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
A scene that never even made it into the Cannes cut involves Boxer, right after Starla gets shot, 'bleeding' back in time to the 1920s and meeting Inga von Westphalen as a young fortune teller. Pilot Abilene's cryptic reference to black umbrellas is an orphaned reference to this. See more »
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.
Now, this film has some definite problems, but it receives a 10 in my book for the director's insistence on trying something different. This film certainly doesn't offer a story that fits the A,B,C, plot mold of standard Hollywood pictures and it lacks slightly in characterization, but makes up for it with idea's, experimental style, and a "european" view of the current climate of the United States of America (now matter what your politics).
As an American viewer currently in France, I'm astounded that there are not more critics praising this feature. I understand the casting choices are odd, but after hearing Richard Kelly speak of the film as a "puzzle" it seems to make more and more sense as I replay the anarchic gonzo like images in my head.
This film is not about the characters, but the situation in which the characters inhabit. It's an experience. I mean do any of us actually "care" about David Bowman in 2001? Yes, the oddities in the film grow astoundingly quirky (bowel movement thermonuclear baby) but see this film simply to experience something new and to insure more films that don't fit the mold are made. I mean that's why we see Jarmusch pictures, right?
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