By: Eugene Novikov

It came to my attention today that: a) S. Darko is going direct to DVD on April 28th, with the hideous subtitle "A Donnie Darko Tale" and b) Cinematical has not made mention of this. The news is a couple weeks old, but I found (b) unacceptable.

Some films get so much acclaim in so short a time that it becomes sort of unhip to love them. Take American Beauty, for example: I don't think people who adored it when it came out (like me) changed their minds, I think they just sort of burned out on it. Similarly, Donnie Darko's "cult classic" status has been drilled into our heads to such an extent that to place it among one's favorite films seems like a faux pas. Call it overexposure.

But, uh: I love Donnie Darko. I recently got a chance to see the Director's Cut on the big screen: my fourth or fifth viewing of the movie, though the first of the Director's Cut and the first time on film. I do think the longer version gets a bit hung up on the arcane details of "The Philosophy of Time Travel," to its detriment. But even the slightly more self-indulgent cut is extraordinary, a wonderfully sad allegory about the teenage desire to escape -- no, transcend -- the phoniness, banality and evil of the everyday world. (In this sense, it's like a more earnest Catcher in the Rye.) Donnie Darko is also Exhibit A for why the Gyllenhaals are a big deal.
In any case, now we get S. Darko, direct to DVD and with no involvement from Richard Kelly. Daveigh Chase reprises her role as Samatha Darko, who is plagued by apocalyptic visions while on a road trip with her best friend. (There are a few more plot details here.) Presumably, then, the movie continues and expands on the first film's science-fiction-y time travel mythology.
categories Features, Dvds, Movies, Sci-Fi