Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the post about donnie darko

"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us." (Franz Kafka)


Donnie Darko is about Sync. In this film, the protagonist (the Chosen) is manipulated by cosmic forces into a situation where he has no choice but to accomplish the Great Work. (V again . . .)




In 1988, teenager Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) has been seeing a psychiatrist because of his troubled history. On October 2, Frank (James Duval), a menacing, demonic-looking rabbit with an eerie, hypnotic voice, draws Donnie out of his room to tell him, in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds, the world will end. While Donnie is outside, a jet engine crashes through his bedroom. 


The jet engine is Donnie's initiation into the first card of the Tarot, the Magician, representing the force of Air falling into Earth. Donnie lives in Middlesex, a Royal Hermaphrodite-resonating coniunctio oppositorum (Hill Valley).

"Artifacts are formed from metal, such as . . . a Metal Sword from Medieval Europe."

Chapter One:
The Tangent Universe

The Primary Universe is fraught with great peril. War, plague, famine and natural disaster are common.

Death comes to us all. The Fourth Dimension of Time is a stable construct, though it is not impenetrable.

Incidents when the fabric of the fourth dimension becomes corrupted are incredibly rare.

If a Tangent Universe occurs, it will be highly unstable, sustaining itself for no longer than several weeks.

Eventually it will collapse upon itself, forming a black hole within the Primary Universe capable of destroying all existence.

Chapter Two:
Water And Metal

Water and Metal are the key elements of Time Travel.

Water is the barrier element for the construction of Time Portals used as gateways between Universes as the Tangent Vortex.

Metal is the transitional element for the construction of Artifact Vessels.

Chapter Four:
The Artifact And The Living

When a Tangent Universe occurs, those living nearest to the Vortex, will find themselves at the epicenter of a dangerous new world.

Artifacts provide the first sign that a Tangent Universe has occurred.

If an Artifact occurs, the Living will retrieve it with great interest and curiosity.

Artifacts are formed from metal, such as an Arrowhead from an ancient Mayan civilization, or a Metal Sword from Medieval Europe.

Artifacts returned to the Primary Universe are often linked to religious Iconography, as their appearance on Earth seems to defy logical explanation.

Divine intervention is deemed the only logical conclusion for the appearance of the Artifact.

Chapter Six:
The Living Receiver

The Living Receiver is chosen to guide the Artifact into position for its journey back to the Primary Universe.

No one knows how or why a Receiver will be chosen. (Roberta Sparrow, The Philosophy of Time Travel)



This is the Power of Love (sublimated pneuma, alchemically created by the union of Sol and Luna), something alien to this world that enters it from another universe. Donnie has now become one of the Chosen: an Active Receiver.


Frank, the Mask of God, will lead our postmodern Moses out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.


Drew Barrymore holding "The Destructors" is the High Priestess. The red-haired Goddess gives Donnie the Book (the Law) on Graham Greene's "The Destructors," a story about destroying the dark father's house (Grimmauld Place) from within (Christ must clear the temple).

That Donnie Darko was made at all is a credit to the clout of Drew Barrymore, who acted as Executive Producer and "Fairy Godmother" for the film in addition to playing a supporting role as sympathetic teacher Karen Pomeroy. (Lawrence Person


So, too, does she make the union possible by placing Donnie and his new love Gretchen together.

The following day, Donnie meets Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone), a new student, who becomes one of the few people with whom Donnie can share his visions. 

Sean Smith: We gotta find ourselves a Smurfette.
Ronald Fisher: Smurfette?
Sean Smith: Yeah, not some tight-ass Middlesex chick, right? Like this cute little blonde that will get down and dirty with the guys. Like Smurfette does.
Donnie: Smurfette doesn't fuck.
Sean Smith: That's bullshit. Smurfette fucks all the other Smurfs. Why do you think Papa Smurf made her? Because all the other Smurfs were getting too horny.
Ronald Fisher: No, no, no, not Vanity. I heard he was a homosexual.
Sean Smith: Okay, then, you know what? She fucks them and Vanity watches. Okay?
Ronald Fisher: What about Papa Smurf? I mean, he must get in on all the action.
Sean Smith: Yeah, what he does, he films the gang-bang, and he beats off to the tape.
Donnie: [shouts] First of all, Papa Smurf didn't create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel's evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village. But the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have... reproductive organs under those little, white pants. It's just so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf. You know, what's the point of living... if you don't have a dick?
Ronald Fisher: [pause] Dammit, Donnie. Why you gotta get all smart on us?

Donnie's Smurfette conversation is the crux of the movie--Gretchen (presumably named after Faust's lover in Goethe's play) is Smurfette, the anima created by the dark alchemist Gargamel (Faust)--in this case, Donnie Darko himself. Gretchen had an abusive stepfather who stabbed her mother in the heart (a motif familiar from Jane in Catcher in the Rye; the feminine soul suffers a tyranny of abuse at the hands of the masculine ego).


His father, Eddie (Holmes Osborne), takes Donnie to his therapist, Dr. Lillian Thurman (Katharine Ross), and nearly runs over Roberta Sparrow (Patience Cleveland), a seemingly senile old woman known as "Grandma Death." . . . Frank continues to appear to Donnie and manipulates him to commit a series of crimes. 




He also tells Donnie about time travel while he is watching a film at the theater with Gretchen Ross. 


Frank opens a portal through the movie screen; i.e. Donnie can exit the Cave into a higher dimension, at least for a time.

One Moses gives the Law to another


His teacher (Hierophant) Kenneth Monnitoff (Noah Wylie, = Steve Jobs = Moses, appropriately enough) gives Donnie the Book on Time Travel (the Law that he must fulfill), written by the Magna Mater, Grandma Death (every day she waits for someone to heed the Call). This is the Crone archetype in distinction from the Maiden and Mother.

Donnie Darko: Well if God controls time, then all time is pre-decided.

Kenneth Monnitoff: I’m not following you.

Donnie Darko: Every living thing follows along a set path. And if you could see your path or channel, then you could see into the future, right? Like err… that’s a form of time travel.

Kenneth Monnitoff: Well, you’re contradicting yourself Donnie. If we were able to see out destines manifest themselves visually, then we would be given a choice to betray our chosen destinies. And the mere fact that this choice exists would make all pre-formed destiny umm… come to an end.

Donnie Darko: Not if you travel within God’s channel.


Donnie discovers that his heart is a time machine. (That Donnie is now able to see his destiny erupting out of his chest is literally true, after a certain manner.)

Donnie’s bible is The Philosophy of Time Travel, a book written by Darko character Roberta Sparrow, a.k.a. Grandma Death. Sparrows are the birds most commonly associated with God’s providence. (Metaphilm)


Donnie's life at Hogwarts continues to deteriorate. Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant) is his Dolores Umbridge; the FEAR - LOVE axis is literally true ("love is the law"), but Donnie chafes under the severity of the restrictions of the Law.

Donnie floods the school, steals his father's gun, and burns the home of Cunningham, where firemen uncover a "kiddie porn dungeon".

"Let me tell you about the power of NOW . . ."


Donnie must first release the Deluge (immersion in the unconscious) before destroying the world by Fire (alchemical purification). Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze) is the Hierophant in its most negative sense; his words are actually technically correct (as Donnie himself admits) but he is all Image ("you're the fucking Anti-Christ"). Cunningham's (Gilderoy Lockhart's) house is the Tower of ego, demolished to reveal the depravity that lurks in the basement of the unconscious.

These surrounding the Living Receiver, known as the Manipulated, will fear him and try to destroy him.

Chapter Seven:
The Manipulated Living

The Manipulated Living are often the close friends and neighbors of the Living Receiver.

They are prone to irrational, bizarre, and often violent behavior.

This is the unfortunate result of their task, which is to assist the Living Receiver in returning the Artifact to the Primary Universe.

The Manipulated Living will do anything to save themselves from Oblivion. (The Philosophy of Time Travel)

The people around Donnie are the "Manipulated Living," simply enacting pre-determined archetypes. Donnie the "Active Receiver" (the Chosen) is driven through a series of seemingly unconnected events toward a predetermined end.


Meanwhile, Donnie and Gretchen's figurative homunculus is raised in darkness, being subjected to horrible images (Room 237) by the likes of Alex Greenwald and Seth Rogen (evidently the Muggle Crabbe and Goyle--this whole scene is completely nonsensical if not read esoterically).


Assiah, the archetypal Asian girl (fat to show that she holds all possibilities) loves Donnie, secretly--he promises her that matter will be redeemed.

Donnie and older sister Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal) throw a Halloween party while their mother, Rose (Mary McDonnell), and younger sister Sam (Daveigh Chase), are away at a dance competition. Gretchen comes to Donnie's house in tears for safety because her mother has suddenly disappeared, likely because of her threatening stepfather, and it is implied she and Donnie have sex for the first time at the party. At midnight, Donnie realizes 28 days have passed and only 6 hours remain until the end of the world. Donnie visits "Grandma Death" along with Gretchen and two friends. They are assaulted by the high school bullies (Alex Greenwald and Seth Rogen); Gretchen is knocked unconscious. A car swerves to avoid "Grandma Death", but runs over Gretchen, killing her. As the bullies run off, a man wearing a rabbit costume emerges from the car, realizing what has happened. It is Elizabeth's boyfriend, Frank. Frank yells at Donnie, who shoots Frank in the eye with his father's stolen pistol.



Seeking answers, Donnie goes to visit Grandma Death, but instead of finding Truth in the depths of the Cellar Door, he finds only death--that is, he has a full comprehension of the darkness within himself and understands that he must die in order to be reborn. Frank, as the Mask of God, is Tyler Durden (the Narrator in the Future, an emblem of God apart from the self)--he engineers his own death.

Frank is killed in the TU and therefore becomes one of the Manipulated Dead. He travels back in time and helps Donnie with his quest to return the Artifact. The first thing he must do is save Donnie by waking him up before he gets squashed by the jet engine. He is like a reverse ghost who appears before he was killed. Gretchen is also Manipulated Dead but she doesn't appear to Donnie in the same way as it might be to confusing for him. (Dan Smith)


Here he witnesses Frank (God the Father) kill Gretchen (Shekinah). This is the act revealed to him when he enters the Cellar Door: The original breach in the Godhead.

Chapter Ten:
The Manipulated Dead

The Manipulated Dead are more powerful than the Living Receiver. If a person dies within the Tangent Dimension, they are able to contact the Living Receiver through the Fourth Dimensional Construct.

The Fourth Dimensional Construct is made of Water.

The Manipulated Dead will manipulate the Living Receiver using the Fourth Dimensional Construct (see Appendix A and B).

The Manipulated Dead will often set an Ensurance Trap for the Living Receiver to ensure that the Artifact is returned safely to the Primary Universe.

If the Ensurance Trap is successful, the Living Receiver is left with no choice but to use his Fourth Dimensional Power to send the Artifact back in time into the Primary Universe before the Black hole collapses upon itself.

Chapter Twelve:
Dreams

When the Manipulated awaken from their Journey into the Tangent Universe, they are often haunted by the experience in their dreams.

Many of them will not remember.

Those who do remember the Journey are often overcome with profound remorse for the regretful actions buried within their Dreams, the only physical evidence buried within the Artifact itself, all that remains from the lost world.

Ancient myth tells us of the Mayan Warrior killed by an Arrowhead that had fallen from a cliff, where there was no Army, no enemy to be found.

We are told of the Medieval Knight mysteriously impaled by sword he had not yet built.

We are told that these things occur for a reason.

NOTES

Living Receiver

Donnie Darko
Manipulated Dead

Frank Anderson
Gretchen Ross


If Gretchen is Manipulated Dead, the implication is that she is another "ghost" (Living Dead Girl) and not a "real" person at all. Donnie's time travel is a reversal of spiritual entropy--his Girlfriend is in a Coma.


Donnie carries Gretchen's lifeless body home, places her in the family car, and speeds away, watching as a tornado forms over the city. For once, Donnie, now smiling, seems at peace as a vortex engulfs the jet carrying his mother and sister. Just as the storm causes an engine to fall off, Donnie transports it back in time -- 28 days earlier -- using a wormhole.


"I knew i could do it this time, because i'd already done it... Does that make sense?"

In Azkaban we likewise learn that Harry Potter's father is really Harry himself in the future. Harry must send a Patronus backwards in time in order to save Sirius from a fate worse than death. Donnie Darko duplicates this almost exactly.


In the revised timeline, Donnie chooses to stay in bed. He laughs and turns over as if to sleep just as the jet engine crashes through his bedroom, killing him. As his body is taken away the next morning, Gretchen passes by on her bike and is informed by a neighborhood boy about what has happened. Gretchen tells him that she did not know Donnie, and she gives a sympathetic wave to Rose.

Gretchen now rides the Wheel

All of the female characters "graduate" at the end; Donnie's kid sister becomes a Star, his older sister goes to Harvard, and his girlfriend is resurrected and now rides the Wheel. These are all aspects of Phoebe in Catcher, as Holden visits her at school and places her on the Mary Go Round at the end, the endlessly spinning wheel of dharma. Donnie, of course, must die so that they may live.

Donnie Darko: I've reached the end of your book, and there are so many things I need to ask you. Sometimes I'm afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I'm afraid you'll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep. I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.

. . .

And meanwhile, in the latest Jake Gyllenhaal film, we see the same time travel theme. Once again, he must alter the timeline in order to save the girl from death.


Colter: I want to go back in. I'm going to save her.
Dr. Rutledge: You can't. It doesn't work that way.
Colleen: Christina is dead.
Colter: She doesn't have to be.

6 comments:

  1. Donnie Darko is Gargamel is John Dee . . .

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  2. I going to be a bit vague here cause its late but theres a Seth, Osiris and Isis thing going on in Donnie Darko I beleive. If you watch donnie again theres a subliminal incestious thing going on with donnie and his sister. (who is also his sister in real life) They speak crudley in sexual terms at the dinner table to each other and he watches her as she sleeps,(next to a toy rabbit)Does he also under hypnosis get turned on thinking about her??
    He shoots her boyfriend through the eye!. Wasn't Isis both sister and wife to Osiris. And Osiris was known as king of the dead.
    Im sure theres more but Its been a long time since I watched the movie/anyway nice blog always interesting :)

    Treefrog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stumbled on this post. Quite synchromystically, I am playing The Rolling Stones' "Through the Past Darkly" collection, which I always associate with Halloween 1988 - the date the events in "Donnie Darko" were leading up to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite an interesting Read about another Dissection of the Donnie Darko Perspective. And Deeper into the Rabbit Hole we go ~~

    Universal Truth in observance: Ask and You Shall Receive ; Seek and You Shall Find

    ReplyDelete

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