Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Talkies with Richard Kelly at Sun-Ray Cinema

Not too long ago at all (okay, it was October 11th, just over a month ago), director Richard Kelly stopped by Sun-Ray Cinema here in Jacksonville to provide live commentary on his modern classic, Donnie Darko.

I've always been a fan of the film so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch it with the director. And Kelly wasn't alone - Frank was on hand to make sure everyone got into the theater okay.

I honestly thought this may have been Richard Kelly in disguise for a while.

Sun-Ray owners Tim and Shana play interesting clips preceding their screenings and, since Donnie Darko has such an awesome soundtrack, they played several music videos, including Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels". That song plays over a sequence in the film where Donnie is walking through his high school.

Tim and Shana then introduced Richard Kelly and the screening began. In all honesty Kelly was a little soft-spoken at first but after some sound adjusting and time to get accustomed to his audience the screening went great. It was awesome to see the film on the big screen and Kelly was full of interesting facts and anecdotes about the movie. A few highlights of the evening:

  • Kelly stated that one of the biggest misconceptions about the film is that it's a success. In fact, the film almost debuted on the Starz network.
  • Jason Schwartzman wanted to play the role of Donnie.
  • Kelly pointed out that the coverless book that Donnie's dad reads at one point in the film is Stephen King's "The Tommyknockers". Donnie's mom can clearly be seen reading Stephen King's "IT" earlier in the movie.
  • The film is a metaphor for the death of the Reagan era. Kelly really focused on this point, as people have always questioned why the film takes place in the '80s.
  • Kelly is crazy for Swayze and gushed about the actor. Swayze apparently took Kelly to his ranch where he recorded "She's Like the Wind".
  • I'm not sure if I forgot or never realized it, but a very young Seth Rogen is in the film! He plays one of the bullies though.

Kelly stayed after the screening to meet fans and I was able to get a picture with him. I also got him to sign the Sun-Ray ticket below.

All in all I had a good time! Donnie Darko is an interesting, classic film and Richard Kelly was a great host. And Frank didn't mind taking a selfie with me.


  1. Well this looks awesome.

    That Tears for Fears song is one of my favorite musical moments in film. I love it so much. Future favorite scene Friday? Perhaps.

    1. It was indeed awesome, Lindsay! Definitely some awesome musical moments in DD. I would love to see that Favorite Scene.