Donnie Darko

so, so adolescent but also so impressively, monotonically committed to its depressive teenage psychodrama that it disarms one's instinctive revulsion to the childish rough edges. kelly is clearly fascinated by corniness in all its forms, from the new age wine mom cult built on child pornography to donnie's parents who, if cheesy and ultimately as limited as the suburbia around them, are warmly, instructively so, and he deploys the corniness of his film just like the strange visual overlays and cgi, wonky agents of the uncanny that unsettle the relationship between audience and text, denying straightforward identification in one moment and begging for it the next. yet, for all its bitterness and anger, which come with the ferocity and absolutism of teenage misanthropy (justified or not), it's generous and empathetic in a way that nothing of comparable placement in the culture now could be. i love richard kelly and his millennarian, millennial prophecies of apocalypse. btw, how perfect is it that james duval is in this, which makes such a lovely companion piece to nowhere

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