“why are you wearing that stupid bunny-suit?”, donnie asks.
“why are you wearing that stupid man-suit?”, rabbit replies.
in a twisted twist on the classic jimmy stewart flick, harvey, a six foot tall rabbit appears to a troubled virginia teenager warning about the end of the world. donnie darko is my pick for best film of 1991. it was released late last year and its ‘turning back the clock’ storyline seems particularly potent after what happened in lower manhattan. it is dark, beautiful, and original, with great performances, especially by jake gyllenhaal (homer hickam in october sky). hard to categorize the movie, though, and nothing is fully explained, leaving it open to interpretation by the viewer. it’s about tragedy & loss, time travel, psychosis, teen angst, kiddie porn, self-help shammers, x-files-type government cover ups, and God (divine intervention or deus ex machina). besides harvey, look for the references to stephen king, et-the extra terrestrial, an american werewolf in london, and the last temptation of Christ (see trivia). and there’s a hilarious philosophical tirade about the sex life of smurfs. set in the late 80s, there’s great period music throughout. it opens with echo and the bunnymen’s ‘the killing moon’, and includes joy division’s ‘love will tear us apart’, the church’s ‘under the milky way’, and a great final scene, overlayed with a cover of tears for fears’ classic ‘mad world’.