Andrea James

Southland Tales

OK, I went to see Southland Tales Friday for two reasons:

1. I love Richard Kelly’s earlier film Donnie Darko and consider it one of the best films ever.

2. Calpernia appears briefly in a scene on the maiden voyage of the Jenny von Westphalen, a blimp that’s powered by an energy source invented by a guy who… oh, never mind. It’s way too hard to explain.

Despite those two reasons, I was a little concerned after reading about the disastrous Cannes screening and subsequent recutting. My mom always said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it.” I of course say not nice things with alarming regularity, so her advice obviously didn’t take.

I am not, however, going to say anything bad about the film beyond that I didn’t like it. I thought it was very audacious, the kind of studio film an indie director gets to make once. It was uncompromising in terms of fearless originality, but it was just a hodgepodge of a story that felt like a lot of cool vignettes without any cohesive stuff to hold the thing together.

So, glad I saw it, but I can’t recommend it. However, if you have not seen Donnie Darko, you need to Netflix that immediately.

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