by Barry Germansky

 

Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001) proves there is no such thing as genre outside the enterprise of convenient label-making. Due to the malleability of language, any work of art can fit the description of any genre. The film is an angst-ridden, time-traveling sampler of eras past and resurrected, a Rebel Without a Cause for the twenty-first century set during the presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Of course, there has never been a different time, and this rebel, like its even wiser older brother, has more genuine causes than its parents.