Southland Tales review 30 of 52.

Things are finally getting back to normal.

I’m not fully sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

For those of you who aren't playing along, I’ve spent a majority of the past two months on the road working. I camped, lived in a motel, and was put up in corporate housing, where I had the master bedroom with a bathroom that's bigger than my apartment. 

I spent most of my waking hours surrounded by people.

It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work, being an undercover introvert and all.

I spent last week home alone enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with being a shut in.

Then again maybe it’s a little too quiet, peaceful, and lonely.

Today was the day when it stopped feeling like I was readjusting to being home and started to feel like I was just living again.

Just regular run of the mill living.


Sometimes it feels like that’s all there is to life.

Along with waiting to be reacclimated to my surrounding, I spent most of the week waiting to be inspired for this week’s review.

A couple months ago, before things started to get busy, I woke to this interaction on my Twitter page.


This person had just posted an article where he interviewed Richard Kelly about Southland Tales.

Even though I haven’t been all that happy with the supplemental material for Southland Tales, I figured I’d give it another shot.

So at 8:00 in the am on September 10th I fired up Southland Tales for the 30th time.


I finished the movie and printed up the article, which turned out to be 15 pages.

It was a pretty good read.  

I found that I agreed with a lot of what the writer of the article had to say. His main point seems to be that this movie is perfect almost because of its imperfection and that it’s impossible for anyone to fully understand this movie.

The writer even gets angry that Richard Kelly has answers to every, “Why did this happen?” or “What does this mean?” question that came up.

  • “Part of me feels like I've been robbed of something very precious. I've come to realize Southland Tales was so meaningful to me because I thought of it as something otherworldly. An uncanny collection of images and words, powerfully circulating without a single purpose. A movie that deliberately eschews narrative, that is primarily designed to lead the viewer into introspection or spectacle in a way that Hollywood movies are never designed to do.

    But according to the man who created it, that is not what he meant at all. That is not it at all.”

I think my favorite part of the article is when the writer decided to watch Southland Tales with three friends and asked them to summarize the movie.

  • “One said it was "an LA narcissist's take on what would happen if you put an all-comedic cast and then B-list actors who can't really act into a social commentary on consumption and oil policy." Another said it was a collection of "Buñuelian surrealist symbols and weird things thrown in for no apparent reason," clearly not intended to make any sense. The third said it was all obviously a hallucination Taverner was having about Abilene, with Boxer, Krysta, and Boxer's wife (Mandy Moore) as a representation of the Holy Trinity. (I definitely hadn't thought of that before.)”

Then Richard Kelly talks about the viewing process of audience member.

  • “"It's definitely one of those repeat-viewing films," he said, matter-of-factly. "Some audience members get very angry if they can't process and understand the story in one viewing, and they see that as a design flaw in the film itself. Other people are more open to obscurity and complexity and the idea of needing to revisit something."”

I fall into the latter group of movie goers. I think that’s why I enjoy this movie as much as I do.

Hopefully my fandom will last for another 22 viewings.

That’s it for now.

Click here to read the full article it's worth the read complete with a link to some concept art and a link to the feature length script for the planned prequel, which I will be checking out very soon.

I can't wait! 

I’ll see you next week!


Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.