Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Donnie Darko: Revised

Richard Kelly says Donnie Darko will be dramatically revised for its re-release to movie theaters.

"Ultimately, for me, I'm just psyched I finally got to finish the film," he said. "While I'm proud of the theatrical cut, I feel like there were some elements that were never fully realized that I'm excited to be able to realize now. It's been a dream come true, and I'm really lucky to have gotten to do it."

I'm really mixed about this. There's no doubt that "Donnie Darko" is a flawed movie. Unless you start looking at a lot of the supplemental material, there's no way you'll understand all the manipulated dead and chest spears things that are referenced in the film. But that's also part of the charm, things are left a mystery and the film becomes personal to you.
Not to mention I'm mixed on the whole idea of going back and revising your movie (or whatever artwork you've created) after it's been in the public eye.
"Star Wars" is always the thing that comes to mind for me. George Lucas went back and changed all the special effects and made a few other changes. It has always upset me that Greedo fired first in the new version. And some of the Jabba part is a little silly. On the other hand, I did like the new special effects and most of the other additions were either helpful or not a problem.
And we've all come to expect director's cuts, right?
So maybe I'm just worried over nothing. And, anyway, I've got my copy of "Donnie Darko" on DVD anyway, in case I don't like the new version. (Unlike Star Wars, which will most likely never be released on DVD in its original version.)


Anonymous said...

Donnie Darko is by far my favorite speculative fiction film. I agree with your sentiments entirely. It is a flawed movie, but some of those flaws were what endeared me so strongly to the film. If he edits the film to make it clear exactly what was happening--that is, so transparent a six year old can follow it-- I think what I loved in the film will suffer.

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing what he does.


Brian said...

Yeah, at the very least I'll be able to see it on the big screen. I missed it the first time around. I guess we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

Awright...you had to mention GL and SW, so here I am.
We've had this conversation many times, and it's always
fun to go back and "revise" it...

Unfortunately for you, it's not YOUR "artwork". You
have to respect the creator's vision...whether you like
it or not. In the case of Donnie Darko, I'm actually
looking forward to this newer cut. I'm hoping I'll
enjoy the movie MORE as a result. Some of us don't want
to wade thru hours of DVD "supplemental fanboy minutia" to understand/enjoy a film.

Take those LOTR movies. EVERY DVD release (usually only
months apart)is different. I don't hear much crying
about that, tho. Maybe longer IS better. Or maybe some
are OK with revisions that they LIKE.

As an "artist" of several media, I completely understand the desire to go back and improve your past work. Ultimatley, it's the creators' decision, not a bunch of whining fanboys (and that also goes for my fellow SW fans!) You don't HAVE to like it, but at least try to understand why they might want to do it.
You can also ignore any future changes and go to sleep
clutching your original version DVD's & VHS tapes, hoping that no other artist DARES to revise his/her own
work, as it may offend you. Maybe...just maybe...you
won't run out and buy "The Super-Duper Extra Extended Almost Definitive LOTR Trilogy set with Even more Deleted Scenes, Added Scenes, Extra Scenes, Enhanced Scenes & Extended Scenes". But I doubt it.

That's my 2 credits (for now) I'm sure Brian will post a nice rebuttal, now that he's antagonized me! :P

(likin' the Godzilla pic!)

Brian said...

Charles: You're definitely right, to a certain extent, that an artist has the right to go back and do anything he wants with his work. But I also have the right not to like it.
And, yes, I want to be able to clutch my little version of the artwork as I loved it, so I can shut my eyes to the awful things the creator has done to it. (That almost sounds religious doesn't it?) That's probably my biggest problem with the Star Wars thing. When the original trilogy is released on DVD, it won't be the version I saw as a kid. Maybe I'm just being a crybaby, but that does bother me.
On the other hand, Blade Runner is probably only available in the director's cut on DVD, and I'm not complaining about that.
I guess that's why I keep bringing it up. I can't decide where I stand on whether an artist should revise his work after it's in the public eye. I guess I'm just afraid they are going to screw up what's good about it.

Mr. Faust said...

Brian, I was going to comment on this but it kept getting longer and longer and longer... so I ended up making it a post on my site today. Thanks for the meme.