Friday, November 23, 2007

The most Surreal movie you won't see

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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.


  1. JSF, I've been waiting all weekend to see this trailer. Something is wacked with my in-laws' computer and video displays badly, but I'm home now and I am so checking this movie out! They had me at "from the creator of Donnie Darko" and the opening riffs of Wave of Mutilation. I challenge you to show me a movie that uses the Pixies in the trailer that isn't a great movie. I heard a mention of this film in an interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar and all she really mentioned about it was that she plays a porn star and costars with The Rock. But this looks really surreal and darkly humorous. Two questions and a comment:

    1) Can the Rock actually act?

    2) Can Justin Timberlake actually act?

    And what's the deal with a movie involving porn without shooting in the Valley? That's Pornywood! Tell me at least they have a Ron Jeremy cameo.

  2. JSF, I'm more than a bit of a Sci-Fi fan. I'm a closet trekkie from way back and my favorite all-time movie is the classic Blade Runner. Heard it's being re-released in cinemas. Since I know what to expect I'll probably make that my yearly trip to the movies. Like plenty of other people, I just can't stand the political garbage that gets shoved down our throats every time we want to just get out for a bit of entertainment. That's why Hollyweird is losing money. They just don't get it that people like actors because they act, not for their off-the-planet opinions.

  3. BTW, you do a great review. Almost talked me into it. ;)

  4. Aurora, aren't you conservatives supposed to believe in the free markets? If there's such a great desire for conservative entertainment, wouldn't some bright and talented creative conservative come along with that entrepreneurial spirit and fill the niche? When African Americans didn't feel that they had enough presence on TV, they started their own networks which are doing quite well. I'm sure if enough people pitched right-leaning entertainment that could keep enough eyeballs to sell the ads, Rupert Murdoch would love to give it a channel of its own. Here's a lesson you can take from us leftists. Don't hate the media. BE the media. Anyone with a camcorder and even the most basic computer can have their own show now.

  5. Jason, it's all well and good to say, don't hate the media, be the media, but I'm afraid we have been remiss for decades in blocking the destruction of our world while you on the left have been creeping into the education institutions, political structures and media.
    We've been apathetic thinking that freedom would just always be there instead of learning the lessons of history that it must be guarded at all costs.
    Unfortunately what the left lack in morals and good economic sense etc. etc., they make up for by dogged persistence, strategies and manipulation.
    Now all that's left to we descendants of those of us who slept is resistance.
    My resistance is to avoid the cinema, TV and now all pulp propaganda (including Murdoch whose pile of crap newspapers endorsed the Leftist candidate in the Australian elections last week; the biggest betrayal since at least we could expect at least a half/half mix of right and left in the Murdoch papers, now their true colors have been shown)
    At least I can keep my own mind sharp and focused while those 'centrist' irrelevants who follow everything the media spew out continue to vote as they are instructed.

  6. Oh Aurora you poor thing! You're so abused and oppressed by us big bad leftists! Can I get you a kleenex?

    But believe it or not, I have some empathy for you in the days following the election in Australia. You probably feel that a slim majority of the people of your country have completely lost their minds. I feel the same way here for the last 6 years and it's a lousy way to feel.

    And as for the media, either side can claim bias toward the other, but corporate media has only one real bias, and that's toward their advertisers. They choose their bias based on how many eyeballs it can get of the right demographic. We haven't seen real journalistic integrity from the mainstream media since Watergate. And the more the media companies merge and monopolize, the worse it's going to get. I wonder if that's a point we might agree on.

  7. Jason, Aurora,

    Hiding out among the Hollywood people means the same thing as standing in a room full of news reporters. They all think the same thing when it comes to politics. If Arianna Huffington says so, they believe it. And she comes from the shallow end of the intellectual pool.

    if you want to know where the new bad guys are coming from, see who is backing the films to see who won't be: lately, money from Arab States are filling the coffers at the studios.


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