Saturday, 5 December 2009

Time for revision

There are people who stick to a belief rigidly. It can be too unsettling to go back over what seems true to you and it's often easier to retain a notion, a like or dislike than spend the time rethinking things.

This is the case with Donnie Darko. An odd choice you might say. Why not religion? A political belief? A lifestyle choice?

Well, Donnie Darko will do for now. An it's timely as there is a slew of film reviews for director Richard Kelly's latest film, The Box, that refer to the promise of his directorial debut. Donnie Darko seems to have passed into myth.

I liked the film when I first saw it. I bought it based on word of mouth recommendations. It's that simple, a couple of people thought I'd like it, I watched it, I liked it. When teaching GCSE and A-level I used it as a resource. It baffled most students but that made me like it even more.

However, when Kelly's Southland Tales was laughed out of Cannes, I went back for another look.

I changed my mind.

It's a shambles of a film, a rambling, non-sensical mess that tries ever so hard to be difficult but merely ends up being inexplicable.

So, it's really disappointing to hear the film still be lauded as a work of excellence, as a demonstration of promise yet to be fulfilled. And even more of a shame to hear Mark Kermode peddling this untruth so firmly.

It really doesn't matter. It's not important in the grand scheme of things. I'm not sure why I mentioned it. Perhaps I didn't get enough sleep.