In 2006, Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly premiered his second feature film, Southland Tales, at the Cannes Film Festival. The audience did not react warmly to his hugely ambitious movie, and the film was drastically re-cut before hitting theaters in late 2007, when it failed to make much of an impact. But among film fanatics, the movie has been a much-argued-about talking point for more than a decade.
Kelly has only directed one other movie since then (2009’s The Box), but he recently revealed that he and his team have completed a 4K restoration of the infamous Cannes cut of Southland Tales, and that he still intends to direct a Southland Tales prequel which features both animation and live-action. Read his latest update below. Read More »
Richard Kelly recently appeared at Kevin Smith’s Smodcastle in Hollywood California to present a screening of Southland Tales. Before the screening, Smith recorded a one and a half hour conversation with Kelly which begins with his childhood and spans his filmmaking career. It’s a very interesting conversation and definitely worth checking out (you can listen to it online here). One of the interesting takeaways from the conversation was the mention that Kelly still hopes to someday direct a movie adaptation of the Southland Tales prequel comic books. Actually, he’s already written it — twice!
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I must pick up the Southland Tales soundtrack. It contains more than a few great tunes, much in line with director Richard Kelly’s debut film Donnie Darko. The soundtrack also includes character Krysta Now’s first single “Teen Horniness is Not a Crime”, a satirical take on the bubble gum pop songs of Britney Spears era. In the movie, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays porn star Krysta Now, who also hosts a “View”-like talk show, her own energy drink, and an upcoming pop music career.
And you can now listen to the song in MP3 format over on Zeon’s Music blog. The lyrics are available after the jump.
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A couple weeks ago, we had the opportunity to sit down with Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly and talk about his newest film Southland Tales.
I know, I know, we’re a little late in posting this interview, as the film was released in limited theaters this past week. But as much as this is the type of movie that you must see multiple times to understand, this interview should probably only be read or listened to after you have seen the film, or it likely won’t make complete sense. I have posted the audio file from the roundtable interview below, and you can read the transcript after the jump.
Question:Â I understand this movie completely. Why do people have such a hard time understanding your work?
Richard Kelly:Â I don’t know. Did you guys get a graphic novel? Do we have one with us? Have you guys seen it? The graphic novel prequel book… I was holding it as a prop for the TV [interviews] on camera so people would understand there was a prequel graphic novel. I was making sure it got on camera.
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I’ve said before that Son of Rambow is one of the best movies of the year (read my review here). I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately about a bunch of movies, but as the year winds down, you start to gain perspective over the previous year. But to be honest with you, Son of Rambow isn’t actually one of the best films of 2007.
Yes, I lied.
It’s actually one of the best movies of 2008. Paramount Vantage has finally announced a release date for this film which took Sundance by storm. Yes, it first premiered in January 2007 (I don’t know what took so long). Son of Rambow will hit theaters on May 2nd 2008.
And a bit of bad news: Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales has been pushed back yet again. The good news is that it was only moved back a few days. The film will now hit theaters on Wednesday, November 14th (delayed from November 9th) in New York and LA. And the film will expand to more cities on November 16th.
“Yet another delay… but they felt this was a strategic move that would help the film,” Kelly wrote on his blog. “But for those of you who want to see the film earlier there will be many advance previews scheduled for select cities and universities (Harvard, Columbia and USC screenings are being set for late October/early November).”
We’ll keep you updated.
And I thought the US movie poster for Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales was pretty bad, now check out the UK one-sheet. I showed it to one of my friends who knew nothing about the movie. She was confused and asked me why Seann William Scott is pictured twice. The answer is that he plays twin brothers. But it’s confusing to the unknowing audience. And not to mention, it’s ugly. But maybe this is the type of poster that you have to look at a few times to understand, much like the movie…
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.Â 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 â€“ if that makes any sense to you â€“ 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.'”
While re-watching the trailer for Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, I was able to spot two instances of a Donnie Darko easter egg. Frank’s Bunny head can be seen on a poster which is in the background of some scenes. Anyone have any idea what the text below the head on the poster says? Click on the image above to enlarge. The trailer can be found here.
I have also found a few secret frames hidden within the trailer. You can see them after the jump.
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Since the now infamous Cannes Film Festival screening which resulted in a wave of bad buzz like never seen before, Richard Kelly has been trying to do damage control on his sophomore effort, a follow-up his hit cult first film Donnie Darko. Southland Tales has been re-cut, enhanced with new special effects (which evident in the trailer are not too impressive), and is said to be a totally different movie. And now finally, the movie trailer has hit the web, and it’s everything I hoped the movie might look like. Call me a fanboy, but I want to love this movie. There has been some recent conversation in the comments on this site about the differences between bloggers and critics, and I think that’s one of them. Critics are paid to be critical. Bloggers are paid to be fans. And when things go wrong, they are allowed to be unrelentingly honest about a film, star, director or writer (I’ve even received a few e-mails that I can print from actors, writers, and directors that took issue with some of my comments). But the truth is, most of the bloggers want to see a movie like Resident Evil 3 (sadly, we helped promote the film, but Sony has shut all media out in hopes of keeping the bad buzz from hitting you guys). I know, this is a rant for another time, another post.
I’m really looking forward to Richard Kelly’s new film. I really dig the great Pixies song used in the trailer (Wave of Mutilation), the Moby soundtrack and the play against the famous TS Eliot quote: “This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.” I’ve even read the prequel graphic novels, which I can highly recommend. I don’t see how this film could make sense if you didn’t read them. And maybe that was the problem with the Cannes screening. Check out the new trailer for yourself after the jump.
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The three Southland Tales prequel graphic novels have been combined to form this very cool collection. Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga will be available in bookstores everywhere in late October. This art shows both the the back cover and beginning/end flaps, which are an extension of the inverted American flag concept from the theatrical poster (which I didn’t care for much). I have read the prequel books, andÂ I frankly don’t understand how anyone would be able to understand the plot of the film without first reading these. There is so much vital information relayed in this collection, that it should almost be a requirement before someone sees Richard Kelly’s film.