Last night I caught up at last with Donnie Darko (2001), though not the Director’s Cut. See also Wikipedia and the Donnie Darko website, which is quite amazing in itself, though I could only make it work in IE. Last year ABC-TV had a My Favourite Film poll:
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
3. Blade Runner
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. Donnie Darko
6. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
7. Pulp Fiction
8. The Princess Bride
9. Gone With The Wind
10. Fight Club
At that stage I had never even heard of Donnie Darko! Now I’ve seen it, and what an imaginative film it is. Well worth the time spent watching it. See also Margaret Pomeranz speaks to director Richard Kelly. Lawrence Person has written a very good critical review.
Life is Beautiful (1998) is #29 on that top 100. I notice one review there says “Benigni’s movie made me want to throw up…” I did not react quite like that. The movie has had its share of knockers though: see also Wikipedia. It is now one of the texts for the NSW HSC unit on History and Memory, and I suspect would require much skill and tact to teach well; the Sydney Jewish Museum offers resources for that study.
I enjoyed Life is Beautiful, even if it is a bit twee at times. There are many genuinely funny scenes, and a nice tribute to Singing in the Rain at one point. It is amazing how it encompasses such a range of meaning and emotion. Mike Odetalla offers a personal response that is worth reading.