking the art to be more agreeable to your TASTE as opposed to existing as it does, disinterestedly, for your digesting how it is and does exist...for you to make sense of it as it exists in the world. this is all very basic kantian stuff.

you may not LIKE how the art is made. you may not like its compostion, the way it looks, or anything about it, but to wish to change its form is to wish it to be something other than what it is...and by that you say that it is not agreeable to your taste as opposed to saying it is not effective in form. that is an entirely different mode of criticism...

11:06 AM

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Patrick said...

Umm..I didn't think that was being question. she offered her opinion of it. She is saying "Well - to me - it would have been more interesting...". It's explaining why she, in particular, did not like the movie as much as someone else might. She didn't say "this movie sucks" or "it's horribly made."

The movies we see, the books we read, are all *about* taste. Sure, I could read a book that was beautifully written about a subject that bores the shit outta me, but chances are, despite the quality and intelligence of the writing, the book is probably still going to bore the shit outta me. I mean, I can sit and read cookbooks (and not the recipe parts either!), something that interests me to no end..doesn't mean everyone has to like it because it's well written or not.

In short: Though we *do* like it, neither of us like the movie as much as either of you. Big fucking deal. I'm sure there's lots of movies like that. We each offer our opinions (and that's truly all they are). We move on. There's no need to compile some long-winded "logical" arguement as to why one person is right or wrong or attempt to invalidate anyone's arguement.

Anyways, it's not even a horror movie ;)

11:30 AM

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Lauren said...

I think all Eric was responding to was my question, not so much attempting to deconstruct Genevieve.

And all I was trying to point out is that maybe her dislike of the movie stemmed from her not clearly understanding it structurally, which is what it sounded like initially since it is NOT in fact a movie that ends with an "it was all a dream" sequence (and I don't think anyone would argue that it DOES end with that).

If one person is allowed to give their opinion, others should be too, Patricia, my Patricia. That is what the comment-space is for.

11:45 AM

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Patrick said...

Oh, I know and, truly, I didn't have any problem with your comments or any of the others, just the tone of the last one I replied to.

that is all.
over and out.

11:54 AM

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Genevieve said...

OK guys - that's it - you can now do without my commentary. Every time I have ever had a difference of opinion with on this site or the defective site, I get bombarded by L and E telling my I'm wrong and then listing this load of theoretical, philosophical crap like it's debate club, loaded with Deridda quotes or whatnot. Well - you know - just deal with the fact that another person disagrees with you and don't start an argument that basically insinuates that you want to prove that you're more correct and/or smarter than said person. I'm not asking you to agree with everything I think (be it movies, sexual/relationship behavior, the basis of postmodern theory, etc). That said - I bid you farewell to your blogs, because if I wanted drama I'd post in my friends' LiveJournals.

12:04 PM

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Jef said...

Oh, relax. Please.

I don't know you genivieve, but you come across as being a bit ridiculous here. You post an opinion on a movie blog, and you're surprised when people react to it? In my mind, the best kind of internet dialogues are ones in which people disagree.

I consider myself to be quite smart and I still don't think that "Donnie Darko" makes complete sense. Please, someone, explain it to me.

The ending of "Donnie Darko" is "Donnie Darko" -- I really don't understand how you can say things like "oh, I wish the ending were different." The ending is the beginning, and the middle, and the end. Yes, I admit I don't entirely understand the film, but I think I understand it enough to make this assertion. If the ending were as you seem to wish it were, the movie would become complete nonsensical crap. This is my opinion, and I have seen both versions of the film many times.

As I am about to post this, I realize that it is more inflammatory than I originally intended it to be. For that I apologize.

Genevieve: clearly your comments are interesting, otherwise they wouldn't create such a stir. Don't take this shit personally.

My twenty won.

12:22 PM

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michele said...

uh, this blog response is to me, MUCH more interesting than Donnie Darko could ever dream to be.

I say post THIS on Defective Life (add a few squirrels) and hash it out for discussion.

10:14 PM



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