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Donnie Darko / one sheet / USA


Poster Poster

The debut film from writer-director Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko is a thought-provoking and genre-defying classic that has gained a strong cult-following since its release in 2001. Trying to describe the plot of the film is no easy task since it combines a coming-of-age teen storyline with a mind-bending alternate-reality/time-travel plot. The titular character is played by Jake Gyllenhaal who was only 21 at the time of release and the film was instrumental in catapulting him to stardom. Also appearing was Jake’s older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal who saw a similar boost to her already established career. In addition, the film had attracted a number of respected actors including Katharine RossMary McDonnell and the late Patrick Swayze, playing against type as a self-help guru with a dark secret.

Despite critical adulation (and a low-budget), Donnie Darko failed to break-even at the box-office due to a botched release in American cinemas in October 2001, not helped by the terrible tragedy that unfolded only a month before. The subsequent international release was delayed for over a year. The film’s success was cemented by its release on DVD following word of mouth raves from fans that saw the film’s details and meanings endlessly discussed online, and the 2004 release of a director’s cut also helped to spread the cult of Darko.

This excellent American one sheet features a montage of characters and scenes from the film that together form the head of the ‘evil rabbit’ Halloween costume worn by Frank (James Duval) one of the film’s integral characters. It was designed by the Los Angeles-based design agency KO Creative that was apparently formed only a year before this film’s release. They designed a couple of one sheets for the film, including this one (IMPAwards actually features a slightly alternate version) and another poster that was apparently used for the film’s release at the Sundance festival in early 2001.