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I can tell you about 1984 the novel if you want?

Massive spoilers here on in.

Basically the year is 1984, and the world is different, a lot different. The world is divided into three superpowers Oceana, Eastasia and Eurasia. The story takes place in Oceania, the government is know as 'The Party' and is run by a figure known as big brother.

Big Brother and the Party control everything, everything. The party wants people to think that everything was always as it is now, for example. At one point in time, Oceana is at war with Eastasia. The party wants everyone to believe that Oceana was ALWAYS at war with Eastasia. However, during the story the fight changes, and starts to war with Eurasia, so the party has all evidence to the contrary destroyed. All newspaper articles, books, videos are rewritten to uphold this new truth, and the people believe it, because they are weak, small minded, and have loved the party since birth. It;'s not that they grudgingly believe the new truth, as soon as it happens they forget what used to be, because they want to believe it.

Although occasionally some people are strong enough to remember.

Our hero is Winston Smith, he hates the party. He works for the partys 'Ministry of Truth', and is actually in charge of rewriting the newspapers to keep them up to date. He has no choice but to work for them, anyone who shows hatred for the party, of even questions its motives is killed. No exceptions. So Winston has to keep it a secret.

Outside of the party are the 'Proles' they are a civilisation of humans that don't follow the party, and never have. They don't even know the war is happening, and the Party doesn't care because it regards them as animals. It leaves them alone, and they leave it alone.

Winston buys a diary from a Prole, doing business with the proles is frowned on - but not forbidden. He takes it home, and starts to write in it. He writes about hating the party, he writes down all the things he wants to say, but cant.

Anyway the story progresses and Winston starts to form alliances with likeminded people. One a woman, who he comes to have a relationship with, and another is a man in his building who is apparently part of an anti-party resistence cell.

Winston and his girlfriend agree to join the cell, and all is going well, until the man double crosses them and reveals himself to be a member of the secret police, and takes winston and his love into custody. The rest of the book details Winstons interrogation, torture and eventual defeat at the hands of the party.

It's rather depressing actually. I kept expecting a twist or a revolt, but it never came.

Great book though.

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The Grudge

The normal façade of a modest house in Tokyo belies the hidden terror within. It is possessed by a violent plague that destroys the lives of everyone who enters. Known as The Grudge, this curse causes its victims to die in the grip of a powerful rage. Those who are fatally afflicted by the curse die and a new curse is born--passed like a virus to all those who enter the house in an endless, growing chain of horror. Karen is an exchange student studying social work in Japan who innocently agrees to cover for a nurse who didn't show up for work. When she enters the assigned home, she discovers an elderly American woman, Emma, who is lost in a catatonic state while the rest of the house appears deserted and disheveled. As she is tending to the stricken old woman, Karen hears scratching sounds from upstairs. When she investigates, she is faced with a supernatural horror more frightening than she could ever imagine. Within this house, a chain of terror has been set in motion resulting from a terrifying evil that was born years before. As more people die, Karen is pulled into the cycle of horror and learns the secret of the vengeful curse that has taken root in this house. Now she must stop it before it's too late.

Edited by Pepsi
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  • 2 weeks later...

During the presidential election of 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house one night, and sees a giant, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. He returns home the next morning to find that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom. As he tries to figure out why he survived and tries to deal with people in his town, like the school bully, his conservative health teacher, and a self-help guru, Frank continues to turn up in Donnie's mind, causing him to commit acts of vandalism and worse.

That's the IMDb summary.

As for actually EXPLAINING the movie, I can't. Donnie Darko has always seemed like one of those movies that throws in vague notions of ideas and half-plot holes that the viewers then fill in for themselves and use as theories of whatever.

Edited by GoGo Yubari
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Thats off a description on IMDB.  So basically anyone who enters this house is cursed to die.  Unlike The Ring which has rules that you will die in 7 days after viewing the tape, there are no rules to the curse meaning you could die as you step foot into the house or you die a week later in your own home.  That's what's kinda creepy about it.

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Thats off a description on IMDB.  So basically anyone who enters this house is cursed to die.  Unlike The Ring which has rules that you will die in 7 days after viewing the tape, there are no rules to the curse meaning you could die as you step foot into the house or you die a week later in your own home.  That's what's kinda creepy about it.

So everyone who enters this house will die at some undefined point in the future?

Wouldn't that be true about any house?

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I dug up that Plankton thing because I read it at the time, and you asked for it...

To understand Donnie Darko, you must read The Philosophy of Time Travel (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time1.htm). How about a quick overview? You should read the “book” yourself since it is very short. My paraphrasing is literally almost word-for-word.

And remember, some of this stuff is up to interpretation and some of it isn’t. I could be wrong on a few things and other I know I’m not. For the most part, I think I have the movie figured out.

First, let’s take a look at page 1 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time1.htm). There’s not a lot of significance here… yet. Let’s move on for now.

Page 2 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time2.htm) discusses the Primary and Tangent Universes. A Primary Universe is what we are in right now. It’s infested with peril, but it’s stable. Once in a while though, something happens that will corrupt the Primary Universe, bringing us into a Tangent Universe. Tangent Universes are unstable and will only last a short time until the world collapses under itself.

Page 3 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time3.htm) list two key elements to time travel: water and metal. Water is the barrier and metal is the transitional element for the artifact. This will make sense later.

Page 4 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time4.htm) discusses the Artifact and the Living. A vortex (I assume that is the black hole for which the world will eventually collapse under itself) will form hear the scene of the corruption. All of the Living near this will “find themselves at the epicenter of a dangerous new world.” The chapter then goes on to explain that an artifact is the first sign of a Tangent Universe. Although I want to stray from tying everything together until later, I think it’s best to realize that the jet engine is the artifact in Donnie Darko. An artifact’s existence has no logic surrounded by it and the Living out clueless and curious as to how it came to be. In the end, divine intervention is their only solution.

Page 5 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time5.htm) concentrates on the Living Receiver. The Living Receiver is chosen (no one knows how or why) to guide the artifact where it needs to be. The Living Receiver is usually granted four powers to complete his task; strength, telekinesis, mind control, and the ability to summon fire and water. “The Living Receiver is often tormented by terrifying dreams, visions, and auditory hallucinations during his time within the Tangent Universe. Those surrounding him/here are known as the Manipulated.

Page 6 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time6.htm) explains the first half of the Manipulated, the Manipulated Living. They are usually close friends or neighbors to the Living Receiver and often act irrational and bizarre (subconsciously, I believe). There job is to assist the Living Receiver in sending off the Artifact.

Page 7 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time7.htm) tackles the Manipulated Dead. These are people who die within the Tangent Universe. They are more powerful than the Living Receiver and are able to contact him through the Fourth Dimensional Construct (which we will address soon). We also learn about the Insurance Trap which is set up by the Manipulated Dead. If they are successful, the Living Receiver is left with no choice but to send the artifact back in time using his Fourth Dimensional Powers.

Page 8 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time8.htm) talks about dreams. After the Living Receiver does his job, the world is set back into place. Most (remember that; not all, but most) will not remember anything that occurred in the Tangent Universe, but will be haunted by dreams. Some will not even remember at all. Those who do remember will be haunted by their knowledge forever. Some may even question their sanity since the Artifact is their only proof that such a world existed.

“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 the sword he had not yet built.

We are told these things occur for a reason.”

Page 9 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time9.htm) shows pictures of the Fourth Dimensional Construct, which is made of water.

Page 10 (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/time10.htm) is back pages of the back. We don’t need to guess or interpret here. Some scribbling tells us that Donnie was in fact the Living Receiver, Frank and Gretchen were the Manipulated Dead, and everyone else in the movie was the Manipulated Living.

So where to start? First off, let’s make sure that we know what a Tangent Universe is and how it happened in this movie. God plays a huge role. No matter what your religious views are, in this movie God’s word is everything. If something is meant to happen, it happens. If not, it doesn’t. Donnie Darko was supposed to die on the night the movie begins where he wakes up on the road. I am not sure of this, but I’ll explain later why I think it’s true.

Because Donnie was supposed to die, but didn’t, the world was corrupted, thus making it a Tangent Universe. The next night Frank contacted Donnie to help guide him. While we’re on the subject of God and Frank, let’s calling the Manipulated, shall we?

Who exactly are the Manipulated manipulated by? God. God used Frank as a messenger to steer him the right way. Remember, these people are being manipulated by God to save there on skins. Now how exactly could Frank be dead and alive at the same time (since he was killed near the end of the Tangent Universe)? Because any of the Living who dies within the TU, whether at the first or last second, are the Manipulated Dead the entire time. Any doubt that Frank was God can be cleared up in this (http://www.ruinedeye.com/cd/dscenes/dsee1.htm) description of a deleted scene.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. We’ll discuss Donnie mission for now. Donnie’s mission as the Living Receiver is to ultimately send the Artifact (the jet engine) back in time and kill himself. Obviously he doesn’t know this, and no one else really does either except for God. The Manipulated Dead, Frank and Gretchen, set up an Insurance Trap. Both have two very important and very different roles. Frank is more or less being “possessed” by God while Gretchen is being used much more subtly. The Insurance Trap is very simple; have Donnie fall in love with Gretchen, have Gretchen die, and then have Donnie go back in time to kill himself so that he can save her life. While Gretchen is being used very heavily, she never even knew it.

The first thing Frank has Donnie do is flood the school. Remember, the Living Receiver has the ability to conjure water. So Donnie floods the school, which immediately sets up a chance for him to meet Gretchen. Listen to their conversation. It seems awkward, doesn’t it? Donnie even seemed taken off guard when Gretchen agreed to date him so easily. In reality, if anyone else would have asked a girl like that out how Donnie did after the weird conversation they had, she would have said no. But remember, Gretchen was being heavily manipulated.

We’re going to change gears for a little bit again and discuss the Four Dimensional Construct, or “those weird water things coming out of people.” That, my friends, is Frank. It was just another way for him to communicate and guide Donnie. Very simple.

Now that we’ve pretty much cleared up the Manipulated Dead’s roles, let’s go back to Frank. Frank next has Donnie burn down Jim Cunningham’s house (ability to conjure fire). It’s realized that there Cunningham has a “kiddy porn ring.” Remember this; we’ll discuss it later. Because of this occurrence, Kitty Farmer cannot go to the Star Search trip. Instead, Donnie’s mom must leave to take the children to the trip. This leaves Donnie and his sister alone to throw a part. This is essential because it’s at this point that Donnie can have sex with Gretchen and become closer to here. This also gives them opportunity to go to the Cellar Door so Gretchen can be killed by Frank (who didn’t literally mean to do it, but was definitely meant to).

So that clears up the Manipulated Dead’s responsibilities, now let’s see what roles the Living played. Remember, the Living are known to Act irrational and bizarre in the TU. They are going to do things that they normally wouldn’t. The bullies, for instance, act extra mean. Jim Cunningham very well may not have even been into kiddy porn until the TU. I’ll explain why this might be later. Karen Pomeroy set up that awkward (and very unprofessional) situation for Gretchen so that she would sit by Donnie and an interest would be ignited.

So now we can understand how and why all these things happened before the death of Gretchen. But everything else after that was all Donnie. I hope you didn’t forget Donnie’s other two powers, telekinesis and mind control. Donnie wanted to save Gretchen’s life and somehow, through telekinesis, mind control or something like that, knew what he needed to do. He waited by where the plane would fly (he may have even guided it there) and created the gateway. This, along with the water and metal that was required of time travel, made this possible. The jet engine flew back in time and killed Donnie, setting things back to normal. I can only assume that Donnie somehow was able to place the other end of the vortex above his house. Remember, it was important that Donnie set things right in the Primary Universe. It would have done him no good to commit suicide in the TU. I also don’t know if there was any significance to his mom and sister being on the plane.

Depending on how abstract your mind is at thinking about time travel, it’s easy to realize that the whole jet engine debacle didn’t actually occur until the end of the events, although it seemed like it was really the starting point. Weird, huh?

Now onto one of the last parts of the film, the Mad World scene. Here we’re shown several shots of people’s faces after Donnie’s death. These are the Dreams that were discussed earlier. Most people seemed bothered, signifying that they could not exactly remember what happened, but still had nagging memories that they just couldn’t pin down. The psychiatrist jolts up in the middle of her sleep. This is because she remembers everything. It can be assumed that this was because, although she wasn’t the closest to Donnie, she was the one absorbing the most information from him.

Karen Pomeroy and Kenneth Monnitoff, the married couple who were teachers (played by Drew Barrymore and Noah Wyle) also knew. In fact, they knew about the Tangent Universe before Donnie fell into it. From the Philosophy of Time Travel we know that these Tangent Universes happen several times. And we know that some people remember. Well this couple was in one ad remembered. Pay close attention to the subtle scene where Pomeroy says “Donnie Darko, huh?” after Monnitoff tells her about his meeting with Donnie. And in that meeting too, notice that Monnitoff seems to know exactly what’s going on. He probably knew that he was in a TU and was glad to help guide Donnie.

From this it’s easy to figure at that Grandma Death also was in a TU before and remembered. If you read the first page of here book it says “I pray that this is merely a work of fiction.” She probably was not sure if what had happened really had happened, but wrote the book anyways. Whatever life altering sequence of events happened after this TU too, probably caused her to leave the church as a nun. From this we can also make sense of her telling Donnie that we all die alone, although she probably was not aware that Donnie was the Living Receiver.

Tying up some loose ends here, the cellar door reference was probably implanted in Donnie’s head to remind him of Grandma Death’s house. It was to influence him to go there at a certain time to seek out her help. Of course the reason why he went there and it’s purpose was not the same.

I cannot think of a time that Donnie used his power of increased strength. I am either missing something obvious or he never used the power.

I promised I would go back to Jim Cunningham and the whole kiddy porn ring. It’s possible that Cunningham was never involved in that until the TU. All the Manipulated living are subject to irrational and bizarre behavior if you remember. He may have done this to help set up the final events. The only justification for this is Cunningham cries at the end. It’s possible that the memories of something he technically didn’t do haunted him. It’s also possible that he was always involved, but feels guilty near the end because of the memories of being caught and defamed.

The real tragedy, in my opinion, isn’t in the fact that Donnie dies. It’s that although everyone else has at least a light memory of what happened, Gretchen has none. His father can remember their bonding (a deleted scene), his mother can remember their mending, and his sister can remember the same thing. Gretchen, however, remembers nothing. He died for her and she will never know. It’s probably for the better though.

And finally, why did Donnie laugh at the end? Well, I’ll let the director handle that one.

“You can interpret the ending in two ways. That when he's in bed, he's laughing because he thinks it's all a dream, and he's just going to roll over and go to sleep because he thinks it's all a dream. Or he's laughing because he's enlightened because he's seen the potential, and he's had a vision, and he's accepted…. He's had a religious experience. And that's greater and better than anything that we could comprehend. So, ultimately, I hope that it would be about enlightenment, more than anything else.”

(I believe I have covered all of my interpretations. I will more than likely add some more later, so check back if you’re really interested.)

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It would have been perfectly decent for the genre had they actually gone anywhere. It had no resolve at all, and not even in the lame set-up for a sequel way. There was just movie with potential, and it ended, with that potential never being used.

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It would have been perfectly decent for the genre had they actually gone anywhere.  It had no resolve at all, and not even in the lame set-up for a sequel way.  There was just movie with potential, and it ended, with that potential never being used.

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Donnie darko is amazing , I ahte it that they've got a directors cut out now after I bought the regular dvd. Thanks Sean for posting that I remembered someone posting about the movie but couldn't remember who

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I like Donnie Darko because it's so open to interpretation. It's rare to find a movie these days that can have so many different possible meanings. I liked the fact that it didn't explain anything at the end and just left you to fill in the blanks.

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Guest Pirate Chasin' Booty

I'm with Lanky, a little bit of thinking doesn't hurt, but when it gets to the degree that people are writing theories about it on the internet, I'm not interested.

Donnie Darko is held high amongst internet users and film critics, but theres a reason why its priced at £5 in all the shops, and thats because the average person hasn't got the time for it.

You know the world is in a sorry state of affairs when Patrick Swayze playing the part of a paedophile doesn't pull in the ratings.

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