3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Visual Trip into an Alternate Earth,
This review is from: Southland Tales (DVD)
Enjoyable. Wild. Insane. Ridiculous. Stupid. Insightful. Too long. Too short. Funny. Cringe worthy. Pointless. Dumb. Inspiring. Eye candy. Fun.
That's what I would say if the average person asked me what I thought of it.
But if you're like me and you like : The Pixies, Jane's Addiction, Philip K. Dick, 90's Saturday Night Live, comic books, video games, Revelation and any other apocalypse theories, conspiracy theories like "Behold the Pale White Horse" or getting a kick out of "The Anarchist Cookbook", the creepy old psychic from Poltergeist, Viola from Moonlighting or Bugger from Revenge of the Nerds, porn, the internet or anything involving paranoia (both drug induced and not) then this film is for you.
In other words I enjoyed the film for what it is (a visual trip with many ideas) and what it's not (self indulgent and pretentious). Several established critics (they were probably booing this film at Cannes as well) called it self indulgent and a complete mess. I gather that when a critic doesn't comprehend what's going on they're quick to label the film self indulgent (they said the same thing about "The Fountain"). They might do this out of fear of admitting that they didn't have the foresight to see that a whole new genre (sort of, I mean you have to give credit to the Avant-Garde) of film is emerging albeit with an American face. This isn't to say that they're completely wrong, I mean the film is a mess but it's an enjoyable mess of moments. I don't think Richard Kelly is interested in typical Hollywood story structure, that is, linear plot with plot conventions, I think it's more about encapsulating different emotions and ideas and stringing them together for a different experience. Conventions allow the audience to walk in to a theater with certain expectations and walk away with an understanding of whether or not those expectations were met. Southland Tales is not about expectations and if you require a strict use of genre conventions then this film is not for you. But if you have an open mind then I whole heartedly recommend this film.