Thursday, January 13, 2011

Five From A Favorite - Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006)


J.D. said...

A wonderfully deranged movie. Narratively it's a mess but I always felt that that was the point. I dunno. I really dig this film and hope, some day, Kelly gets a chance to release the Cannes version.

Drew said...

Nice to hear you're a fan of this one as well, J.D.

You're right that it's a mess in many ways, but of course you're also right that (most of the time at least) that's very much the point; streamlining the narrative - and in turn ebbing the hyper tv/media aesthetic - would have completely dulled down Kelly's vision.

I too would love for the Cannes version to see daylight at some point.

Ed Howard said...

Nice. Not enough people appreciate the unique pleasures of this film. It's all about media overload and junk culture, and its looney structure and stunt casting reflect its themes brilliantly. I thought it was a blast, and the best movie Kelly has made yet.

Also, though I never thought I'd be saying this, the Rock was great in it. Such a loose, funny performance.

Drew said...

Thanks for the comment, Ed. We are definitely in agreement. Your characterization is spot on (the casting, while easy to be taken aback by, is a stroke of genius), and I too feel it's Kelly's best film, and it's not really close.

And yeah, The Rock does a great job. I actually have very little problem with The Rock in general from everything I've seen, which is admittedly not much at all.

Sam Juliano said...

"Not enough people appreciate the unique pleasures of this film."

Well Drew, Ed Howard's comment here applies to me, though I don't deny it has worked for many, and can't contest neither the talent of its director nor the beauty of your screen cap presentation. I'd like to look at this film again, as perhaps I was too jaded teh first time around.

Drew said...

Thanks a lot for the comment, Sam. The movie is clearly not everyones cup of tea, as evidenced by the complete thrashing it took from most critics, but if one is willing and able to get on its wavelength (which likely requires a little more effort and patience then most probably feel is due), the boldness of Kelly's vision evinces itself pretty clearly and becomes endlessly fascinating and entertaining.

I mean, it's just downright uncommon to see a director release a work this grand and uncompromised so early in a career. I would think that even if the film disagrees with you, one would almost still have to salute Kelly simply for getting it made.

JeanRZEJ said...

I'm not sure 5 screenshots are enough to fully encapsulate just how ridiculous this film gets, but it may be the best method to distill its high points. I'm in favor of this approach! Ignore the rest! If Kelly would have ignored the expositional elements which really didn't amount to much anyway I think he could have been onto something great. There is a certain quality of the ethereal dreamstate which pervades the film, reminiscent of The Hourglass Sanatorium, but instead of freely drifting between scenes I seem to remember abrupt halts and melodramatic monologues. For me it was like a film with all the elements of a bad film combined with another set of elements which no bad film could ever hope to contain. An odd concoction.

Drew said...

Thanks a lot for the comment Jean.

I do have to disagree with you as so far as that I feel the overall choppiness and hamminess of the exposition here is very much an intentional and critical part of what Kelly was going for - capturing ludicrousness the current ADD media frenzy milieu - and without that thematic thrust driving the movie I think it could easily have spilled over into indulgent twaddle. As much as I dig Kelly, he's no Has at this point in his career.

As is the movie works brilliantly for me, albeit in a crazy, mad scientist type of way. Once Kelly gets over his obvious Lynch aping phase, I'd be quite interested in seeing him step into the more free-flowing abstract territory that you suggest.

Btw, I really like your blog! Nice work!