Donnie Darko at 15

Early in Donnie Darko, Drew Barrymore reads to a high school English class from Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors”: ‘It was as though this plan had been with him all his life, pondered through the seasons, now in his fifteenth year crystallised with the pain of puberty.’ My own pubescent pain is itself crystallised in memory by the approximately seven second shot even earlier in the film that begins with the opening notes of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”, as Jake Gyllenhaal’s eponymous 16 year old wipes the sleep out of his eyes, riding his bike in pyjamas down Carpathian Ridge, a perfect encapsulation of the entwined angst and optimism of adolescence. Continue reading