Donnie Darko and Director’s Cuts

Last night I saw the director’s cut of Donnie Darko. Bizarre. It’s one of my favourite films, but this added a chunk of religiosity and sci-fi exposition, and I think I prefer the more enigmatic original. The score was also different, and sometimes came close to overpowering the dialogue (on a small tv, anyway). Abi hadn’t seen it before and certainly enjoyed this telling, though, so maybe it doesn’t detract much from the film.

It’s unusual for me not to like a Director’s cut. Watching a film for the fifth time is a different experience from the first, and extra scenes that would have made an initial viewing tedious can be fascinating, especially if it’s a movie you love. I’ve liked the DCs of Armageddon, Gladiator and Superman. Blade Runner is another oft-quoted example, but I don’t think I’ve seen the non-DC version. I like the longer versions of the LOTR trilogy too, even if they do last forever. Sometimes DCs can be mental: The Abyss is a classic – the Director’s cut completely changes the story! And occasionally it goes the other way – the recent DVD DC of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is significantly shorter than the original.