What’s real, and what’s imagined? And does the answer to that question even really matter if, in the end, we all die alone. Welcome to the world of Donnie Darko. It’s a “Mad World” indeed. In the film, Donnie Darko, who is the title character, is either a paranoid schizophrenic who sees the future and changes it for the better, or he’s just a boy who dies alone in a freak accident. Personally, I’m a firm believer that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. Of course when it comes to fictional stories, the truth may lie anywhere. I suppose that is why I like films like Donnie Darko so much. Unlike our boundary-filled world, in a fictional universe one can explore the depths of the Universe without limits.
Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about String Theory, Quantum Mechanics, and the Big Bang, itself, quite often. The more I learn, the more I understand that there is so much that humanity just doesn’t know. As I mentioned in a previous post, currently scientists know and understand about 4% of how the Universe works. Put another way, we do not understand how 96% of the Universe around us works. As a teacher, that means the Universe gets an A and we have a F and need to boost our understanding by 56% just to get a D. Of course, for us just getting to 5% would be an improvement.
In the film, Darko says: “I can do anything I want, and so can you.” While discussing the short story “The Destructors” in his English class, Darko also says: “They just want to see what happens when they tear the world apart. They want to change things.” With these lines, it becomes clear that Darko doesn’t believe in limitations. Specifically, he doesn’t believe that we are all trapped in the present. Instead, he sees time as an illusion that can be manipulated by the mind. Given the major theme of my poetry collection, it should come as no surprise that I find Darko’s beliefs to be fascinating. Perhaps, fascinating enough to explore in another project….
Before writing about my film influences, I hadn’t realized that two films on my list were produced by Newmarket Films. Of course, I also didn’t realize that The Rum Diary was produced by Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil (getting ahead of myself I suppose, literary influences don’t begin until next week). It’s amazing what you’ll find when you pay attention to the details. You might be surprised where you’ll find interesting clues about the future. For now, though, go ahead and watch the trailer for Donnie Darko.