Unlikely companions i know, but they both sit side by side in my DVD collection. OK, it’s not much of a collection but that is because i am rarely moved enough emotionally to spend hard earned wonga on DVD’s, only when the subject matter is as riveting ( did you like that Fred?) as these two classics are.
I have been treating Marple to the delights of Fred Dibnah over the past weeks. I know, before you say it – i sure know how to treat a woman – but Fred is the stuff that legends are made of, and of course from an engineers perspective, a marvel of how to get things done – old school!!
For many years, i pondered the act of climbing a 200ft chimney with just wooden ladders, hemp rope, metal spikes and a good head for heights, and now, finally, it is explained in something of a wonderful Lancashire accent. It is fair to say that i near shat myself watching Fred casually sitting on the top of a ladder at around 175 feet, his ladders gently wobbling in the breeze, one leg hooked over the top rung while he had a ‘chat’ with the camera man in the hydraulic lifting platform next to him – and i was in the comfort of my 1970 stylie sofa!
At the end of the DVD, the film closes with a shot of Fred, specs, waistcoat, pocket watch and cap. A man with terminal cancer, living his last dream, the last shot, Fred with a small yet fully knowing grin on his face. The pinch in the lips, the wrinkles around his eyes, the light facial shudder of a man that is saying a big and satisfied ‘ OH Yes!’ without muttering a word – a man that did with his time, all that he wanted !
And how does that compare to Donnie Darko? It doesn’t really. Donnie Darko continues to be a mystery to me. I also treated Marple to the complete head fuck that is Donnie Darko but not before telling her that she could not ask me questions while watching the movie. This i did so that i could then get her own opinions on the film without my prejudices. As expected, we then entered into a confused debate about what we had just watched, even flicking back to certain scenes in a vain attempt to clarify arguements – but no joy, confusion reigns supreme with this movie.
If you havent seen it already, go and rent it, but be sure to get the directors cut. If you can’t find the directors cut, ask me and i will send you my copy provided that you return it. I have watched this movie more than 20 times now, and until this morning could still not make head nor tail of it. Then i found a plausible explanation here on the net. If you have seen it and remain confused, click the link below and all will be revealed.
Sadly www.donniedarko.com no longer appears to work, either hacked or the domain name has been sold – an end of an era – just like Fred!!!!!
Have a moan - the beers are on me !!