clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Donnie Darko is coming back to theaters in 4K

New, 23 comments

Which day do you think Jake Gyllenhaal will go?

donnie darko

Donnie Darko, the 2001 cult classic sci-fi film with incredible historical significance (it jump-started the career of the world’s most talented living person Jake Gyllenhaal), is returning to theaters in honor of its 15th anniversary, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The screenings will use a 4K restoration of the film that was released on Blu-ray last December — cool! Some theaters will show the director’s cut — I’ve read that it’s bad. A mixed bag, like all events in life.

Donnie Darko famously flopped during its initial theatrical run, which concluded in the spring of 2002. Unfortunately it featured a plot point involving a plane accident and opened in theaters in October 2001 — really bad timing for a really good movie, which in the first place was almost too weird for mainstream audiences and only got made and released because Drew Barrymore insisted on being in it and paying for a lot of it. The director, Richard Kelly, never made another critical hit.

Someone who did make a lot of hits following the release of Donnie Darko was Jake Gyllenhaal, a noted weirdo who once told Esquire that he believes human bodies are probably controlled by the moon and, speaking about Donnie Darko at the SXSW Film Festival last year, saidAnyone who wants to know what’s going on in my mind, go see that movie.” I’m sure Jake was just making a joke and expressing gratitude, but it’s sort of a weird thing to say about a film in which a demented metal-faced rabbit convinces a teen to burn down Patrick Swayze’s house and also the teen gives a three-minute monologue about Smurf genitalia. It’s also a mean thing to say about a movie no one could “go see” at the time. But now — now it’s a great idea!

So there are a lot of reasons to go see Donnie Darko when it re-hits theaters this spring:

  • Learn what is going on in Jake Gyllenhaal’s mind.
  • Make it up to Jake because I bet the first time when no one paid for tickets to this movie it kind of made him feel bad.
  • See a good sci-fi movie.
  • Procrastinate during tax season.
  • Revisit the experience of being a teen and constantly feeling on the verge of lighting stuff on fire.

Here’s a full list of US theaters that will be showing Donnie Darko, a very important American film:

  • Amherst, MA - Amherst Cinema (March 5)
  • Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Village (March 31 and April 1)
  • Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theatre (April 1)
  • Columbia, SC - Nickelodeon Theatre (October 31)
  • Columbus, OH - Gateway Film Center (Opening March 31)
  • Dallas, TX - Texas Theatre (March 31 and April 1)
  • Denver, CO - SIE FilmCenter (March 31)
  • Detroit, MI - Cinema Detroit (April 7)
  • Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre (April 15 to 17)
  • El Paso, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo (Opening April 7)
  • Honolulu, HI - Doris Duke Theatere (March 31)
  • Jacksonville, FL - Sleeping Giant Film Festival (TBD)
  • Los Angeles, CA - Cinefamily (Opening March 31)
  • New York, NY - Metrograph (Opening March 31)
  • Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma City Museum of Art (April 14 to April 16)
  • Phoenix, AZ - FilmBar (Opening March 31)
  • Pittsburgh, PA - Hollywood Theatre Dormont (Opening March 31)
  • San Francisco, CA - Roxie Theatre (Opening March 31)
  • Sioux Falls, SD - Indievents (April 12)
  • Stamford, CT - Avon Theatre (April 18)
  • Tucson, AZ - Loft Cinema (April 14 to April 16)
  • Winston-Salem, NC - a/perture cinema (April 10 to April 13)

My coworker, who I won’t name, says she refuses to go see Donnie Darko because the famous song in the final scene (“Mad World” covered by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews) sounds like “a tongue on a chalkboard.” Whatever that means / her loss.

I’ll be seeing Donnie Darko at the Metrograph, a nice theater in the city that Jake and I both live in. I wonder which night he’ll go.