Southland Tales

The new 20-minute shorter special effects infused cut of Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales premiered at a super special screening at the Fantastic Fest this weekend. Response seemed to be more favorable than the infamous Cannes Film Festival screening. /Film was unable to make it to Austin to catch the flick on the big screen, but here are some people that were:

Twitch: “It is overly ambitious, incredibly dense with ideas often obscured by stylish diversions, and a prime example of pop culture philosophy in action.””Southland is also a dazzlingly smart, funny, and engaging work, one that fuses political fears with apocalyptic religiosity and techno-dread and wraps it all in a glossy, colorful package.  Southland Tales is far from the mess it has been made out to be, a work that rewards as much as it challenges and succeeds in finding the human, emotional core lurking beneath all of its high concepts.”

Harry Knowles at AintITCool: “If you want a simple tale, look elsewhere. This is the type of end of the world conspiracy that you’d expect to come out of Terry Southern or Hunter S Thompson or Kurt Vonnegut. It concerns alternate realities, subversive sub-cultures, neo-politic-paranoia and religious doomsday soothsaying. You may not get what it all means, but it is about asking what it means and laughing at the absurdist fever dream that you just watched. It’s a Basquiat at 24 frames a second – if that makes any sense to you – then perhaps this film is for you.”

Jette at Cinematical
: “The recut film may still be difficult to follow and occasionally difficult to enjoy, but audiences who are willing to pay close attention and focus on the world of the film for more than two hours are rewarded by something extraordinary.”

Austin 360 Film Blog
: “The sci-fi-steeped audience was clearly delighted to see the film, even if they didn’t always seem to connect with its brand of satire. (Dead silence greeted many of the movie’s jokes.)”

CinemaIsDope: “I liked. It’s a challenging film for sure but its essentially “Donnie Darko” on a global scale with a really engaging post 9-11 discussion. The only thing I really didn’t care for in the film was the ending. Not sure if I’ll warm up to it or something will occur on repeat viewings that might make it hold up better. Kelly’s strong voice of cinema and the stellar ensemble acting make up for an often much more complex than perhaps it needs to be film.”

Massawyrm at AICN
: “There are exactly two things wrong with Southland Tales – the first is that Richard Kelly REALLY wanted to write a Phillip K. Dick Novel. And secondly, rather than putting it in novel form he decided to adapt this unwritten novel to the screen using the imagery of Terry Gilliam. The result is one of the most stunningly incredible failures I’ve ever witnessed.”

My Journal is Better Than Yours
: “There were a few moments of clarity where I kind of enjoyed myself but for the most part it was a real big mess. An incoherent, disconnected, needlessly obtuse yet mind-blaringly on the nose (at the same time!), indulgent mess.”

HD For Indies: “A big steaming pile of What The F*ck Was That. Another reviewer turned to me at the credits and said ‘I have no idea how to start a review of that movie.’ I later thought about adding ‘so long as you finish with Don’t Go.'”

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