But the sky is cloudy, still I would like to assume that Stanley likes arriving at his school. The second sequence focuses on a different character the Grown up ex-boy genius Donnie Smith. Just as in the first sequence from this clip we have a fast tracking shot into a television, which then fills and becomes the screen. This is to show this next sequence is a TV show. The same game show “What Do Kids Know? ” is shown but as is the room in a distinctly dated style. They are wearing light blue graduation robes and graduation hats suggesting the young children are knowledgeable beyond there years.
The editing in this sequence is distinctly old-fashioned long takes. This adds to the authenticity of the piece it stays true to the 60’s game show style. The sequence is set in the Studio and uses a young Jimmy Gator shown previously as the host. I get the impression Donnie want’s to be on the game show a lot more than Stanley as he shows a desire to regain his lost youth to go back to the time he knew his parents loved him. His success and fame have become a substitute. There is no very fast editing to show eagerness.
He’s clever and he pausing increases the audience’s anticipation. He’s very much playing for the crowd and at this point he wants to be famous and seemingly understands the business more than Stanley. The fact that the same room in different time periods is used shows the superficial relationship between them, that they are very similar at this point. The sequence uses superimposed graphics to show the exact year. Donnie serves as a comparison to what Stanley could become if he’s successful in the game show and things continue on their course.
Once this comparison is made the correlation between them is cemented, the camera shows an almost perfect graphic match into the future, Donnie wearing the same grin. He’s wearing a cheap brown suit with cheap “national heath” style glasses (suggesting that he’s obviously not rich anymore). He’s in a dentist being readied for surgery; he’s getting braces. Donnie’s seemingly happy but I think this is just a cover as his visit to the dentist is needless and shows he has a need for self-improvement. Donnie Rushes off clearly used to the attention given to him by the nurses and even the doctor.
The bright lighting inside the room reflects Donnie’s projected mood. Donnie is happy because his teeth, which are fine, are going to be straighter. The doctor is interested in Donnie’s “celebrity” the doctor follows Donnie out from the surgery room trying to talk to him trying to make him stay longer, as if Donnie’s celebrity could rub off no him, but Donnie seems board, used to this kind of attention. This is a constant reminder to him of all he’s lost. He’s not rich, clever or on television anymore. Donnie rushes off brushing them aside making excuses and rushes off to work.
After he smashes up the seven-eleven in his car, we notice how the car is very small and weedy by American standards. The car is white and reflects his mood when he’s in it because of the music he listens to while inside. As soon as he crashes, he and the car into the storefront, the car goes into shadow as Donnie seems to wake from his daydream. His car also shows, along with the suits, he’s apparently not rich anymore. He’s also obviously well known local personality because a man comes running up and shouts “It’s quiz kid Donnie Smith! ” Donnie seems used to being recognized.
The EX-Boy genus is confused even though he’s just blatantly ran the car into the store he didn’t do it deliberately and is taken aback by the fact he’s forgotten to stop his car. He looks like he was daydreaming. Maybe he’s recently fallen in love. He’s getting braces, he clearly doesn’t need. This is to make himself look better. He thinks that this person would want him to change to be better even in this superficial way; Donnie feels that he’s not good enough. He’s daydreaming about this person he’s fallen in love with. The thing that makes me think this is the music it’s Dreams by Gabrielle.
This combined with his actions shows he’s thinking about his daydream coming true about his love and it’s reciprocation by this person. This short sequence in the film seems to be packed with different types of imagery relating to the characters which over time has given me a good understanding of the narrative, the relationships between the characters are clear contrasting elements like these two characters are readily apparent and within five minutes each character and there part of the narrative has been shown, making apparent the skill of the Writer/Director P. T Anderson.