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February 23, 2008

Explaining Donnie Darko

Metaphilm - Donnie Darko

This is the best piece of film crit I've ever read.

Until Donnie Darko, films dealing with time travel have limited themselves to being just cool exercises in the “what if?” Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys (1996) is perhaps the most elaborate and successful movie mind-fuck, but its final revelation provides no answers to the time travel conundrum. The film remains at the level of example—if time travel is like this, then this is what would happen. It doesn’t explain why and its characters remain caught in a loop, destined to repeat themselves forever. Bruce Willis’s character will always watch himself die.

Donnie Darko follows a boy of superior intelligence whose emotional problems propel him on a very strange trajectory through a tangent universe. Donnie’s journey begins when he dreams about a rabbit telling him to leave the house. He follows the rabbit, and escapes being killed by a falling airplane part of unknown origin. But the rabbit tells him that the world is going to end in twenty-eight days. Donnie’s been given life and death at once.

Donnie Darko boldly attempts not only to transcend the time travel conundrum, but to link it explicitly to the biggest question of all: Does everyone die alone?

February 19, 2008

Master & Margarita the movie?

SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel | SCIFI.COM

Master & Margarita is one of my all-time favorite Russian novels. It's delightfully weird and deep.

Mikhail Bulgakov's supernatural novel The Master and Margarita is being adapted for the screen by Stone Village Pictures and producer Scott Steindorff, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Los Angeles-based production company has optioned the late Russian writer's once-banned book, an inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," about Satan's return to Earth.

Master and Margarita begins in pre-World War II Moscow, where the devil appears as a mysterious man who insinuates himself into a literary crowd. Amid a series of deaths and disappearances, the devil brings together the title characters, a despairing novelist and his devoted but married lover. The story shifts to the setting of the master's rejected novel, Jerusalem in the time of Pontius Pilate, and then to a supernatural world where satanic forces have taken over Margarita's life.

Roman Polanski adapted the novel in the late 1980s and was set to direct it before Warner Brothers reportedly pulled the plug because of budgetary concerns. The book was adapted into a Russian TV miniseries in 2005.

February 15, 2008

Feature: Batman: Gotham Knight

Batman: Gotham Knight First Look - Superhero Hype!

This is a six-part animated series bridging the gap between Batman Begins and Batman: The Dark Knight. The writers include Greg Rucka and Brian Azzarello.

Also, I love that they say Batman took lemons (his parents brutal murder) and made lemonade (his obsessive war on crime).