Richard Kelly set the template – and the high-water mark – with his debut feature, Donnie Darko. Initially beset with distribution problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as arguably the first cult classic of the new millennium. I was here in the UK when the rumblings about ‘this film called Donnie Darko’ began. It rapidly began the must see film of the year, and then became one of the films you just must see. Time flies and yes its been fifteen years since Donnie Darko became a household name for filmfans like myself.
Donnie (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is a troubled high school student: in therapy, prone to sleepwalking and in possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days 06 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time he will navigate teenage life, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank’s maladjusted instructions and try to maintain the space-time continuum.
Described by its director as “The Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick”, Donnie Darko combines an eye-catching, eclectic cast – pre-stardom Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, heartthrob Patrick Swayze, former child star Drew Barrymore, Oscar nominees Mary McDonnell and Katherine Ross, and television favourite Noah Wyle – and an evocative soundtrack of 80s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. This brand-new 4K restoration, carried out exclusively for this release by Arrow Films, allows a modern classic to finally receive the home video treatment it deserves.
Donnie Darko is a classic And whether you want to indulge in the Theatrical or Director’s Cut, this Arrow Video edition really is the definitive release of Richard Kelly’s debut.I actually prefer the theatrical but over the years do alternate between which version I watch.Its great to have both versions in the same package coming soon.
So what else is in this glorious package?
Limited Edition Contents
Brand new 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of both cuts
Original 5.1 audio (DTS-HD on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary by writer-director Richard Kelly and actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the Theatrical Cut
Audio commentary by Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick and actors Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross and James Duval on the Theatrical Cut
Audio commentary by Richard Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith on the Director’s Cut
Brand-new interviews with Richard Kelly and others
The Goodbye Place, Kelly’s 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of his feature films
The Donnie Darko Production Diary, an archival documentary charting the film’s production with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster
Twenty deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by Kelly
Archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, and cinematographer Steven Poster
Three archive featurettes: They Made Me Do It, They Made Me Do It Too and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary
Cunning Visions infomercials
Music video: Mad World by Gary Jules
Exclusive collector’s book containing new writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel and Jamie Graham, an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly, introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials
Limited edition packaging featuring new artwork by Candice Tripp
If you havent seen Donnie Darko then treat yourself. If you have seen it, then treat yourself to this glorious re-release of Richard Kelly’s classic film.
On Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD 12 December 2016