Southland Tales

Southland Tales ★★★★½

I'm still unsure if I really know, let alone "get" the sort of film that Richard Kelly sought out to make with this sophomore feature but either way, I'm still amazed that this film was backed by a major studio.

Southland Tales is an incredibly baffling, cathartic film, but even putting that out there wouldn't be enough to set anyone up for the sort of film that this is either. To some extent it may even be trashy, but maybe that's also a perfect representation for the direction America would be set to head for the future: creating something of a prophetic quality for Richard Kelly's dystopian satire. But even then, Kelly's already aware of that particular quality in his work and the way the film is written too: sometimes very on-the-nose. It's very funny, but terrifying in equal measure, but we all tell ourselves in the end we're just feeling fine no matter how close we are to experiencing an apocalypse of sorts.

I need to see the Cannes cut of this at some point, but I could only see my admiration for this growing more with another revisit. It's only all too fitting that Richard Kelly would follow up the cult hit Donnie Darko with something only even more outlandish: but what does it matter how much sense any of this makes too? He's got soul, but he's not a soldier.

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