Donnie Darko didn’t win the masses over in unanimous fashion upon arrival in 2001/2002, but it was only released in about 60 theaters. It never had the opportunity to impress on a grand scale, not that the trippy, hard-to-explain but extremely loveable little pic would have; Donnie Darko is one of the most confusing and mysterious films you’ll ever see. And you can see this gorgeous pic in March and April, as it makes its way back to select theaters in honor of its fifteen year anniversary.
Here’s the full skinny from the official press release:
Described by director Richard Kelly as “The Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick”, Donnie Darko combines an eye-catching, eclectic cast: pre-stardom 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 heartthrob 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”) and an evocative soundtrack of 80s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran.
The brand-new 4K restoration was produced by Arrow Films from the original camera negatives and supervised and approved by Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster. The 4K restoration premiered to a packed audience at the National Film Theatre in London on December 17th, 2016, with an introduction by Richard Kelly. A screening of the Director’s Cut followed the next day. The re-release opened nationwide in the UK on December 23rd, eventually grossing £70,000.
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.
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.
Donnie Darko doesn’t get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank – a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie’s escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie’s mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure.