Richard Kelly's Southland Tales Getting Cut - UPDATED!

August 29, 2006

Southland Tales

UPDATE: posted an update from the MySpace blog of Richard Kelly. The original interview/article was from Cannes itself, and NOT from anything recent. So this is actually NOT TRUE, as he is happy in the process working with Sony now to cut a film into its final form. Read the update at CHUD if you wish… Either way, Southland Tales should be incredible!

It's been quite some time since there's been an update from Richard Kelly on his next film Southland Tales, but there finally is just a bit of news that's trickled out. Unfortunately it's for the worst.

Film Rotation referenced a recent conversation that Hotdog Magazine had with Kelly where he mentioned the latest downfall of the film:

"What's disappointing, frustrating is that now I don't know that Southland Tales will be seen in the United States. Maybe it will, but potentially it could be shown with almost an hour of it missing. I don't quite know what that film is".

He adds "It was intended to be this epic LA story. I just don't know if I have the energy anymore. I tried. I tried. And hopefully they'll (the fans) get a chance to see it at some point".

I did have the chance to briefly meet Richard Kelly at Comic-Con and at least watch his panel on Southlande Tales. This alone, and the clip he showed, got me that much more interested in it. oddly, I don't think anyone has really mentioned much that was covered at the Comic-Con panel.

I remember a talk on the side (while the Afro Samurai panel was ending) that Richard was having with a friend. The film is finished, complete in almost its entirity, he is just working to find the right distributor. As many independent new filmmakers have to do, he was in the long, fighting process of trying to get a distributor for it and get it out in theaters. Many assume that with the success of Donnie Darko (albeit that it was mostly post-theatrical success), he could easily have another job quickly, but that's not the case. He's still gotta work hard to get his film out.

And the saddest thing is to see something like this happen to someone like Richard Kelly. It was reported that the original 3 hour cut shown to critics at Cannes received a poor response. But the one thing that I hope Richard Kelly knows is that particular people, particular fans, if I can say it, that really like the type of storytelling he's doing, are the ones who will really appreciate his work. As he said, this is an epic adventure, and it's being destroyed. I hope for the betterment of Hollywood and the motion picture industry this gets a proper release.

Everything about Southland Tales seems to just be incredible. Moby is doing the score (confirmed by Kelly himself at Comic-Con), his statements about the desire to get a message across via this epic tale, a series of 3 comic books in connection with Southland Tales being released, your favorite vampire slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, as a juicy pornstar, and the clip they showed with Justin Timberlake in an arcade singing/dancing to Killers song.

I ask you this: how can two of the biggest cult following directors Mike Judge and Richard Kelly be receiving the worst treatment this year in regards to their films' release, when others can produce the worst movies of all time that easily get distributed with huge marketing budgets at the snap of their fingers?

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