Southland Tales

Southland Tales ★★★

When I caught up with Richard Kelly's dystopian-fantasy folly belatedly on DVD back in 2008, I remember finding it neither as disastrous as its 2006 Cannes reception indicated (based on a different cut, admittedly) nor as great as champions like J. Hoberman, Amy Taubin, Manohla Dargis, and others had suggested. Since then, though, my appetite for film maudits of this type has increased...so I took a risk upon getting the assignment to revisit this for Brooklyn Magazine (for a screening at Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of BAMcinématek's "Turkeys for Thanksgiving" series), trusting that I'd like it more the second time around.

Well...that didn't quite pan out the way I hoped: My mixed feelings about it, if anything, were intensified. I did, however, find one interesting angle into Southland Tales that I didn't think of the first time, and tried to explain it in my capsule review here.