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 Boxer Santaros confronts Serpentine and Dr. Inga Von Westphalen, the boom microphone is visible as the camera pans from one to the other. 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.
I had not heard much about Southland Tales when I started to rent it. The only reason I was getting it was because I will watch anything with Sarah Michelle Gellar and always enjoy her even if I do not enjoy the movie. I had no idea what I was in store for. While watching this movie, I just became so, entranced. From beginning to end, I was loving every second and I could not figure out why. Maybe because it is so eccentric and well executed that it seems weird to like it for how odd it is. Maybe the performances were giving the film it's edge where the plot was so original and crisp. No, the real reason I enjoyed this movie is because it was so incredibly interesting and fun to watch, and it appeared to me as a perfect film throughout my whole viewing, when in reality it is one big mess. Yes, this is quite perfectly the most beautiful piece of junk I have ever seen, and I can not get enough of it!
Allow me to explain further for those who are unsure what I am saying. This film is an apocalypse-themed string of events that seem to make absolutely no sense sometimes as the film progresses. There are no stand out performances, only ones that intesify the artsy atmosphere the film tries to create. At that same time though, Richard Kelly does not attempt to make it anything more than it is; it seems as though the film is just there, no more, no less. What I love about Southland Tales is it is not afraid to test it's viewers. People who hate this film just do not understand it usually. They think it has no creative merit, no purpose but to see how random it can be. That is not the case. I, in my honest opinion, believe the film is as perfect as it can be without actually being any good, and that is the complete opposite of hating it. In the end, there is really a lot of questions as to why this film is so good if it contains so many problems, and that is because it does the one thing a movie is meant to do, entertain, and it does that unconditionally.
Those who say they are appalled by it's lack of intelligence really are judging the film in the wrong way. Those who say it was boring, it just might not be the film for you. I, for one, enjoy it more and more with every viewing and my opinion on why I love it so much, I can never exactly pin down. The movie is an apocalypse within itself, but masks it all with what the creators want us to believe is pure genius, and I completely respect and admire that in every way. Those are just my views, take them or leave them.
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