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Visual Representation In The Movie "Donnie Darko"

967 words - 4 pages

There have been countless numbers of films produced and directed in the past decade that could be labeled as weird or bizarre, however, one of the most head-scratching and unusual films to hit the big screen in the past decade was Donnie Darko (2001), directed by Richard Kelly. The film depicts a troubled adolescent named Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), who after surviving a near death experience, finds himself at the center of numerous acts of violence and vandalism in his community, possibly due to his growing insanity. Arguably, one of the highlights of the film, if not the main highlight, occurs during Donnie’s first day back at school since his close brush with death. This dreamlike and hyper amplified school-entrance montage that Kelly takes the viewer through has a major contribution to the film in its entirety because it gives a much deeper meaning to the film in terms of the audio-visual style.
One could righteously make the argument that films today have advanced in numerous aspects in terms of the audio quality, cinematography, and not to mention the advances in editing. Based off of that argument, one could claim that the filming process is in fact at its epic peak; with advanced green screen technology and the use of computerized editing, films today have completely evolved from the early versions of motion pictures. With these advances, directors like Kelly are more able now, than ever before, to include better audio, visual and cinematic effects to better enhance their films and portray a deeper and more emotional feeling to the piece at work. In regards to the “Head over Heels” montage in the film, Kelly was able to accurately and systematically show what was going on around Donnie’s school without a word of scripted dialogue; relying purely on sped up dynamics and the actual song in the background, “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears. The song, when examined lyrically word for word, accurately portrays the implied emotions from character to character; the self-help obsessed teacher, the bullies, the loner, and Miss. Pomri’s (Drew Barrymore) obvious disgust of Sparkle Motion. Although, along with the presence of hatred, interpreted by examining the visual aspect of the montage, from character to character there as an undeniable theme of love in this particular clip as well. The Tears for Fears song is considered to be a love song all on its own, accurately titled “Head over Heels”. The fact that the actual dynamic of the scene is sped up, it makes the viewer feel dazed, as if he or she is actually walking in those halls, experiencing first hand what it feels like to be in school again, wondering if that special someone will walk by and lock eyes with one another.
Despite the lack of dialogue in this scene, the cinematography alone gives much to discuss. The scene starts out with Donnie exiting the school bus from the back emergency exit as opposed...

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