[OCTOBERFEAST is the greatest celebration of the year, a revelry dedicated to pop-culture’s most nutritious Halloween detritus. Plastic screams and artificial sweeteners have never been more bountiful. In the old country, villagers refer to the extended party as Satan’s Snacktime]
At the turn of the century, those of us fortunate enough to have survived the apocalypse found ourselves in the unenviable position of having to reconstruct society. The first post-apocalyptic years were full of tumult, with chaos seeping into every aspect of daily living. With few raw materials at our disposal, we frantically grabbed what we could and began assembling entertainment-jalopies. Sometimes, the pieces came together to create something beautiful.
So far-reaching was this poltergeist of piebald reassembly that not even the oxidized gates and sheep’s blood fountains of the OCTOBERFEAST could effectively ward it off. No, even the hallowed season of candied fright and salubrious Satanism fell victim to this malignant spirit. The surrealism of living after the End of the World, the yearning for yesteryear’s comforts, and the attempt to continue humanity’s narrative traditions writhed about in a baby-oiled orgy lasting throughout the tenth month of the year.
Perhaps the most infamous pregnancy attributable to this orgiastic blending is Donnie Darko.Richard Kelly’s feature debut is a classic to an entire breed of Millenial cultists. These folks swear that Donnie Darko is not just a movie but a manifesto, a live-action journey through the human psyche and the dreamy ideascapes that shape it. They love Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as the title character. They groove to the soundtrack. And they scoff at those who admit to being confused by the use of time-travel in the plot.
But time-travel is hardly the only confusing plot device to be found in Donnie Darko. The movie follows Donnie – 1988′s vision of Holden Caulfield – as he deals with the stresses of his teenage life. But whereas most teens are worried about pimples and premature ejaculation, Donnie’s got some heavier burdens to shoulder:
- He keeps having visions of a horrifying anthropomorphic bunny named Frank
- A jet engine crashes through his bedroom
- He believes the world will end in 28 days
- He’s falling in love with Jena Malone
- He slips into psychotic trances
- He knows that time-travel is going to play a role in his life
Although a bit convoluted, Donnie Darko does a great job of representing the feelings of OCTOBERFEAST. On the one hand, Donnie’s visions are especially dark(-o!), creating a swampy, mysterious atmosphere. On the other hand, the autumnal setting alone makes the flick a good one to watch during this most fearful of festivals. Leaves are falling, Halloween parties are thrown, horror-movie marathons are attended – watching the movie during this time of the year allows the viewer easier access to the 1988-Octoportal.
Watch Donnie Darko. Try to make sense of the timestream-slippin’. Soak up the residual OCTOBERFEAST juices drippin’ off the side.