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in Filmmaking
on Jun 21, 2006

Writing in Sight and Sound, Amy Taubin surveys the young Americans at Cannes — John Cameron Mitchell, Rick Linklater, and, finally, Richard Kelly:

“It’s about how a bunch of teenagers are dying because we don’t have an alternative fuel source,” said Richard Kelly of ‘Southland Tales’, his hallucinatory, media-saturated, apocalyptic, broken-hearted, future/present follow-up to ‘Donnie Darko’ – which has just a ghost of a chance of being shown theatrically in its two-hour 43-minute Cannes version. As oneiric and overwhelming as two memorial films of Cannes past – David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Dr.’ and Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘2046’ – and a lot funnier, ‘Southland Tales’ attributes the war in Iraq and the devastation of the planet to the greed and increasing desperation of Big Oil and to the all-encompassing (at least in the US) media culture, of which the film is unabashedly a part. Kelly’s mash-up owes as much to ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World’ as to ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ and the aforementioned Lynch Hollywood dystopia, as well as recalling two American underground film-makers – Ken Jacobs and Manuel De Landa – whose work Kelly has probably never seen.

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