During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.Written by
When the ATM is dragged behind the car, the white sparks can be clearly seen coming from inside it and not from the bottom as from the friction with the asphalt road. See more »
Private Pilot Abilene:
In the aftermath of nuclear attacks in Texas, America found itself on the brink of anarchy.
[overlapping news reports]
Private Pilot Abilene:
World War III had begun.
Private Pilot Abilene:
The accelerated conflict in the Middle East placed significant restrictions on American access to oil. Alternative fuel sources became a lucrative commodity. Americans were transfixed by the terrorist's threat, and were willing to prevent another attack by any means necessary. Military checkpoints were erected at each State line. ...
[...] See more »
After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME" See more »
Originally running for 160 minutes, Southland Tales premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 to a disastrous reception. Because of this, it was re-edited and shortened in length as part of the distribution deal. Since the shortened version was shown theatrically and released on DVD, the Cannes cut has been shown on Cable TV and DVD releases in Europe. Some of the changes between the theatrical cut and the Cannes cut are as follows:
Opens the same as theatrical cut, with home video in Abilene, except with music ('Water Pistol' by Moby) and runs longer. Video is also shown in its original aspect ratio, instead of cropped for 2.35:1.
Doomsday Scenario Interface is not present in the original cut, it was added to provide background information present in the graphic novels. Instead we have narration from Pilot Abilene explaining the present situation and Treer Corporation.
The meeting between the Baron and Hideo Takehashi takes place much earlier in the film, Pilot explains the Baron dislikes Takehashi.
The character of General Teena MacArthur is more fleshed out in original cut, she mainly communicates with General Simon Theory and the Baron.
Many scenes with dialog between main characters have been extended i.e. scenes with Boxer & Roland, Krysta & Cyndi, Boxer & Starla, Cyndi & Vaughn Smallhouse etc.
Pilot explains that Bart Bookman is an 'angry man' with a willingness to die.
Some events that take place are better explained in original cut e.g. Boxer ringing Fortunio before meeting him, Serpentine explaining her actions at the end.
Features additional effects of the blimp not in theatrical version.
Features music by Moby not present in theatrical version i.e. 'Ceanograph' is heard in scene giving information on the rift, 'Hotel Intro' is heard as characters visit different sections on the blimp.
overly-ambitious? probably. puzzlingly dense? certainly. meandering and confusing? absolutely. SOUTHLAND TALES, richard kelly's much-maligned, oft-questioned, studio-crippled but still hotly-anticipated follow-up to DONNIE DARKO is guilty of most of the accusations that critics have hurled at it.
indeed, it's a mess - but it's one of the most beautiful, most engaging, most daring messes i've seen in awhile - especially considering the fact that this is a big-studio film with such an abundance of marquee stars. but it hits on many of the same themes that DARKO did - both metaphysical and spiritual - and that's promising to me, because it's indicative of a singular focus/concept that richard kelly wants to explore in his work. i once read an essay on the cinema of David cronenberg - i can't find it now, so i'll have to paraphrase - it mentioned that the best storytellers often spend their entire careers retelling what is essentially the same story, but executing it in different ways. with only two features under his belt so far, it's premature (downright offensive, some would say) to make kelly/cronenberg comparisons at this point - but if this kid keeps digging into the same subject matter over and over, he's eventually going to produce an honest-to-goodness masterpiece. and that really excites me.
think back to the theatrical cut of DONNIE DARKO, and how mystifying and enigmatic it was on yr first viewing. then think about the director's cut - did it feel "dumbed down" to you? like more exposition had been crowbarred in, so that the film would be EASIER for us to digest? there's some of that going on in SOUTHLAND TALES, and i'm forced to wonder if that was kelly's original vision, or if it was the result of studio interference. alternatively, the director might have gotten so tired of everyone theorising about DD, that he wanted to make certain plot points entirely unambiguous this time out. whatever the case, the end result is one the year's best films, in spite of (or perhaps because of) its flaws.
i've studied the graphic novel and the website, and i intend to delve deeper into both (including the ancillary sites). i might even need to see the film again before it leaves theaters - which will probably be soon, as this thing has "box office flop" written all over it (box office mojo reports a paltry opening-night take of $37,000), and has a "wide release" that includes all of 63 screens.
at present, we can be sure of a three things: ONE, SOUTHLAND TALES has so much going on, that it's literally boiling over, and it's going to take years for people to realise what a treasure this film really is. TWO, there is a TRUE maverick inside the gates of Hollywood, his name is richard kelly, and he's going to be here for awhile. and THREE, nobody rocks the cock like krysta now.
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