“Donnie Darko” Turns 15 and Gets a 4K Theatrical Re-Release!
By Neil King
It is unusual for this particular editor to come out from behind the curtain but this is an opportune time to tell a story that highly influenced who I am today. When I was in high school, I had a routine. I would get home from classes and spend the afternoon watching a movie before diving into my homework. One bright and sunny afternoon in Florida, I was surfing for a film to watch and saw a little movie called Donnie Darko on Starz.
At the young age of 14, I have never heard of this movie nor Richard Kelly but something made me stop and watch it. The film was about half way through but something in me told me to stop and watch. The moment it finished about 45 minutes later, I was left in shock. Mainly confused, but in shock. Although I had no idea what happened in the beginning, I could see it’s brilliance. Neglecting my homework for the evening, I immediately got myself to the mall and found the DVD. I popped that bad boy in and from the moment Tears For Fears came on, I was hooked. I watched it all the way through and for the second time in a day, I was in shock and left confused.
Donnie Darko instantly became one of my favorite films of all time. It is always listed in my top 5. From the existential commentary to the 80’s-tastic soundtrack and the amazingly creepy antagonist (I use that term lightly because honestly is Frank really the antagonist here?), I can never say anything bad about this film. A few years after my initial obsession began, the director’s cut came out. Having viewed the theatrical cut at least 50 times by then and half of those with the director’s commentary, I was intrigued and needed some answers. The Director’s cut, although not as solid as the theatrical cut, in my opinion, answered so many unanswered questions while opening doors which led to even more confusion across the board. Then the Blu-Ray came out with even more information and I dove so deep into it. Although so many answers from the original viewing are present, there are still more questions to be answered.
Today I get the pleasure of announcing the special US Theatrical release for the 15th anniversary of Donnie Darko. Richard Kelly’s dark cult hit will be hitting theaters on March 31st in a beautiful 4K Restoration thanks to Arrow Films. Multiple cities across the United States will be hosting this special presentation. But if you find yourself in Los Angeles or New York on March 30th or March 31st respectively, you have the opportunity to catch a big premiere at The Vista or New York Metrograph. Cinefamily in Los Angeles will host the remaining showings while the other cities are listed below.
Both the theatrical cut and the director’s cut are being made available to venues via a partnership with Cartilage Films, and locations will vary.
For those under a rock, Donnie Darko stars Jake (Nightcrawler, Brokeback Mountain, Nocturnal Animals) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Honourable Woman”, The Dark Knight), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Neon Demon), the late Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, Ghost), Drew Barrymore (E.T., “Grey Gardens”, “Santa Clarita Diet”) Oscar nominees Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves, Passion Fish, “Battlestar Galactica”) and Katharine Ross (The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stepford Wives), and television favorite Noah Wyle (“ER”, “Falling Skies”)
Donnie Darko will also return for weeklong runs in Denver, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and San Francisco on March 31st, and in El Paso and Detroit on April 7.
Special screenings include Jacksonville, Austin, Dallas, Honolulu, Lubbock, Baton Rouge, Sioux Falls, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Durham and Stamford throughout March and April.
Be sure to catch this modern masterpiece it while you can in theaters since most of us missed it the first time around.