Southland Tales

Southland Tales ★★★★

Very few post-modern sci-fi films aim to make their films so chaotic narratively to appropriately mirror how our own modern world is in constant flux the way Kelly does here. Set squarely in a post-9/11 landscape, the film really builds itself off of the extensively constructed lore/mythology (?) behind it and shows the viewer an oversaturated society made up of screens and screens within screens and where each character is apart and/or contributes to the media system in some way.

For a tragic mélange of soap-opera level drama and Orwellian sci-fi that attempts to work on multiple levels both within and outside of the film via its main stars and their roles in other forms of media, it's almost dangerously ambitious and a bit bloated at times. Information moves through the film's narrative beautifully through images, sounds, and screens, effectively showing the viewer the 21st century mediascape that is holding all of our attention all the time.

Essential Reading:
Steven Shaviro on Southland Tales and Post-Cinematic Affect

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