by Richard Kelly
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We descend upon Carpathian Ridge, a crescent-shaped cliff
that extrudes from the dense Virginia evergreens above a
deep rock canyon. The cliff marks the end of a dirt road
that winds down from above.
Donnie Darko (sixteen) is asleep at the edge of the cliff.
With his bike collapsed next to him, he is shivering, curled
up on the foetal position.
He slowly opens his eyes and looks around, disoriented by
the morning light. He then stands up, looking down into the
expansive rock canyon. After a moment of hesitation, he takes
his bike back up the hill.
EXT. MIDDLESEX - MORNING (11 A.M.)
Montage is choreographed to 'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS.
Donnie pedals down into the suburban village of Middlesex,
Virginia... passing by a large rock 'Middlesex' rock-pattern.
Donnie pedals past two neighbourhood women who are
speedwalking with handweights. They smile at him.
A Pontiac Trans-Am speeds by.
EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - DAY (SATURDAY 1 P.M.)
Donnie turns the corner and heads towards the garage.
We pan over to the Darko house... moving through the front
yard where Eddie Darko (forty-four) pulls the cord and his
gas-powered leaf-blower roars to life.
Elizabeth Darko (nineteen) comes out the front door. She
approaches her dad from behind. Eddie turns and aims the
leaf-blower at her face... blasting her with air.
EXT. DARKO DRIVEWAY - NEXT
Donnie parks his bike and goes inside.
EXT. DARKO BACKYARD / PATIO - NEXT
We pull back from Samantha Darko (ten) as she is jumping on
a trampoline and pan over to Rose Darko (forty-two) as she
sits at a table reading a paperback copy of Stephen King's
"IT". She glances over to the kitchen.
INT. KITCHEN - NEXT
Donnie walks into the kitchen. He then goes to the
Printed in magic marker on the refrigerator notepad is the
WHERE IS DONNIE?
INT. FAMILY ROOM - EVENING (5 P.M.)
The opening theme of "Who's the Boss?" begins as we see Tony
Danza's blue van and the title card. We reveal Samantha,
sitting on the floor, singing softly to the theme song "Brand
New Life" performed by Larry Weiss.
We pan over to Donnie, sitting in the La-Z Boy.
INT. KITCHEN - EVENING (6 P.M.)
The Darko family has convened for dinner. They eat silently
for several moments.
I'm voting for Dukakis.
Perhaps when you have children of
your own that need braces, and you
can't afford them because half of
your husband's paycheck goes to the
federal government, you'll regret
I'm not gonna squeeze one out until
Will you still be working at Yarn
Barn? 'Cause that's a great place to
No, a year of partying is enough.
She'll be going to Harvard this fall.
I haven't been accepted yet, mother.
If you think Michael Dukakis will
provide for this country prior to
the point when you decide to squeeze
one out, then I think you're
When can I squeeze one out?
(to his sister)
Not until like... eighth grade.
Donnie? You're a dick.
Whoa, Elizabeth. A little hostile,
there. Maybe you should be the one
in therapy. Then Mom and Dad can pay
someone two hundred dollars an hour
to listen to all of your thoughts...
so we won't have to.
Maybe you'd like to tell Mom and Dad
why you stopped taking your
An awkward silence.
You've stopped taking your medication?
When can I squeeze one out, Mom?
(glaring at Elizabeth)
You're such a fuck-ass.
When did you stop taking your
Did you just call me a fuck-ass?
You can suck a fuck.
Oh, please tell me, Elizabeth, how
exactly does one suck a fuck?
We will not have this kind of language
at the dinner table.
They are all silent for a moment.
What's a fuck-ass?
Despite his brave efforts to hold back laughter, Eddie Darko
lets out a slight guffaw.
INT. ELIZABETH'S ROOM - EVENING (SATURDAY NIGHT, 9 P.M.)
Elizabeth talks on the phone, getting ready for her Saturday
night. Rose knocks and then enters.
(into the phone)
No. I took a year off to be with
Of course I care. Don't get angry.
(covering the phone)
How did you know --
(cutting her off)
I didn't realise it was such a big
It is a big deal.
I caught him flushing pills down the
toilet. He knows you check the
INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NEXT
Donnie lies on his bed, reading "Collected Short Stories" by
Graham Greene. His room is an organised wreck.
Rose enters and begins to pick things up of the floor.
Get out of my room.
Rose bitterly turns to leave, but stops at the door.
I wish I knew where you went at night.
Did you toilet paper the Johnson's
I stopped rolling houses in the sixth
Get out of my room.
You know... it would be nice to look
at you some time... and see my son.
I don't recognise this person today.
Then why don't you start taking the
Donnie leans over and turns off his lamp. Rose turns and
leaves her son alone in the dark, closing the door behind
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