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Southland Tales trailer

Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 10:47am

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Simon K Jones

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Richard Kelly's first movie, Donnie Darko, was a flop when released to cinemas in 2001, partially due to featuring a plane crash (of sorts) in the months immediatley after 9/11. Subsequently, however, it found a cult audience on DVD and Kelly was touted as 'the next David Lynch'.

At Cannes his second movie, Southland Tales, was panned and quickly disappeared from the radar. Kelly has since been busy re-editing and the movie is now finally approaching a proper release. Check out the trailer to see the rather eclectic cast of The Rock, Buffy and Stifler wandering around what might be a post-apocalyptic LA. Let us know what you think of it!
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 3:42pm

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ben3308

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Looks like The Rundown meets Donnie Darko, meets Across the Universe, meets something like A Scanner Darkly.

Looks too weird and cheesy for me. Just too many strangely 'out there' things.

And I knew Justin Timberlake was the one saying that opening monologue with the old home video footage. It's a shame that Alpha Dog opened the same way, with JT's voice and old footage. Now this trailer just looks like a rip off.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 3:45pm

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Simon K Jones

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More to the point: how come Timberlake is in everything at the moment? His agent must have been doing some serious overtime for the last couple of years!

I'm really not sure what to expect of Southland Tales. I loved Donnie Darko back when I was a student - it hit the mark with me perfectly. It doesn't quite work the same way on me now, in my late-20s, but I still think it's a very accomlished film from a first-time director with some fantastic performances and dry observations.

The thing is that Darko trod the line between weird and meaningful just right for me. Personally, I can't stand 'weird films' - Lynch leaves me cold completely. Darko hit a balance of being weird but still functioning on an emotional level. Southland Tales is just looking plain weird - then again, Kelly's stuff so far isn't really the kind of thing you can squeeze easily into a trailer, so we'll have to wait and see I guess...
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 4:09pm

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ben3308

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Weird quirks in movies to me generally seem gratuitous and for no reason, and they often ruin or tarnish movie experiences for me.

Donnie Darko hit its weird mark just close enough to creepy and disturbing to make it seem less odd and more, just, disturbing. At least that's how I got it. Frank was terrifying to me the first time I saw it. And let's keep in mind I was 11, and am now almost 18.

Conversely, writer Chuck Palahniuk is someone who I don't think should be allowed to write anymore, simply because his stuff is so weird and heinous and grossly offensive that I don't think it holds literary merit at all. But then you look at adaptations of his extremely weird writings like Fight Club, and they salvage from the book (which is not that great) an amazing screenplay (the best written, methinks) and a similarly amazing movie.

So if you can do 'weird' in a fun/cool sense, then you're fine. In the vein of Fight Club. Or maybe even The Ten, though the latter was pretty horrible as a comedy movie.

To give a recent example, I thought a lot of the sexually-charged banter in Shoot 'Em Up was unnecessary; not because I'm a prude, but because I'd rather see an intense action movie than Paul Giamatti grabbing a dead girls breasts. Those quirks were cool in the movie, I guess, but not completely necessary. Many of the same things in A Scanner Darkly (which Southland Tales look a LOT like) made the movie unenjoyable- though I actually like ASD, unlike everyone else in the world, haha.

As for Justin Timberlake: I things he's actually getting the coverage he deserves with all these roles. His music has taken a turn for the better in the past two years, his dancing/live performances are apparently show-stopping, and his acting in Alpha Dog was some of the best in the movie. He definitely 'proved' himself as an actor- at least passably so- in that movie.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 7:17pm

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Fill

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That was one of the most unusual trailers I've seen. I can't even judge it.
It was just too... strange.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 8:01pm

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sfbmovieco

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Chuck is a great writer. There should be more innovative writers like that. CHOKE is a great example of that.

IMO this looks like its going to be awesome. Critics when they pan something are often times wrong. It only takes looking at Donnie Darko to know that.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 8:21pm

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Serpent

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I usually love weird and abstract films, this one didn't do it for me. I thought it was kind of interesting, but there was something about it. Felt like just a standard story but the acting, setting, and the way they presented the story was harshly abstracted and it came off as creepy. Usually for an abstract film to work, the story has to be somewhat abstract. I don't know if that's the "it" in "it didn't do it for me," but abstract stories seems to be a trend in weird/abstract films that I enjoy (Eternal Sunshine, I Heart Huckabees, Brazil, Edward Scissor Hands, Mirror Mask <<All fairly different films that I would definitely consider abstract that I loved. All have abstract stories.) I think I'll still give this a watch and hope for the best.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 9:57pm

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ben3308

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I watched I Heart Huckabees when it came on HBO randomly one day, thinking it was just a film about Dustin Hoffman as a guy investigating Jason Schwartzman.

I had no idea it would be experimental or involve deep existentialism until Jason Schwartzman walked into a frame of video with a knife and slashed the image down, putting up a new one of Naomi Watts.

That's when I knew it was gonna get weird.

MirrorMask was weird, cheaply made, and generally not as good a movie as it's hyped up to be. Mainly lame.
Posted: Fri, 21st Sep 2007, 10:10pm

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Sollthar

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Hm, Donnie Darko did nothing for me at all. This trailer did nothing for me at all.

Guess I have no reason to watch the film. At all. So I won't. smile
Posted: Sat, 22nd Sep 2007, 2:00am

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Pooky

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I didn't like Donnie Darko at all, it was like they tried to hide its lacking story by making it really weird, stretched out and dark.

This one looks like the opposite: it's as if they tried to fit a ton of story in a tiny movie, but while keeping the whole "it's not SUPPOSED to make sense!" approach. Bleh.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Sep 2007, 2:34am

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er-no

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I'm jetlagged, which made this trailer even more confusing and worse than it probably is for a not tired person.

England is cold.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Sep 2007, 10:13am

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Simon K Jones

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I only got about 10 minutes into I Heart Huckabees. It's probably the most unwatchable film I've ever seen - worse than Mulholland Drive for me. It was so cringingly, patronisingly full of its own self-importance.

Watching it was like being stuck in a pub with a philosophy first year undergraduate student and no-one else to talk to.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Sep 2007, 10:28am

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Mellifluous

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I like weird but only if the filmmaker sees life in a weird way and translates that to his films. I don't like directors who try to be weird for the sake of it, which I think Kelly is. I loved Donnie Darko but I don't think Kelly is a "weird" director.

Hal Hartley, Gondry, Coen Brothers, Crispin Glover, Jarmusch, Peter Greenaway and Lynch are.

I'm interested to see Southland Tales to see what it's all about, but expect it to be light fare in comparison with the above.

Edit: Lynch is great! What made Mulholland Drive unwatchable? I'm not a fan of Eraserhead but Lost Highway, Blue Velvet and MD are interesting and fun to watch.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Sep 2007, 7:54pm

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er-no

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Tarn wrote:

I only got about 10 minutes into I Heart Huckabees. It's probably the most unwatchable film I've ever seen - worse than Mulholland Drive for me. It was so cringingly, patronisingly full of its own self-importance.

Watching it was like being stuck in a pub with a philosophy first year undergraduate student and no-one else to talk to.
I studied philosophy, I saw what I was becoming and changed my direction. I did not want to become what you speak of in pubs.