08 May 2009

The Prime and Tangential Universe

So my friend and I watched a movie the other night, entitled Donnie Darko. It was a cult movie, and after watching it, I liked it a lot, although my friend did not like it.

It was very mind-bending, and it was a movie dealing with the topic of time-travel and the predestination paradox. Most time travel movies present itself as a romantic comedy, such as Kate and Leopold or adventure, such as Back to the Future. However, this one is different. This was rather more of a psychological thriller, because the pieces of the movie do not come together until the end.

Anyway, the movie is about a troubled teenager, Donnie Darko, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. It reminded me of the other movie that we watched before, The Butterfly Effect. Anyway, Donnie sleepwalks, and sees a six-foot tall doomsday-prophesying bunny rabbit. And at the first night, a jet engine crashes on to his room, but since he was sleep-walking, he survived.

The bunny rabbit told him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 48 minutes, and 12 seconds. He then meets a girl, becomes her boyfriend, and vandalizes the school and burns a house. He also realizes that time travel is possible with a wormhole, and that he can correct the past if he does.

Anyway, it is hard to explain what really happened in the movie, given that the movie was a very mind-bending one anyway. However, somehow, the universe gets corrected, and Donnie dies in the end, when the clock reset to the beginning of the story.

Why am I fascinated with these time travel topics? For no reason, really, but because they provide fodder for gedanke experiments. Perhaps it also has something to do with my interest in temporal processing, on how people infer the temporal relations that hold across events in discourse.

(Naked Couple, from my National Gallery of Art Series)


  1. I have heard of this movie a lot and I really have to rent it, even though I know the story.

    I loved the Butterfly Effect, I have the feeling I would like this one too.

  2. Zhu,

    This movie is very mind-bending. Either you like it or hate it.