Please join in the Valley of the Shadow Annual Fundraiser. We are raising $7,700. Please hit the Tip Jar here to contribute. Thank you.
Hollywood is in the midst of a writer's strike (A post on that later), but the writer/director of Donnie Darko made a political/sci-fi/apocalyptic movie called Southland Tales. I saw it at the Arclight last Sunday. By this Sunday, it's gone from all the first run theatres. Rather than letting it grow into cult status by keeping it in the theatres for a fiscal quarter (The studios should do that for all movies they release, they would get their money back faster), it's gone.
First, since this is a political Blog, let me tackle the political aspects of Richard Kelly's Tales. Like most folks who work above-the-line (i.e. Directors, Actors, Writers), they do not know any elected Republicans because it would be career suicide to do so. Modern Hollywood is McCarthyism in reverse. The Republicans in this movie do not exist in real life. The mad scientist who supports the neo-Marxists would not invite a Republican Vice-Presidential candidate aboard his Mega-Blimp. The cells of Neo-Marxists sound real, but the Republicans (and their families) sound staged. If I wasn't politically inclined, I would not have noticed it.
The Republican characters in Donnie Darko existed and life was breathed into them, here the Republicans are stereotyped.
In the sci-fi aspect, I like the concept of Alternative History. Wallace Shawn's mad scientist creating "Liquid karma" and discussing knowledge of the space/time rift fascinated me. Like a Robert Altman movie, the multitude of characters all have a purpose that all meets the night of July 4, 2008. Kelly makes it interesting how the space/time rift, "Liquid karma" a mega blimp, and a Presidential election all ties in with an actor, a porn star and a policeman.
What was cool was the sights of Venice, Santa Monica and Downtown onscreen. All I ask is, where was the Valley and Hollywood?
And the Apocalypse? The best part as the neo-Marxists and the mad scientist and the policeman's actions all tie into one another. Visually, a stunning movie. Watch it in the theatres if you can.